Personal protective equipment meaning is to protect its user from injury and illness in the workplace. It is a barrier between hazards and its wearer.
Personal protective equipment example: Safety helmet, safety glasses/goggles, earplugs, hand gloves, protective clothes (coverall), safety shoes, Mask & respirator, etc.
Personal Protective Equipment Meaning
Personal protective equipment meaning is very clear that it is a barrier between hazards and its wearer it protects its wearer from injury and illness in the workplace. Personal protective equipment is designed for the protection of individuals not for the collective that’s why it’s called the last line of defense as per the hierarchy of control in safety.
Workers must be known of workplace hazards and different types of PPE and their uses so that they could be able to determine which PPE is correct /suitable to wear for adequate protection against the hazards and risks in the workplace.
There is no single PPE that can provide complete protection under all conditions that’s why it is essential for each worker who wears it to understand its limitations so that they can’t completely rely on this equipment for their protection while performing a job in the workplace.
Personal Protective Equipment Example
The Personal protective equipment example is listed below, which must be worn by employees for protection against workplace hazards and risks while performing the job.
- Safety Helmets.
- Safety Glasses / Goggles.
- Ear Plugs / Muffs.
- Hand Gloves.
- Safety Shoes with Toe Protection.
- Safety Mask / Respirator.
- Coveralls (Protective Clothing).
- Reflective Vest / Jacket.
All employers are legally responsible for providing correct PPEs to their employees to protect them from being injured or ill health in the workplace. All employees must be aware of what is personal protective equipment Meaning, and how to wear and take care of it in the workplace.
Different Types of PPE And Their Uses
There are different types of PPE and their uses in the workplace. People have to select and wear suitable types of PPEs to protect themselves from injury and illness caused by workplace activities and exposures.
There are two main types of PPE as per the nature of workplace hazards and risks;
Non-respiratory PPEs are used to protect workers from injury from outside the body. Below is the list of non-respiratory PPEs (Personal Protective Equipment) with their uses:
- Safety helmet for the protection of the head.
- Hand gloves for hand protection.
- Safety goggles for eye protection.
- Safety shoes for leg protection.
- Earplug/muff for hearing protection.
- Cover-all for body protection.
Non-respiratory PPEs are the most usable PPE in the workplace. Even people who do not work physically but even though they exposed to the workplace for site inspection or even a view of the workplace will be required to wear project-required mandatory PPEs. So all projects will have the mandatory personal protective equipment list and their uses.
Respiratory protection equipment (RPE) is a particular type of PPE used to protect its wearer from inhalation of toxic gases and particles in the workplace:
There are two main types of respiratory protective equipment (RPE).
- Filters contaminated air before it is breathed in.
- Supplies clean air through an independent source.
RPE may be required to wear while working with large amounts of
- Dust, powders
- Welding fumes (Especially working in an enclosed area)
- Harmful gases
- Grinders, cutters, and using a wood saw.
Below are some examples of respiratory protective equipment (RPE) and their uses;
- Welding mask– To avoid inhalation of welding fumes.
- Dust mask– To avoid inhalation of harmful dust particles.
- Surgical mask – Surgical mask must be worn while doing first aid for protection against infection.
- SCBA (Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus) – SCBA is often used by emergency rescue teams (ERT).
Personal Protective Equipment List And Their Uses
The personal protective equipment list and their uses are as below:
- Safety Helmet.
- Safety Glasses & Goggles.
- Hand Gloves.
- Safety Shoes.
- Earplug & muff.
- Mask & Respirator.
- Coverall / Uniform.
- Full Body Harness Double Lanyard.
Safety Helmets are to be worn by workers for the protection of their heads against falling objects in the workplace.
The tasks where head protection may be required to wear will include
- Work at the construction site.
- Plant maintenance work.
- Attending plant shutdown or breakdown.
- Repair work of building.
- Commissioning of the plant.
- Work in excavations or tunnels etc.
Safety Glasses & Goggles
Safety Glass / Goggles protect the eyes from flying dust, fumes, gases, and mists in the workplace.
The tasks where eye protections are to be worn will include
- Using or handling hazardous chemicals where there is a risk of chemical splashes
- Working with power-driven tools where materials are likely to be propelled.
- Welding operations.
- Working in a dusty work environment.
- working with lasers.
