What is PPE and PPE Safety?

What is PPE and PPE Safety

When it comes to personal protective equipment (PPE), there are a lot of myths and misconceptions. For example, some people think that PPE is only necessary for certain jobs. Others might think they don’t need to wear PPE because they’re not working with dangerous materials. The truth is, everyone who goes to work should be wearing personal protective equipment. This article will discuss personal protective equipment and PPE Safety, why it’s important, and how to choose the right type for your job.

 

What is Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)?

A Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is a type of clothing or equipment designed to reduce or mitigate exposure to chemical, biological, and physical hazards when on a worksite. It protects employees when engineering and administrative controls are not feasible to reduce the risks to acceptable levels.

 

Why are PPE and PPE Safety Important?

PPE is important because it protects workers from serious injuries and illnesses. In addition, wearing PPE can help prevent contact with harmful substances, including dust, chemicals, and infectious diseases. PPE can also protect against electrical hazards, heat exposure, and noise pollution. 

Reviewing the “hierarchy of controls” by the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), PPE is considered the last level of defense to prevent workplace incidents such as injuries, illnesses, and fatalities. 

In some cases, businesses combine PPE with other control measures to maximize the safety of their workers. The advantages of using PPE at the workplace include the following:

  • Prevents unnecessary workplace injuries.
  • Protects employees from exposure to hazardous materials such as lethal chemicals.
  • Prevent the spread of infectious diseases—including COVID-19.
  • Helps businesses comply with safety regulations.
  • Reduces workers’ compensation claims and costs.
  • Improves morale and reduces stress levels among employees.

 

4 Basic Types of PPE Safety

Keep in mind that even the most comprehensive controls will not necessarily eliminate potential risks associated with workplace tasks. That’s why there is a need for PPE evaluation.

There are various specialized PPEs, and a hazard assessment will help identify which one to use. Depending on the work conditions and hazard exposure, different types of safety equipment are available.

 

The following are four of the most basic PPE that can help protect workers on the worksite:

Face & Eye Protection

PPE includes devices such as safety glasses, face shields, and full-face respirators that help protect workers’ eyes and faces from injuries. These PPEs should be used for tasks that can cause vision loss or eye damage, sprays of toxic liquid onto the face that can cause infection, burns from flying particles or hot liquids, and exposure to harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays.

Recommended Safety Tips:

  • The safety glasses should comply with the eye protection standard (ANSI Z87.1).
  • Check for the lenses for any cracks or damages.
  • Check if the strap is firm and in good condition; the strap should seal the cheek and forehead.
  • Clean and disinfect face and eye-protective equipment after use.

 

Respiratory Protection

This type of PPE helps protect workers’ lungs from harmful airborne particles and gasses that may contain bacteria and viruses. It includes different varieties of respirators and gas masks.

Recommended Safety Tips:

  • The respirator should have a tight seal on the worker’s face to be effective.
  • The filters used in the respirator should be properly installed and appropriate for the type of hazard.
  • Replace any damaged or wet parts of the respirator.
  • Change filters on half or full-mask respirators regularly.
  • Do not share surgical masks or N95 filtering facepiece respirators.
  • Replace disposable respirators after every use.
  • Dispose of surgical masks properly.
  • Do not touch the surgical mask after wearing it.
  • Clean and disinfect reusable respiratory protection equipment after use.

 

Skin & Body Protection

PPEs also include the following categories for protection from physical hazards:

Head Protection

Personal Protective Equipment feature headgears such as hard hats required for tasks that can cause injuries to the head due to force or objects falling from above.

Recommended Safety Tips:

  • Make sure there are no deformities on the headgear shell.
  • Avoid storing headgear in direct sunlight as extreme heat can cause unnecessary wear and tear.
  • If used for any kind of impact, replace hard hats, even if the damage is unnoticeable.
  • Clean hardhats regularly to prevent the spread of bacteria and contaminants.

 

Body Protection

This type of PPE includes protective suits and safety vests suitable for tasks that can cause body-related injuries from extreme temperatures, toxic chemicals, flames, radiation, and insect bites.

