During the year 2020, we have been hearing more and more terms and phrases that most of us aren’t familiar with. Some of these terms include pandemic, COVID-19, and PPE. In a now uncertain and unfamiliar world, we now must be more cautious and careful at work than ever before.
It has always been a legal requirement for most industries, such as construction and agriculture, to follow protective equipment guidelines. But with the whole world engulfed in the COVID 19 pandemic, it is more important than ever before that PPE is worn by employees to protect them across all workplaces. Here is everything you need to know about PPE and why it is so important.
What is PPE?
PPE stands for Personal Protective Equipment. It helps to protect against health and safety risks for those using it. Ensuring that employees are safe at work is a lawful requirement and there can be significant fines for those employers and employees who do not follow the guidelines.
While different types of personal protective equipment are worn in different settings, they generally include protective clothing, goggles, harnesses, appropriate footwear, and helmets.
Eye and Face Protection
It is easy to forget about protecting your eyes and face while at work, but your sight is not something you should take for granted. Even if you aren’t directly involved in an accident at work, if you are in the way of debris, then you will want to keep your eyes behind safety goggles.
It’s also important for medical staff working with COVID-19 positive patients to wear eye and face protection, such as this anti-contamination clothing provided by Lancs Industries to limit the chances of catching and spreading the virus.
Hard hats are probably the most common form of personal protective equipment that many of us are familiar with. They are mostly seen on construction sites and are essential for employees to wear in case of any accidents.
If an accident takes place and head protection isn’t worn, then the consequences can be fatal. It is also important that employees with long hair always wear head protection when required to ensure that hair doesn’t get caught on objects or in machinery.
Hand and Skin Protection
Most jobs in industries that require PPE equipment also usually require the use of hands during work. Therefore, it is essential that protection is worn to not only protect employee’s hands but also to protect employee’s skin. Many people underestimate how much work our skin goes through each day and there are many skin occupational skin diseases to be wary of. These include skin cancers, eczema, and contact dermatitis.
Common types of PPE that offer hand protection include cut-resistant gloves, heat-resistant gloves, and rubber gloves. Hand and skin protection can also include the use of hand sanitizers which have been essential during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Without PPE it is impossible for all employees to stay safe and protected while at work, and while some workplace injuries aren’t as serious as others, some can have lasting consequences.