Keeping workers safe on the job is a priority for any business. One of the most effective ways to minimize risk and protect employees from harm is by providing and requiring them to use personal protective equipment (PPE). PPE can prevent or reduce workplace accidents and injuries, which can positively impact your company’s bottom line. This blog post will explore why PPE is necessary for the workplace, how it works, and what types of PPE are available.
What Is Personal Protective Equipment?
Personal protective equipment (PPE) refers to any clothing, device, headgear, or other item that protects from environmental hazards. It is designed to protect workers from physical harm or illness caused by contact with hazardous materials in their working environment. Common examples of PPE include gloves, safety glasses, hard hats, respirators, dust masks, and face shields. PPE can also have protective clothing such as overalls or lab coats.
Why Is Personal Protective Equipment Important?
Providing and properly using PPE is essential for protecting workers from potential hazards in their work environments. It helps create a safe workplace by reducing employee exposure to health risks associated with hazardous materials such as chemicals and airborne particles. Additionally, providing adequate PPE reduces legal liability for employers since it shows that they are taking reasonable steps to ensure employee safety.
Types Of Personal Protective Equipment
Different types of PPE are available for various purposes depending on the type of hazard in an organization’s work environment. For example:
• Respiratory Protection – This includes respirators such as air-purifying respirators (APRs), powered air-purifying respirators (PAPRs), self-contained breathing apparatuses (SCBAs), gas masks, airline respirators, chemical cartridge respirators, etc., which are used to protect against inhalation hazards such as specks of dust and mists when working with hazardous substances. Not wearing or adhering to appropriate respiratory protection causes lung problems such as asthma, bronchitis, and other serious illnesses like mesothelioma.
• Eye Protection – Safety glasses or goggles provide protection against debris entering the eyes during activities like grinding or soldering metal objects; face shields are often worn in addition to safety glasses/goggles when working with hazardous substances near the face; welding helmets protect against harmful UV light emitted during welding processes; chemical splash goggles protect against splashes of corrosive liquids; etc.
• Head Protection – Hard hats are used when working near overhead electrical lines; miners wear unique hats fitted with lamps; construction workers wear hats that conform to ANSI standards, etc.
• Hand Protection – Gloves made from leather or Kevlar protect against cuts and abrasion when handling sharp objects; latex gloves offer protection against contact with germs while medical personnel handle patients; insulated gloves protect hands while handling electrical components; etc.
• Foot Protection – Steel-toed boots offer protection against falls when working at heights; rubber boots protect feet from caustic chemicals in laboratories; slip-resistant shoes help prevent slips and falls on wet surfaces; etc.
Should The Workplace Provide Yours With PPE?
Generally, employers must provide PPE for their employees. Employers must assess their workplace for potential hazards and determine what type of PPE is necessary for each job. They should also train employees to properly use the equipment and inspect it regularly to ensure it is in good working condition. Furthermore, employers must pay for all PPE required for their employees and replace any worn or damaged equipment.
What Happens If A Person Doesn’t Wear PPE And Gets Injured?
If employees fail to wear the appropriate PPE and get injured, they may not be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. This is because employers are often only liable when employees adhere to the safety protocols provided to them. However, an employee can prove that the employer did not offer adequate PPE or did not train employees on how to use it properly. In that case, they may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits.
It is important to note that even if a person chooses not to wear the appropriate PPE and gets injured, the employer could still face legal repercussions due to their liability for the safety of their employees. Therefore, employers must take the necessary steps to provide and train on PPE to protect themselves and their employees from potential accidents or injuries.
In conclusion, personal protective equipment is vital in helping businesses keep employees safe on the job site by minimizing risk and reducing exposure to potential hazards in various work environments. In addition, properly equipping your employees with appropriate PPE reduces legal liability and helps create a safe workplace that encourages productivity among staff members—which ultimately positively impacts your company’s bottom line!