Recommended Safety Tips:

  • Make sure body protection is clean and free from damages such as cuts and burns,
  • Get a good fit for the wearer to ensure maximum effectiveness in providing full body protection.
  • When working with high-temperature hazards, make sure the bodysuit is made from heat-resistant clothing material.

 

Hands Protection

This type of PPE includes safety gloves that are used for tasks that can cause injuries to the hands from cuts, abrasions, burns, and amputations.

Recommended Safety Tips:

  • Ensure hand protection fits snugly, and there are no gaps between the glove and wrist.
  • Do not use gloves that are too tight as they can restrict blood flow.
  • Replace gloves when they show signs of wear and tear, such as holes, rips, or tears.
  • Change gloves if they become contaminated with chemicals or other hazardous substances.
  • Clean and disinfect (or dispose of) gloves after every use.

 

Foot Protection

This type of PPE includes safety shoes and boots that are used for tasks that can cause injuries to the feet from punctures, cuts, crush injuries, and slips.

Recommended Safety Tips:

  • Make sure shoes and boots fit perfectly.
  • Do not use shoes that are too tight as they can cause foot injuries and restrict blood flow.
  • Replace shoes if they show signs of significant wear and tear.
  • Clean and disinfect shoes after every use.

 

Fall Protection

PPE includes fall arrest systems used for tasks performed at heights to prevent injuries from falls.

Recommended Safety Tips:

  • Inspect fall protection equipment before each use.
  • Do not use damaged or worn-out fall protection equipment.
  • Ensure the harness fits the wearer’s body perfectly.
  • Change harnesses if they show visible signs of damage or wear.

 

Hearing Protection

This type of PPE helps reduce exposure to loud noise levels that can cause hearing loss. Common examples of hearing protection devices are earplugs and earmuffs. 

Recommended PPE Safety Tips:

  • Inspect hearing protection devices before each use.
  • Do not use damaged or worn-out hearing protection devices.
  • Ensure earplugs are the right fit.
  • Replace earplugs when they show signs of damage.
  • Clean and disinfect earplugs after every use.

 

PPE Safety Do’s and Don’ts for COVID-19 Prevention

While the world has slowly recovered, there’s no denying that the COVID-19 pandemic is still ongoing. As such, it’s important to take the necessary precautions to prevent its spread. Here are some personal protective equipment (PPE) dos and don’ts to help keep you safe:

Do’s:

  • Wash and sanitize hands before putting on PPE
  • Check PPE equipment for damages.
  • When wearing a face mask, make sure the colored side is facing outwards.
  • Make sure the face mask covers the mouth, nose, and chin; adjust accordingly without leaving any gaps on the side.
  • Wash and sanitize before removing PPE.
  • Sanitize PPE equipment after each use.

 

Don’ts:

  • Do not share PPE with others.
  • Avoid touching the front of the face mask while wearing it. 
  • Do not wear a face mask that is too loose or too tight. 
  • Do not wear a wet or damp face mask. 
  • Don’t reuse single-use PPE.

 

PPE is an important part of keeping yourself and others safe from the spread of COVID-19. Be sure to follow the do’s and don’ts above to help keep you and those around you healthy and safe. Stay strong, stay healthy!

 

Why Use DataMyte for PPE Safety

Streamline PPE implementation in your workplace by creating a workflow tailored to your company’s needs. With the DataMyte Digital Clipboard, you can do just that and more!

The DataMyte Digital Clipboard is a workflow automation software that lets you improve PPE quality management and workflow implementation by:

  • Creating workflows on every PPE that’s relevant to your business.
  • Creating checklists that help with PPE inspections and quality control.
  • Assigning PPE to employees and tracking inventory levels.
  • Recording and analyzing data on PPE usage.
  • Sending automatic alerts and notifications when.
  • And much more!

 

With the DataMyte Digital Clipboard, you can implement PPE safety into your daily operations seamlessly. Check out our website to learn more and get started today!

 

Conclusion

Personal protective equipment is essential in keeping workers safe on the job site. So make sure you implement the right type of PPE for your workplace. By following the recommended safety tips above, you can ensure that your employees are properly protected from potential hazards.

 

 

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