What is personal protective equipment?
Personal protective equipment (PPE) is equipment worn to minimize exposure to hazards that cause serious workplace injuries and illnesses. So these injuries and illnesses may result from contact with chemical, radiological, physical, electrical, mechanical, or other workplace hazards. Personal protective equipment may include items such as gloves, safety glasses and shoes, earplugs or muffs, hard hats, respirators, or coveralls, vests and full body suits.
What should we do to ensure proper use of personal protective equipment?
All personal protective equipment should safely design and construct, and should maintain in a clean and reliable fashion. It should fit comfortably, encouraging worker use. PPE can be very dangerous if properly fit. When engineering, work practice, and administrative controls are not feasible or do not provide sufficient protection, employers must provide personal protective equipment to their workers and ensure its proper use. It is the responsibility of employer to teach each worker about PPE to get to know:
- When it is necessary
- What kind is necessary
- How to properly put it on, adjust, wear and take it off
- The limitations of the equipment
- Proper care, maintenance, useful life, and disposal of the equipment
Before using PPE, a PPE program should implement. While this program should address the hazards present, the selection, maintenance, and use of PPE, the training of employees, and monitoring of the program to ensure its ongoing effectiveness.