Hand Gloves are to be worn by workers to protect their hands against cuts and abrasion which might occur due to contact with a sharp edge and pinch point while doing manual handling or other activities which have the potential to cause hand & finger injury.
The tasks where hand and arm protection is to be worn will include
- Welding and grinding activities.
- Handling of tools and materials at the workplace.
- Manual lifting of sharp-edged material which has the potential to lead cut injury to the hand & finger.
- Working with power-driven tools and equipment.
- Using or handling hazardous chemicals/substances.
- Working with vibrating equipment such as pneumatic tools.
- Working with hot or cold materials.
Safety Shoes to protect the workers’ feet from falling objects.
Note:- In some cases, Safety shoes shall be electric and heat resistant. For example, working in a pot room & cast house of an aluminum smelter plant where heat due to molten metal and electricity (DC) will be very high, and it will require to wear heat and electric-resistant safety shoes to work over there.
The tasks where foot protection is to be worn will include
- Working at the construction site
- Working in an aluminum smelter plant
- Manual handling where an object may fail on the foot
- Demolition of plants, industries & building
- Repair work of building
- Working in extremely hot or cold environments
- Handling chemicals and forestry.
Earplug & muff
Earplugs or Earmuffs to be worn by workers for their hearing protection from excessive noise pollution & dust in the workplace.
The tasks where hearing protection is to be worn will include
- Grinding work by using an angle grinder
- Working nearby operational machinery or equipment where the noise level is more than 85dba
- Working in a dusty environment
- Drilling work by using a pneumatic drill hammer machine
- Demolition of the building by using vibrating equipment
Mask & Respirator
Respiratory Protection Mask must be worn for protection against inhalation of harmful dust, fumes, mists & gases.
The tasks where respiratory protection is to be required will include
- Working in the dusty environment
- Welding work generating harmful fumes (Especially working in an enclosed area)
- Working in an environment where toxic gases may be present
- Handling hazardous chemicals/substances
- Grinding, cutting, and using a wood saw.
Coverall / Uniform
Coverall / Uniform includes;
- Coveralls and aprons must be worn while doing hot work like welding, grinding, etc. (protection against burn injury).
- Clothes for work in hot, cold, or bad weather conditions.
- Clothes to protect against hazardous chemicals.
- Proper clothing for protection against machinery.
- High visibility vest or safety clothes with reflective straps.
Below are the tasks where body protection may be required;
- Working at the construction site.
- Plant shutdown & maintenance work.
- Dealing with hazardous chemicals/substances.
- Working for plant operation activity such as aluminum smelter etc.
Full Body Harness Double Lanyard
Full Body Harness with Double Lanyard to be worn by task operatives for protection against falling from height during working at or above 1.8-meter height.
Full body harnesses are mandatory for both, Operators and workers while working on the man lift, scissors lift, and man basket.
Ensure 100% tie-off of full body harness by anchoring the lanyards at designated anchor points inside the man lift, scissors lift, and man basket.
Importance of PPE in Construction
According to the hierarchy of hazard controls by the National Examination Board in Occupational Safety & Health (NEBOSH), the PPE is recommended as the last line of defense where rest all control is impossible to implement. People must wear the correct PPE to protect themselves from occupational injuries, illnesses, and fatalities.
Some organizations combine PPE with other safety measures to ensure a safe and healthy work environment where their workers can work safely.
Below are some main benefits of using PPE in the workplace:
- Protect employees from unwanted/unexpected injuries caused by workplace hazards.
- Protect employees from exposure to hazardous chemicals in the workplace.
- Protect employees from inhalation of harmful dust or toxic gases in the workplace.
- Stop the spread of viruses, germs, and infectious diseases.
- Comply with legal and regulatory requirements.
- Improve employee morale, productivity, and efficiency in the business.
This is the most crucial thing for both employers and employees. They must be aware of personal protective equipment meaning different types of PPE and their uses in the workplace. This will help you select the correct personal protective equipment (PPE) which protects you against workplace hazards and risks. Requirements of personal protective equipment may vary on the nature of the industries, work process, and hazards present in the workplace. Hence, select and wear the correct personal protective equipment accordingly.
Q1. What is Personal Protective Equipment?
Ans. Personal protective equipment (PPE) is a barrier between hazards and its wearer. PPE protects its wearers from injury and illness in the workplace.
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