Employers have obligations regarding the provision and use of personal protective equipment at work. PPE can include hard hats, gloves, eye protection, hazmat suits, high visibility clothing, safety footwear, safety harnesses, earplugs, ear protectors, and respiratory protective equipment (RPE). PPE is vitally essential, as it is generally only used when other measures are insufficient and, as such, plays a crucial role in preventing and reducing many occupational fatalities, injuries, and illnesses. These are the most common types of PPE.
This can be safety glasses, goggles, face shields, masks, or visors. The eye protection you can find in a ppe kit protects you against chemical or metal splashes, dust, projectiles, gases and vapors, radiation.
Ensure the eye protection chosen has the right combination of impact/dust/splash / molten metal eye protection for the task and fits the wearer correctly.
Head and neck
These are industrial safety helmets, protective caps, hairnets, and firefighters’ helmets. They prevent impact from falling or flying objects, risk of blows to the head, hair entangled in machinery, dripping or splashing from chemicals, weather, or temperature.
Some safety helmets incorporate or can be equipped with specially designed eye or ear protection. However, do not forget neck protection, e.g., scarves for use during welding. Replace head protection if damaged.
With a combination of sound level and duration of exposure, very high-level sounds are a hazard even with a short time, can generate permanent damage to the ears, and have severe consequences. Earplugs, earmuffs, half-inserts/canal plugs will help prevent this.
Provide the proper hearing protectors for the type of work and make sure workers know how to put them on. Choose protectors that reduce noise to an acceptable level while still allowing for safety and communication.
Hands and arms
Gloves, cuffed gloves, gauntlets, and sleeves that cover part or all of the arm will prevent damage from abrasion, temperature extremes, cuts and punctures, impact, chemicals, electrical shock, radiation, biological agents, and prolonged immersion in water.
Avoid gloves when operating machines such as bench drills where gloves can get caught. Chemicals quickly penetrate some materials; be careful when selecting them. Protective creams are not reliable and are not a substitute for proper personal protective equipment.
Wearing gloves for prolonged periods can make the skin hot and sweaty, causing skin problems. Wearing different cotton inner gloves can help prevent this.
Feet and legs
Boots and safety shoes with protective toe caps and penetration-resistant midsole waterproof boots and specific footwear, e.g., foundry boots and chainsaw boots, are tools to work with when you find yourself working in wet, hot, and cold conditions, will prevent electrostatic buildup, slips, cuts and punctures, falling objects, heavy loads, metal and chemical splashes, vehicles.
Footwear can have various patterns and sole materials to help prevent slipping in different conditions, including oil or chemical-resistant soles. It may also be antistatic, electrically conductive, or thermally insulating. Appropriate footwear should be selected for the identified hazards.
Respiratory protective equipment (RPE) is intended to prevent injury from oxygen-deficient atmospheres, dust, gases, and vapors.
Some respirators rely on filtering contaminants from workplace air. These include single filtering face masks and respirators, and power-assisted respirators.
Ensure proper fit, e.g., for tight-fitting respirators (filtering face masks, half masks, and full-face masks).
There are also types of respiratory devices that provide an independent supply of breathing air, e.g., fresh air hose, compressed airline, and self-contained breathing apparatus.
The correct type of respirator filter should be used, as each is effective only for a limited range of substances.
Filters have a limited service life. Therefore, when there is a shortage of oxygen or any danger of unconsciousness due to exposure to high levels of toxic fumes, use only breathing apparatus; never use a filter cartridge.
It would help if you used a breathing apparatus in a confined space or a possibility of oxygen deficiency in the work area.