Some examples of PPE include visors, helmets, goggles, body suits and gloves.
There are multiple types of PPE that protect your arms, legs, hands and feet, eyes, body and head. They are an important part of workplace health and safety, as they protect employees from everyday risks.
PPE stands for personal protective equipment, and an organisation must provide it if necessary. They must decide whether risks are dangerous enough to warrant protective equipment by doing a risk assessment. Of course, employees in an office environment will not need this type of protection. But those who work in more physically demanding jobs may need it.
Examples of PPE will depend on the sector of work someone is in. For the most high-risk jobs, you will need more serious equipment. Examples include construction workers, chefs, airport ground staff and radiology nurses.
Construction work is a diverse field, and employees can experience many a workplace hazard. These include:
- Falling objects
- Sharp tools
- Heavy machinery
- Projectiles like wood or metal splinters
As a result, construction workers may need almost all types of protective equipment.
For example, if someone is frequently exposed to gasses from machinery or vapours from cement or paint, then then will need respiratory equipment. This can include masks or breathing aids like respirators with filters.
Alternatively, if a worker has to cut wood or metal, they will need gloves and safety glasses. This is to prevent damage to the eyes by flying projectiles, and cuts to the hands.
Head protection nearly pretty much applies to all types of construction work.
However, not all PPE is suitable for all cases. For example, according to HSE (the Health and Safety Executive), you shouldn’t ever wear gloves when operating machinery. This is because they could be caught in the machine.
Chefs face a much different problem, mainly burns, cuts and good hygiene.
A kitchen is a hot environment, and you need protection from burns. So, chefs can wear gloves. This has a dual purpose, as it helps to prevent burns and promote good hygiene.
Chefs also needed robust footwear, as spillages do happen. When the kitchen surface is wet, slips and trips can occur.
Finally, chefs need aprons. This is because they should practice good hygiene, and prevent harm caused by any spillage or drop.
Airport Ground Staff
Airport ground staff don’t have to contend with as many immediately physical risks, but planes are extremely loud. Since ground staff stand very close to planes for a long time, this may cause serious ear damage. A hearing hazard of this nature can cause serious long-term damage if it isn’t controlled.
Consequently, you need to wear ear or hearing PPE. This can include earplugs, or more appropriately, noise-cancelling earmuffs. Earmuffs tend to be more effective at blocking noise, as they cover the whole ear instead of just the canal.
Finally, nurses who work with x-ray machines are at a big risk of radiation contamination.
This means that they will need full-body protection. This is achieved by using a lead apron. It will absorb most of the dangerous radiation from a relatively low-risk hospital machine.
A person may also need a respiratory equipment such as a mask with a special filter. This is to prevent inhaling any dangerous rays.
These examples of PPE illustrate just how important it is for health and safety in the workplace. Under the Health and Safety at Work Act, organisations in the UK must provide any relevant PPE and train staff members in how to properly use and maintain them. Failing this, organisations will have to pay-out to the victim of an accident.
To prevent your business from being caught flat footed, you can complete an eLearning PPE course.