What is personal protection equipment (PPE) and how does it provide the proper safety to employees in an industrial facility?
Personal protection equipment or PPE is any type of equipment worn to protect a person from bodily harm to possible infection. These hazards could be electrical, mechanical, biohazard, or physical in nature. Ear plugs, safety glasses, and steel toed boots are typically the most common PPE equipment worn by workers in facilities where these hazards occur. PPE can be further subcategorized into job-specific related equipment. All PPE provides a barrier of some sort to protect the wearer from the hazards of their environment in a variety of applications, which include machine hazards along with environmental hazards. While workers will complain about the requirement of a facility in using PPE, a good design of these products and correct fitting will lessen the burden and encourage their continued use. Types of Personal Protection Equipment, just to name a few, are:
- Safety glasses or goggles
- Ear plugs or earmuffs
- Steel toe boots, steel toe shoes, or shoe covers
- Hard hats or bump caps
- Hi-vis vests or hi-vis shirts
- Welding masks and welding jackets
- Cut gloves (various levels of protection)
- Face shields, respirators, and masks
- Hair nets, beard nets, and smocks or gowns
- Fall protection harnesses
- Electrical specific:
These PPE requirements in industrial facilities across the country must be followed by any visitor or on-site contractor. Additional requirements may be required such as hand washing and sanitation, boot scrub and sanitation, and removal of jewelry.
Check out the OSHA regulations on PPE:
It is everyone’s responsibility to improve workplace safety by understanding the PPE requirements of the facilities they’re in and do their part in protecting themselves as well as others. This includes experienced contractors when installing machine guarding systems in any industrial facility.
Shawn Mantel is the owner and author of the @powersafeautomation blog posts, where he helps to educate and spark ideas with workers on how to improve workplace safety through turnkey safety guarding solutions.
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