What Are Some Types Of PPE That Employers Must Pay For?

PPE is an abbreviation for Personal Protective Equipment that is designed to be worn by a person to safeguard him when he is in a job site.

The purpose of the PPE is to reduce or eliminate a wearer exposure to hazards while working. Any items of PPE imposes a barrier between a user and the environment that the user is working on.

OSHA, an abbreviation of occupational safety and safety administration, is an act that its full purpose is to ensure that employers assure a safe and healthy working environment.

As part of ensuring that companies both in the private and public sector comply by creating a safe environment of work, employers are required to provide PPE’s to workers.

Personal protective equipment varies from different industries. A worker must have this equipment handy to protect the worker from any unforeseen danger and also from a lawsuit if the worker happens to get injured.

Most of the safety equipment used during working is the responsibility of an employer to provide for the employee. Some of these PPE’s are:

Respirators

Two types of respirators are available in the market. The first type is the kind that filters the air by either active or passive means; gas masks and respirators are examples of these.

These types of respirators filter out harmful gases and chemicals from being breathed in by the wearer, and they are commonly worn in construction sites to combat dust or small laboratory.

The second type of respirator is one that protects a user by providing clean air from another source. This type includes airline respirators and self-controlled breathing.

It works by delivering fresh air in places or spaces that lack any ventilation. A user of this respiratory usually carries a small oxygen tank on his back connected with tubes to his mask covering the nose and mouth.

This respiratory is commonly used by workers who combat fires and miners. The employers must provide such types of respirators that fit the environment of the worker.

This will protect the worker from getting a respiratory infection due to the hazardous working environment. Other than a disease, lack of safety equipment can lead to the employee collapsing due to lack of air and faint or worse death.

It is the worker’s responsibility to learn how to use the respiratory appropriately for complete protection.

Skin Protection

Occupation skin infections and diseases such as skin cancer and other skin injuries such as burns and cuts are the second most common type of occupational illnesses that can be costly.

There are up to four groups of hazards that can lead to skin diseases. The first common hazard to employees is mechanical trauma.

Mechanical trauma occurs through friction, pressure, abrasion, and contusion; these traumas can be done away with when the employer provides overalls for the employees.

Other hazards are chemical agents when they come into contact with the skin while handling or through direct contact with contaminated surfaces.

The third hazard on the skin is physical agents such as extreme temperature and ultraviolet or solar radiation; this can be damaging to the skin through prolonged exposure.

The last of the hazard on the skin are biological agents such as exposure to parasites and microorganisms. Any form of PPE that acts as a barrier between skin and agent of harm to it is considered skin protection.

Employers need to provide such clothing that fits the type of hazard that the employee will be exposed to while working. Since the hands do most of the work, it is also similarly essential to have fitting gloves that will protect the user.

Simple protective such as the overall and lab coat can go a long way in protecting the employee from harm’s way.

Hearing Protection

This protection is the most overlooked type of protection by most employers since the consequences of exposure to loud noises are not seen directly but will emerge over the years to come.

Exposure to 85 decibels of noise or higher for 8 hours a day can be harmful to the employee. This type of noise level can be found mostly in manufacturing industries or where loggers are cutting down trees.

The employer must provide simple remedies and solutions to loud noises to protect the employees; some of these remedies can be earmuffs or earplugs. Lack of such protective equipment can lead to noise-induced hearing loss.

The earmuffs and earplugs are a low-cost intervention that can go a long way into protecting an employee.

Eye Protection

Eye injuries can occur when a solid particle such as metal, wood, or sand gets into the eye. While working, the exposure of getting eye injuries is very high. Statistics show that over a thousand workers get job-related eye injuries each day.

Other than being exposed to solid particles to get eye injuries, one can get injured through exposure to chemical, biological agents, and thermal agents from sources such as welding torches and UV lights. Eye protection varies with different hazards.

Safety glasses are the standard used form of eye protection. But other types of protection offer more protection than the glasses; these are; goggles, they prevent a user from getting injuries from chemical splashes, dusty environment and also welding.

It is also not the responsibility of the employer to buy prescription glasses for the employees. A face shield is a method of protecting the eyes, the benefits of using the face shield are that it protects not only your eyes but also the whole face from harmful agents.

Other face shields come with respiratory to also ensure that you have clean air at all times. Eyewear for welding is usually shaded at different angles depending on a specific operation.

Flame Resistant Clothing

According to OSHA, it is the sole responsibility of the employer to provide flame resistant clothing to the employees if he or she is working in environments that expose him to flames.

The employer should give employees working in power generation plants and those who work as firefighters such clothing. These are conditions that necessitate an employee to have fire-resistant clothing.

The first is if an employee is working in an area or is open to an energized circuit that operates more than 600 volts. The other is when an employee is vulnerable to an incident that exceeds 2.0 Cal/cm2

Clothing that is made of 100% cotton or wool is acceptable as fire-resistant clothing. The reason that the garment is highly satisfactory is that when heat level increase in the environment, the garment will not likely melt.

Welding Clothing

Welding safety starts by understanding what could go wrong while working. It is the employer’s responsibility to ensure an environment an employee is working on is completely safe.

The risk that might come out of safety includes injuries related to inhalation of toxic fumes, electric shock, eye injury, and most common skin burns.

It is essential that appropriate clothing is put on at all times during welding operations. These appropriate clothing will vary in size and nature.

Welders should wear clothes that do not have any gaps to prevent arc rays from contacting the skin. These clothes should always be kept dry or chemically treated to reduce its combustibility.

