Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) are garments and accessories that are made specifically to be worn in hazardous areas to keep you safe. These specialized garments exist as a preventive measure for professions that are known to be more hazardous, like manufacturing, construction, mining, electrical distribution and generation, chemical production and transportation and anything involving medical or industrial waste.
Employers are responsible for providing a safe and healthy workplace for their employees. These efforts are aided and regulated by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), which creates strict standards, provides training and education, and encourages continual improvement in workplace safety and health.
There are many different types of PPE including:
- protective clothing and garments
- reflective outerwear (also known) as high-vis
- work boots and other protective shoes or shoe coverings
- face coverings and ear protection
- harnesses, stability apparatuses, etc.
PPE only works if you wear the correct items for the specific job or duty you are trying to complete. In addition to selecting the correct PPE, you must correctly wear it (as per the specification) to provide adequate protection.
Did you know that every year, roughly 2.4 million eye injuries occur in the United States? Of these injuries, about 50,000 victims lost their eyesight to some degree because they were not using eye protection. According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO), safety eyewear could have prevented 90 percent of these eye injuries.
For more information on PPE go to https://www.osha.gov/personal-protective-equipment for all OSHA guidelines and information regarding PPE.
PPE exists to save your life when on the job or completing a task that could be hazardous. Please use it and use it correctly!