Personal protective equipment, known as PPE, is vital to keeping people safe whenever they’re dealing with dangerous materials. The type of equipment you need will vary depending on the materials with which you’re working, but there is something that always remains true: you need the necessary training. We’ll be going over why training is important whenever you use PPE while you’re working.
Personal Protective Equipment Comes in Four Types of Protection
Safety is always valuable wherever you go, but your safety can be compromised if you don’t have training working with PPE. There are four main types of PPE, and getting training with each of these types gives you the best chance at keeping yourself safe. These are the four kinds of PPE.
- Face & Eye Protection: keeps your face and eyes safe against intense heat, splashes of chemicals, flying debris, and radiation from lasers, among other things.
- Hand Protection: Allows workers’ hands to be protected against rotary machines, electricity, objects that are incredibly hot, splinters, pinch points, chemicals, and sharp edges.
- Body Protection: Great for protecting you from all sorts of hazards, most notably bloodborne pathogens.
- Respiratory Protection: keeps people safe from dangerous substances that have gone airborne. Comes in two main varieties: breathing apparatuses and respirators.
What Happens When Personal Protective Equipment Isn’t Used Properly?
You’re going to need personal protective equipment whenever you’re working with any kind of dangerous material. Failure to wear this equipment can put you at much greater risk for injury, and sometimes, there can even be fatal consequences.
It also isn’t enough to simply have the equipment with you because you also have to know how to use all of it. Without the right training, you won’t know how to keep yourself safe using the protective equipment you have, which means it will practically be as effective as having no protection at all.
How to Decide on the Appropriate Personal Protective Equipment for a Job
There are three main questions to ask yourself when deciding on the best PPE for a job.
- Who receives exposure, and to what are they being exposed?
- How long will they be exposed to dangerous materials?
- To what extent are they exposed to dangerous materials?
In some cases, people might have to wear multiple types of PPE at once, and if this is the case, you need to be sure they are capable of being used together. You’ll also have to consider the person wearing the gear, making sure it fits them comfortably. PPE that isn’t fitted appropriately for the user will be less effective at keeping them safe.
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