Safety Footwear

Safety shoes are necessary for employees where there is a possibility of potential foot injury in the working environment. Injuries to the feet can occur in places where there is rolling or falling objects on the ground.

Other than those, injuries can happen when there are sharp objects in the environments that can pierce the toe of a shoe. The employer must determine which department requires such necessary safety shoes and provide for them for protection.

Safety shoes are vital in environments which work done is; hand carrying equipment or objects that weigh more 20 pounds upstairs or downstairs — lifting rigid equipment or objects that are heavy on a floor or level surface.

Areas that have sharp objects on the surface that can puncture the legs. A working environment that has different elevated levels and workers is engaged in work on the upper floors.

Safety shoes should have excellent design standards to provide both impact and compression protection to the employee.

Special types of shoes or boots should be obtained by the employer for the employee to offer puncture protection; these shoes have a steel toe.

The shoes also should provide electrical insulation, such as being designed with a rubber sole. For workers working in chemical plants or laboratories, their shoes should be chemical resistant.

Hard Hat

These are required when working in areas that are prone to head injury from falling objects. Hard hats have a simple, standard design.

The cap should contain a suspension system inside to absorb and dissipate impact while keeping a clearance between the head and the hard hart.

Different types of hard hats offer different kinds of use and protection. If an employee is provided with a hard hat by the employer, the hard hat headband and chin straps must be adjusted to keep the helmet comfortable and secure on the head.

Liners are there for warmth or cooling. The shell or other parts should be changed when the helmet is replaced.

Some of the examples of hard hats classes and types are; type 1, the type of hard hat that protects the employee should reduce the force of impact resulting in a blow to the top of her head.

The second type minimizes the force of impact on both the head and the side of the head. The other variety of hard hats are class E; these are used where electrical hazards are present.

Reflective Work Vests

Also known as high visibility clothing, this is a type of protective clothing that has high visibility properties or a color that is easily discernible from a distance.

Most industries employees require the employer to provide such clothing. Yellow waistcoats worn by emergency services are an example of visible clothes that should be worn by the employees.

Most of the workers working in the construction industry are always required to have and own such reflective clothes.

Other occupational wearers of the high visibility clothes are police controlling traffic, railroad workers, airports works, and workers working in areas working near moving vehicles or areas that are dark.

The standard colors that safety vests have are usually orange, yellow, and red and have reflective stripes with writing on the side. It is also crucial for the boss to give clear instructions to the employees on how to use the PPE.

The information and instructions should include the restriction for use, storage, and maintenance of reflective clothes.

Barrier Creams

Other than the ordinary safety wear that workers use to protect the skin against any harm from contact against any hazardous materials, it is essential to have additional protection from those harmful agents that may penetrate the safety wear.

Countless numbers of workers are exposed to toxic chemicals each day, even by still wearing protective clothes such as overalls.

Skin is our body’s first line of protection against diseases and infection or even life-threatening diseases.

The skin absorbs contaminants into the body; without proper protection, workers, especially those who are dealing with chemicals daily, can be in harm’s way.

Barrier creams are a piece of necessary protective equipment that should be provided by the employer, especially to those working in a chemical or radioactive plant.

Conventional barrier creams available in the market are the pre-work creams. These are creams applied to the skin by workers before engaging in their daily routines of work.

Such industries that use the pre-work creams are the metalworking industry. Since the workers have to work in high temperatures to melt the metal, the temperature in the working environment is extremely high.

With additional protective clothing, this can be extremely hot for the worker. The pre-work barrier cream will provide comfort to the skin.

Safety Harness

The safety harness is made out of fabricated rope, cable or webbing combined with locking hardware. The safety harness is designed to protect a person from an injury that may come from a fall while working in elevated spaces.

Some safety harness ropes are built with a shock absorber, which can regulate the deceleration of a worker when the end of the rope has reached.

The employers should always provide safety harnesses to workers such as the firefighters, those who paint on high rise buildings, and those who are doing arc welding on a massive project.

The safety harness is usually attached to a stationary and non-stationary object. Most of the workers that use safety harness use scaffolding to connect their equipment to; this is except for the firefighters.

The safety harnesses have different classes since they have different uses. The employer needs to assess the environment the employees are working in to ensure that the appropriate safety harness is provided for work.

The first class is body belts are used to arrest a fall with a 3-foot movement. The second type is a chest harness is used when there is limited hazard fall.

The third is a full-body harness that will protect the wearer from severe fall. The fourth class is suspension belts, which are used as independent supports to support a worker.

Hazmat Suit

This is commonly known as a decontamination suit. This suit is a PPE that consists of an impermeable whole-body garment worn for protection against hazardous materials.

The unique types of suits usually come with breathing apparatus to ensure the supply of fresh air at all times. Emergency medical technicians commonly use hazmat suits.

Other professions that also use the suit are paramedics and firefighters.

The hazardous materials that the hazmat suit can protect against, including chemical agents, the heavy nylon, or PVC, acts as a barrier between the wearer and the chemicals.

The suit can also protect the wearer through fully systems. Another harmful agent that the hazmat suit can protect against is high temperature or fire and nuclear agents.

It is the responsibility of the employer always to provide this type of protection if the working environment is extremely hazardous.

Conclusion

The personal protection equipment is the sole responsibility of the employer to make it readily available to the workers to protect them from any harm from the surrounding environment.

It is also the employer’s responsibility to teach the employees how to wear and use the safety equipment appropriately. It is also his responsibility to replace damaged or worn out safety equipment.