What Are The Types Of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)?
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is a type of protective apparel and equipment that is used to protect our body from workplace hazards. PPE may be used by employees, students, contractors or visitors in a hazardous workplace. The objective of PPE is to eliminate or minimize the chances of being exposed to different workplace hazards that may result in illnesses and injuries.
These injuries may occur from coming into contact with corrosive chemicals, electrical, mechanical, radiological, physical and other hazards that vary based on a particular workplace. Personal protective equipment includes gloves, helmets, safety glasses, coveralls, respirators and full body suits.
Occupational, Safety and Health (OH&S) Code of Alberta
The Occupational, Safety and Health Code of Alberta provides important guidelines regarding the use of personal protective equipment. According to OH&S Alberta, the most effective way of eliminating injury or illness from a workplace hazard is to eliminate the hazard. This includes ensuring proper ventilation to remove harmful gasses before they come in contact with the workers. Similarly, housekeeping can be used to prevent the risk of slips due to spilt fluids or perhaps from tripping over an object on the floor.
In circumstances where it is not possible to avoid a hazard, personal protective equipment may be employed for protecting the staff that is subjected to the hazard.
The District Personal Protective Equipment Guide defines the type of PPE that may be required and whether the employer or the employee is responsible for arranging it.
It is important to note that PPE is regarded as the least satisfactory way of preventing workplace injury and illness. It is only recommended for use when other measures cannot be implemented instantly. It is important to use PPE to supplement other measures of hazard control employed by the workplace in order to further reduce the risk of illness or injury.
Use of PPE may involve discomfort and inconvenience, especially if you’ve just started using it. Make sure that you make the right selection in PPE and it properly fits you before you start working.
Types of PPE
Personal Protective Equipment can be grouped into the following types on the basis of the protection it offers:
- Eye Protection - includes spectacles, goggles, visors and eye shields
- Hearing Protection - includes earplugs and muffs
- Hand Protection - includes gloves and protective creams
- Foot Protection - includes shoes and boots
- Head Protection - includes helmets, headcovers and hoods
- Working at Heights - includes lanyards and fall arrest devices
- Skin Protection - includes sunburn cream and insulated clothing
- Other types of PPE: this can include equipment that is worn for specific purposes, like disposable clothing for working with hazards like chemicals and radiation. This includes coveralls when dealing with chemicals, leather jackets for welding, and protective clothing for working in extremely hot and cold temperatures.
Duties of Employer
According to OH&S Alberta, Part 18 Personal Protective Equipment, if the hazard assessment necessitates the use of PPE, then it is the duty of the employer to ensure that the employee wears the correct PPE to stay protected from a particular hazard. Employers must see to it that their employees use PPE properly. Employers need to ensure that the workers are trained on the proper use and maintenance of the personal protective equipment. It is also the employer’s duty to ensure that the use of PPE does not in any way endanger the employee.
Duties of Employee
According to the same legislation, it is the duty of an employee to use the PPE recommended by the OH&S code. It is also their duty to wear the PPE properly and adhere to the training and instructions they have received. OH&S also recommends employees to inspect the PPE before using it. Employees must not use PPE that is not meant to perform the intended function.
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