Different PPE for construction workers
The safety and health of construction workers is of great importance and a very serious attention is required to help boost and increase the level of safety at construction sites where lots of accidents and injuries is huge. Right from the industrial age till the computer age that is on currently, industries and companies have sprung up in every corners of the globe with differs products produced and manufactured to meet the growing demand. The influx of these industries and companies has generated not only job opportunities for people but also opened lots of construction contracts where builders and construction workers are mostly needed. As for today, it is very impossible to avoid construction of buildings because people have to live in houses as world population continues to grow. Offices also must be built amid other buildings like Stadiums, Emoluments, Hotels and Museums. If we therefore realize that we will continue to build and construct edifices or and perform renovations which all involve construction workers, then we must be ready to be proactive as regards the safety and health of such workers and employers. In response to being proactive to the challenge of construction industries, there are Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) which are of great benefits, different types for different purposes. These equipment are very useful in reducing risks and hazards associated to construction and building industries. The equipment are made to provide safety against hazards from Fall from Height, Chemical handling hazards, hazards from electrocution, hazards from stepping on sharp objects, hazards from inhaling toxic gases and lots more. In this article, I will be talking about Personal Protective Equipment and the different types and what they are used for.
Types and Uses of PPE
- Eye and Face Protection
The safety and protection of the construction worker’s eye is important but it is often threatened at construction sites by practices and operations like the welding operation, laser radiation operations etc. The eye can also be affected by splashes of toxic chemicals and substances. The protective equipment for the eye include;
- Eye Goggles: These are tightly fitting equipment that is made to protect the eye from the dangers of splashes of harmful substances and dusts. This equipment can fit well on corrective lens.
- Safety spectacles: these are also made to shield the eye from hazards on construction sites.
- Welding shields: these protective equipment protects the eye from burns as a result of infra-red and intense radiant heat. They also protect the eye from flying sparks, slag chips and metal spatter that are produced from metal-cutting operations.
- Laser Goggle: this is to protect the eye from laser radiation that are intensely concentrated.
- Head Protection
At construction sites, there are possibilities of hard and sharp objects falling from heights to penetrate the head of workers. There can also be a case of mistakenly hitting the head against hard metals and objects. All these can cause fatal injuries and so the head protective equipment is made available. The head safety helmet is of different types but are all hard to prevent injuries to the head. The head helmet should however allow ventilation, it must be fitted and free from breaks, cracks and any deformities.
- Foot and Leg Protection
Because of possibilities of injuries that can greatly affect the foot and leg from cases of falling and rolling objects, the foot and leg protection is vital. Also the foot might get injured by stepping on sharp objects like pins and nails on construction sites. The leg and foot may also be affected negatively by hot and corrosive that may spill away. Foot and leg protective equipment include:
- Safety shoes: these shoes protect against injuries from sharp objects puncturing the foot and against dropping of hard objects on the foot.
- Leggings: these serve as protection for the lower leg and feet from hazards and accidents involving molten metal and welding sparks.
There are also other protective equipment for the feet and leg such as Metatarsal guards, Toe guards and Foundry shoes.
- Hand and Arm Protection
Injuries and hazards to the hand and arm are not easily prevented by work practice control and so this reason, workers must properly wear protective equipment. Possible hazards such as skin absorption of harmful substances, chemical or thermal burns, electrical injuries, bruises, abrasions, cuts, punctures, fractures and amputations can endanger the hand and arm. Protective equipment involve Hand Gloves which can be Metal, Canvass or Metal Mesh Gloves. Other equipment such as Finger guards and Arm coverings (Elbow-length Gloves).
- Body Protection
Bodily hazards like cuts, exposure to radiation, heat and burns are part of risks involved on the constructions. Splashes of hot substances and molten metals, penetration of tiny metal slags are also part of reasons to protect the body while working. There are protective clothing or suits that include:
- Paper-like Fiber: this is worn to protect the body against dusts and splashes.
- Treated wool and cotton: this a clothing that good for temperature change and fire resistance. It also protects the body from dusts, abrasions and irritations.
- Rubberized fabric: this protects against chemical and physical hazards.
There are other protective clothes like Dusk and Leather. The safety harness is also very important to hold the body from falling.
- Hearing Protection
The protection for hearing is based on the fact that hearing impairment can set in for construction workers due to regular noise generated from machines and tools used on the construction sites every day. There are hearing protective equipment such as: Single Earplugs, Molded Earplugs and Earmuffs which all act to reduce the effect of noise from different sources during construction works.
In conclusion, all construction and building companies must as a matter of utmost importance, provide lots of protective equipment for workers and also initiate a lecture or training to allow the workers learn how to use the equipment correctly and properly. Maintenance of the protective equipment also should be taken serious and quick report of faulty protective equipment should be encouraged.