Personal Protective Equipment
Personal protective equipment (PPE) plays a vital role in protecting workers’ health and safety. When engineering and administrative controls fail to completely eliminate health and safety hazards, employees must be provided with PPE to bring the risks down as much as possible. PPE is equipment that protects workers from workplace health and safety risks. PPE is available to protect employees from various workplace hazards and protect every body part.
Choosing the right PPE
Choosing the right PPE for each employee is an important decision. First, you must determine what hazards each employee is exposed to during each of their work activities. When considering the types of hazards, you will also need to consider the duration and the level of exposure to hazards. You must also ensure that the PPE is certified to the appropriate ANSI standard.
After choosing PPE, determine whether the equipment creates any additional hazards. For example, it may become harder for employees to communicate when using PPE such as facemasks or helmets. Account for these limitations and consider whether the PPE is appropriate for the job when choosing and implementing a PPE strategy in the workplace.
If employees must wear multiple PPE at the same time, ensure that all PPE is compatible with each other and does not interfere with the protection provided by each individual PPE. It is also important for employees to be as comfortable as possible while working, so PPE should be selected with this in mind.
Typical hazards that PPE can protect against
What is PPE?
PPE, or personal protective equipment, is equipment worn to minimize exposure to serious workplace injuries and illnesses. OSHA requires employers to provide PPE where engineering, work practice, or administrative controls are insufficient to protect workers from physical, electrical, heat, chemical, biohazard, and airborne particulate matter hazards. PPE includes items such as gloves, safety glasses and shoes, earplugs or muffs, hard hats, respirators, or coveralls, vests and full body suits.
What is ANSI?
Some types of PPE must be ANSI-certified, meaning they comply with the standards developed by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) to ensure safe product design. ANSI is a private non-profit organization that develops consensus standards for products, services, processes, systems, and personnel.