Q: I’m a construction worker and I need to buy some PPE for my work, I’d like to know when should PPE be used.
– Rajesh k
A: Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) should be used in a variety of circumstances where there’s a risk of injury or exposure to harmful substances. Here are some general situations when PPE should be used:
- Exposure to Chemicals: When handling or exposed to hazardous chemicals or substances, PPE like gloves, goggles, and respirators can protect the skin, eyes, and respiratory system.
- Risk of Physical Injury: In environments with a risk of physical injury, such as construction sites or factories, PPE like hard hats, safety footwear, and high-visibility clothing can provide protection.
- Biohazard Exposure: In healthcare settings or laboratories, PPE like gloves, gowns, face shields, and masks can protect against exposure to infectious materials or biohazards.
- Risk of Electrical Injury: For those working with electricity, PPE like insulated gloves and protective clothing can reduce the risk of electrical burns and shocks.
- Exposure to Heat or Fire: In situations with potential exposure to heat or fire, like firefighting or certain manufacturing processes, flame-resistant clothing and other heat-protective equipment can be used.
- Risk of Falling or Moving Objects: In environments where there’s a risk of falling or moving objects, hard hats, safety footwear, and other protective clothing can provide protection.
- Radiation Exposure: For work involving radiation exposure, PPE like lead aprons, lead glasses, and thyroid shields can protect against harmful radiation.
- Loud Noise Exposure: In environments with high noise levels, such as construction sites or airports, ear plugs or earmuffs can protect against noise-induced hearing loss.
Remember, PPE is considered the last line of defense when it comes to workplace safety. It’s always better, where possible, to eliminate the hazard, substitute it with something less hazardous, use engineering controls (like ventilation or machine guards), or implement administrative controls (like job rotation or safety procedures) before resorting to PPE.