Personal Protective Equipment and Safety

Personal Protective Equipment and Safety

Hazards in the workplace are an unpleasant fact. No matter what you do, there is the need for personal protective equipment on many of the jobs you perform.

True or false? Whether or not you use personal protective equipment (PPE) is really up to you.

This is a false statement. As an employee, you have an obligation to wear PPE when needed.  If you choose not to, your attitude may be the biggest hazard of all.  Personal protective equipment is one of the best ways to protect your own health and safety.

We have all seen it before: eye protection that is uncomfortable, equipment that gets in your way and thousands of other excuses for not wearing PPE when it is required.  When personal protective equipment is provided by your employer, and its use is required, it’s your job to wear it.  Maybe your equipment isn’t as comfortable or convenient as you’d like it to be, but you should convince yourself that your health and well being are worth the effort.

Stop for a minute and consider the risks. What if you lost an eye, a hand, or were exposed to a life threatening illness?  Is it really worth the gamble?  Of course not.  Let’s take a quick look at some basics of personal protective equipment.

  1. Earplugs or earmuffs can go a long way to avoid hearing loss. If you cannot carry on a conversation in a normal voice, most likely you need to be wearing hearing protection.
  2. Safety glasses provide eye protection from flying chips, debris and other eye hazards.
  3. Goggles protect your eyes from chemical splashes, chipping and grinding debris.
  4. Face shields are a safeguard when worn over other protective eyewear, such as goggles, or safety glasses.
  5. Gloves protect your hands from chemicals, rough or sharp parts and a wide range of other skin irritants.
  6. Respirators can protect you against a wide r of dust, fumes, gases, vapors and many other health hazards.
  7. Chemical aprons, chemical gloves and pants protect you from chemical burns.
  8. Hard hats protect your head from low-hanging or falling objects.
  9. Boots and shoes can provide a degree of protection from chemical splashes, petroleum products, small cuts, bruises, and abrasions.
  10. Safety harnesses and lanyards can provide protection from a fall when working from heights.

It’s your attitude that really makes the difference.  If you have a good attitude about safety, follow the rules and take the time to perform your job safely…you cannot go wrong.  Wearing personal protective equipment when it is required not only helps protect you, but also sets a positive example for your co-workers.

It only makes good sense to protect your safety and health.  When you’re required to wear personal protective equipment, wear it.  You won’t regret it.