Personal Protective Equipment
Personal protective equipment is used in daily work activities to protect us from
hazards that can not be eliminated with engineering controls.
OSHA gives employers responsibility for
ensuring that employees wear appropriate PPE to reduce exposure to hazardous conditions such as toxic
atmospheres, falling, eye injuries, burns, noise exposure, falling objects etc.
Your safety is the purpose of personal
protective equipment and each of us must follow our employer's safety requirements and wear the appropriate
One form of Personal protective equipment is a hard hat. This safety device provides us with an impact resistant
covering that protects our head. We know that all of our body functions are controlled by our brain, so don't take
chances -- wear your hard hat at all times!
Many other forms of PPE are available to
you. Ear plugs or ear muffs provide hearing protection that reduces the amount of noise reaching your ear
drums, thereby preserving your hearing. Steel or composite toed boots protect your toes from being crushed and
respirators provide protection against toxic substances that might enter our bodies through our respiratory
systems but they only work if we use them.
The eyes and face are another area that
needs to be protected. There are many types and sizes of safety glasses and goggles that protect the eyes and
each has a special application. Be sure you read the manufacturer's instructions before wearing them and choose
the right type. Face shields should be worn as well if potential danger exists from physical,
chemical or radiation agents.
Personal Protective Equipment can
be uncomfortable, bulky, or make you hot. Employees occasionally don’t wear it even though they know
they may be risking injury but as a safety director/coordinator, it is your job to protect them from
themselves. Any worker who fails to wear required PPE should be disciplined.
Evaluate your working conditions and
define the hazards. Get the proper PPE to make for a safe workplace. An ounce of protection is worth a
pound or cure.