PPE equipment has always been important. In the healthcare field, it offers additional protection to healthcare personnel and patients. In the construction and manufacturing sectors, it protects workers from injuries caused by heavy equipment or chemicals.
Especially with the COVID-19 pandemic, it is now critical for every workplace to provide their employees with basic personal protective equipment.
Keep reading to learn about five ways PPE in the workplace protects workers, advice on when must PPE be worn, and how to stock the workplace with PPE.
1. PPE in the Workplace and the Head
Proper protective equipment safety standards will require employees to wear headgear, especially blue-collar workers.
Blue-collar workers are at the highest risk for physical injury due to the manual labor associated with their jobs. Headgear offers protection against heavy impacts, such as falling objects or electrical shock.
Protective headgear includes any form of safety helmet or hard hat.
In addition to the head, blue-collar workers are susceptible to noise-related hearing loss from the workplace. Invest in PPE that will reduce noise levels such as earplugs or earmuffs.
The feet, similar to the head, are vulnerable to falling objects. Depending on the workplace, feet may be exposed to electrical hazards or severe weather conditions. Additionally, improper footwear can cause employees to slip and fall.
All of these injuries are preventable.
Equip your employees with footwear that is comfortable, slip-resistant, and insulated. Steel-toe boots can protect against falling objects. Invest in water-resistant or shock-resistant footwear depending on workplace risks.
3. Hands and Skin
Gloves are the highest recommended form of PPE safety.
Specialized gloves protect employees from cuts, electrical hazards, harmful chemicals, and liquids, as well as weather-related injuries such as burns, frostbite, and hypothermia.
For healthcare personnel, gloves reduce the transmission of germs.
Face shields and goggles are the recommended PPE for the eyes. This PPE gear protects against flying fragments and chemical splashes.
5. Respiratory Concerns
Last but not least, PPE is critical for preventing respiratory concerns. Breathing in through the mouth and nose can expose lungs to dust and hazardous chemicals. This exposure can lead to a variety of lung diseases.
Respiratory PPE includes self contained breathing apparatus, respirators, gas masks, and surgical masks.
The importance of personal protective equipment is specifically relevant for healthcare workers on the frontline. COVID-19 is spread through respiratory droplets. Wearing masks can protect healthcare workers against infection.
Similarly, wearing masks prevents further spreading of the virus.
Stocking the Workplace With PPE
OSHA standards outline the minimum requirements for PPE.
PPE should be selected based on the hazards employees are likely to encounter in the workplace. It’s important that PPE is comfortable and fits each employee, as this will encourage its use and make performing jobs with PPE easier.
One of the easiest ways to order PPE is with a PPE box set. These box sets supply the workplace with all necessary PPE for large groups of employees.
After ordering PPE, offer training on proper use and the importance of the equipment to employees.
PPE in the workplace is meant to protect employees from potential physical, biological, or chemical hazards they may encounter. Supplying the workplace with proper PPE ensures safety and efficiency on the job.
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