Personal protective equipment (PPE) ensures that your employees are as safe as possible when they perform potentially dangerous tasks. Often, it limits their exposure to hazards or mitigates the impact of an accident, reducing the worker’s odds of injury, illness, or even death.
Determining which kind of PPE your workplace needs is often a relatively simple process. At times, it’s dictated by regulations for your industry. In others, the presence of specific occupational hazards is the main point of consideration.
If you are wondering what types of PPE your workplace needs, here’s a look at the six main categories and when they may be necessary.
Face and Eye Protection
Face and eye PPE shield an employee from hazards like splashed chemicals and flying debris. Usually, they are physical barriers that align with the risks present. The most common forms of face and eye protection include goggles, glasses, and face shields.
PPE for Hands
Generally, hand protection comes in the form of gloves. Different materials protect the hands for different kinds of hazards, such as sharp objects, chemicals, biohazards, heat, cold, and more.
However, some hand PPE focuses more on grip quality. These allow certain materials to be held and stabilized with greater ease, reducing the risk of dropping the item or the hand slipping while manipulating, handling, carrying, or using an objective.
Body protection is also selected to shield workers from certain kinds of threats, such as heat, cold, sharp objects, chemical splashes, and more. It can include coveralls, aprons, smocks, or any other clothing item with special features.
PPE for Noise Levels
Loud noises can permanently damage a person’s hearing. PPE for noise levels reduces the sound that makes it to a person’s eardrum, reducing the risk of harm. Earplugs and earmuffs are the two most common forms of hearing protective devices (HPDs).
Many workplaces have substances that are harmful if inhaled. This can include particles or chemicals, depending on the environment. Most respiratory protection comes in the form of a mask, the exact nature of which can vary depending on the threat present.
PPE for Foot Protection
Foot protection can address a range of hazards, though most versions take a similar form, usually a boot or shoe. Some are material-focused, such as requiring rubber boots for electrical safety or non-slip soles for slick surfaces.
Steel-toed boots are a common requirement. The reinforced toe would reduce the odds of injury if an item were dropped onto the foot. Another frequently mandatory version is puncture-resistant footwear, which is typically required if sharp objects may be on the floor.
Ultimately, PPE is critical for any potentially hazardous environment. Making it available doesn’t just ensure your employees remain safe; it may be required by law. If you’d like to know more about PPE in the workplace, the staff at The Advance Group can help. Contact us today and see how our workplace safety knowledge can benefit you.