Workers who are set to work in hazardous places with hazardous materials ought to be protected. Those of them who are tasked to do the dirty work deserve to be provided with the right protective equipment as well as apparel by the company or organization they work for. This falls under the necessity of personal protective equipment (PPE).
Personal Protective Equipment
Basically, PPE refers to protective equipment such as protective apparel, goggles, helmets, and other protective accessories that provides the person protection from possible injury or infection. The common dangers covered by these protective equipment include heat, chemicals, electrical, physical, and other matters.
The main purpose of employing protective equipment is to reduce the employee’s risk to danger whenever the situation they are placed in is hazardous. This is an essential part to hazardous jobs for the lack of it might result to minor and major injuries of the employees.
Protective Apparel and Equipment
There are a couple of factors every company needs to consider when deciding for the protective equipment for their staff. With that, we have compiled several tips that may be useful for companies in making decisions when it comes to PPE.
Identification of the hazards
The very first step companies should take when it comes to decisions regarding the use protective equipment is workplace evaluation. Here, the hazardous elements or the dangers of the workplace is determined. Common sense dictates that we must first know what we are protecting ourselves from before deciding which protective equipment we should be using.
Once the risks and dangers have been identified, companies are now ready to look into the equipment that would be necessary for the situation.
Choosing the apparel material
One of the most important elements of the protective equipment is the protective apparel. This apparel is not only for fashion purposes; it is what would serve as the overall protection of majority of the parts of your body. Hence, its material must be chosen very wisely.
The general rule is that the protective apparel and equipment must use a material that is impermeable; however, this is quite inaccurate. It is, therefore, important to know the breakthrough time as well as the degradation measure of the materials that are to be used.
Tyvek clothing is the most common protective apparel used by companies all over the world.
Knowing the limitations of the PPE
As mentioned above, it is essential to know the breakthrough time as well as the measurement of degradation of the materials used for protection. Simply put, the limitations of the protective equipment must be known so as to ensure that the user would not go beyond the set boundaries.
Knowing the effects of not using PPE
It is also important to know the effects of the non-use of the protective equipment. If protective gloves are not used, what is expected to happen? If there are no goggles or protective apparel, what will the employee experience? It is important to know the answers of these things so as to know and prepare for the consequences in case of any emergencies.
Testing the protective materials
Very importantly, the protective materials must also be tested in the actual workplace. Some protective equipment might not work; hence, a test is necessary to determine if it is a go or no-go material.