PPE [Personal Protective Equipment]
Personal protective equipment is meant to minimize the possibility of workplace injury or illness as a result of contact with hazardous materials or pathogens. Those hazards may be physical, chemical, radiological, electrical, or otherwise. Depending on the hazards faced in a given workplace, PPE may include face masks, gloves, safety glasses or goggles, earplugs, hard hats, respirators, vests, coveralls, or full body coverings.
How to Ensure Proper PPE Use
To ensure that employees are properly trained in how to use or wear their personal protective equipment, explain the purpose of PPE and the risks associated with neglecting proper usage. Train workers on how to properly wear and maintain their personal protective equipment. Explain the following to any employees who are expected to use PPE:
- Why is it important
- How to use it properly, including putting it on, taking it off, and adjusting for comfort
- When they must use it
- The limitations of the protective equipment
- How to care for, clean, and dispose of it
PPE should be safely designed, regulated, and distributed. Any personal protective equipment should also be kept clean and properly maintained. To encourage workers to wear PPE properly, make sure that it is comfortably constructed. If PPE does not fit properly, it can cause employee discomfort or worse – it can fail to properly protect employees from hazards they come into contact with in their work. Employers may be required to provide PPE to their workers as well as ensure proper use and maintenance. Put in place a clear PPE program that addresses company policies, any hazards, and proper PPE training.