Whether you are an employer or an employee, investing in the right Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is a must. This especially holds true if you are working in a dangerous work site – one with plenty of heavy machinery, falling objects, and other sources of risks.
However, take note that it is not advisable to pick just any PPE that you find in the market. You need to be fully aware of how to choose the right PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) for your worksite to ensure that you will not be making a wrong decision.
The Importance of PPE
Personal protective equipment (PPE) refers to anything that you can wear and use at work to reduce your risk of dealing with anything that can hamper your safety and health. PPE actually covers different types of safety equipment and clothing.
Some examples are face masks, boots, respirators, safety harnesses, gloves, ear plugs, hard hats, and high visibility clothing, among many others. It is important to invest in these clothing items as these will ensure that you will receive adequate protection from safety or health risks while you’re at work.
By ensuring that you have the right PPE, you can keep yourself safe from common workplace hazards. It should be noted that workplace safety often includes providing procedures and instructions, as well as supervision and training as a means of encouraging employees to work in a safe and responsible manner.
Also, note that even if safe systems and engineering controls are applied, you are still exposed to some hazards. Some of them are injuries affecting your lungs, feet, head, eyes, body, and skin. You can avoid such issues by wearing and investing in the right PPE.
To help you choose the right PPE, it is advisable for you to follow the following tips:
Assess and Understand Your Work Environment
One of the most vital steps in finding which among the personal protective equipment will work for you is to take time assessing the hazards involved. Note that this will serve as the foundation of the whole PPE program.
Be realistic and open-minded in this case as this is the key to fully understanding the importance of every hazard present in your work environment. However, take note that the job of assessing the hazards in the workplace should not only fall on one person or part of an organization.
In this case, it would be best to collaborate. Such can help in properly identifying and assessing risks. In fact, it would be best that there is also someone involved in the decision-making process who is independent and detached from daily operational responsibilities.
Be Aware of the Laws and Regulations about the Required PPE
If possible, familiarize yourself on the rules and regulations set by OSHA (Occupational Safety & Health Administration). This organization has actually created regulations for PPE.
You can use these standards and regulations to guide you on finding the right equipment for the specific trade or occupation you are in. Note that failing to comply with some of the laws and regulations set by certain organizations result to fines.
That said, it would be best to go on the safe route and look for one, which you really need.
Look for Simplicity without Sacrificing Quality
Invest on the right PPE. Even if it means that it will cost a bit higher, do not feel burdened as this is a big help in keeping you safe, so avoid skimping on it.
Keep in mind that if you purchase one, which is not durable and sturdy enough, then you can put yourself at risk of serious illnesses or contamination. When it comes to choosing PPE, remember that your choice should be one, which can offer you with the highest level of protection.
For instance, if you are planning to invest in a safety boot or shoe, which is really a requirement particularly on hazardous work environment, then look for one which can protect you on daily conditions. Aside from that, your boots should be easy to wear and use.
It should keep your entire feet and toes safe from daily hazards. If you wear that type of safety shoes, then you will feel at ease since you know that you are fully protected. Also, other items that you should invest in are gloves with extended length.
Just like the safety boots or shoes you wear, you can also expect your gloves to cover your entire wrists, thereby providing extra safety and protection. The PPE should still be simple enough, though, that it does not get in the way of workers when they are doing their job.
Know Exactly How to Use the PPE
If you are an employee then make sure that you are fully aware of how your PPE work prior to using them. If you are an employer, then invest on training your employees about how to use these safety items.
You need to make sure that the right PPE are used correctly in the workplace. In this case, you have to educate yourself with the aid of customized training sessions. If you are a worker, then you will also most likely notice your office posting instructions on the proper use of the items in obvious spots.
Furthermore, read and understand the manual. By doing so, you can keep yourself safe from any potential hazard.
Ensure that the PPE Matches with the Hazards You Are Constantly Facing
When choosing the right PPE, be aware if it perfectly suits the kinds of hazards that you want to protect yourself with. In addition, you need to avoid relying too much on PPE devices alone.
While they can offer you protection, you need to use them hand in hand with engineering controls, sound manufacturing practices, and guards.
Your full awareness of how to choose the right PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) for your worksite can guide you towards safety. It is because it can help you invest in the right equipment that will let you stay comfortable when you are at work while also giving you a hundred percent assurance that you are fully protected.