PPE – Personal Protective Equipment, An Overview

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Personal protective equipment (PPE) refers to safety work wear, which its purpose is to protect the wearer from accidents and injuries. The purpose of such protective equipment is not just for the workplace, but also for activities related to sports and those that can cause harm to the body.

PPE reduces the chances of the wearer’s exposure to hazards by acting as a barrier. The different types of protective equipment can be categorised as skin protectors, eye protectors, hearing protectors, respiratory protectors, head protectors, protective clothing and safety trainers or work shoes.

Skin PPE – Chemical agents, physical agents and biological agents are some of the things that the body requires protection from. Agents such as aerosols, radiation, extreme temperature, parasites, contaminated surfaces, splashes etc. are very dangerous and considered high risk in causing permanent damage to the skin. Some common examples of skin protective equipment are gloves, safety trainers or work shoes, face shields, coats, jackets and rubber aprons.

Eye PPE – Eye injuries occur due to small and large particles in the air. Particles such as dust, broken glass, wood chips, sand and cement chips are some examples that causes these injuries. Other injuries can occur through chemical substances and other agents in the form of welding work, light rays etc. Safety glasses with side shields, goggles and face respirators are the types of equipment used to protect the eyes from harm.

Hearing PPE – Hearing problems are most common in the manufacturing industry, and occur without the affected person realising it. It is an unconscious process, which is caused by noise levels surpassing the recommended limit. Typical hearing protectors come in the form of earmuffs and earplugs.

Respiratory PPE – Users are protected from breathing in contaminated air that damages the respiratory system in the body. There are two types of respirators, the gas mask, which is designed to filter out chemicals and toxic gases, and the oxygen mask, which is normally fitted on planes designed to provide clean and breathable air.

Head PPE – This type of equipment is more commonly used in the construction and building sector. They come in the form of helmets and safety caps.

Protective Clothing – This type of clothing is designed with scientifically tested materials to provide the wearer maximum protection. Laboratory coats, high visibility jackets, ballistic vests, body suits, work shoes are examples of such clothing. Every employer by law must ensure that the right protective uniforms and gears are provided to employees in prefect working condition.

write by Kerenza

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