Whether you’re an electrician working with high-voltage equipment, a laboratory technician handling infectious specimens, a fireman who’s routinely called to extinguish conflagrations, or some other professional consistently exposed to similar risks of injury or infection, you would know how important it is to safeguard your wellbeing with the right personal protective equipment or PPE.
PPEs protect from many different hazards, including physical trauma, electric shocks, extreme temperatures, harmful biological agents, and dangerous airborne substances. Since so much is at stake when it comes to workplace safety, it is important to source your personal protective equipment from a reliable supplier of safety workwear clothing and other protective accessories.
In this article, we’ll fill you in on some of the main classifications of PPEs and why they are vital to creating healthy and productive workplace environments.
Body Protective Clothing
The skin is the largest organ of the body, one that naturally possesses a defensive barrier against pathogens and harmful substances. However, the protection provided by the skin can only do so much against hazardous elements from the outside world. Without proper body protection, a person working under unsafe conditions is at risk of acquiring injuries or contracting infections.
Thankfully, there are many PPEs developed specifically to protect the body, coming in different forms depending on the application. For example, splash-resistant gowns or coats can be used in laboratory settings where exposure to infectious agents or dangerous chemicals are very real risks. Fire-retardant and flame-resistant suits, on the other hand, can be used in industrial settings like fire smelting factories and steel mills, as well as for firefighting and rescue scenarios under extreme heat situations. On the other hand, general-use overalls can be employed in many other scenarios, such as in automotive repair work, house painting, gardening, glazier work, and many others.
Protective Gloves for the Hands
Used by people to handle and tinker objects with, the hands are understandably among the most often injured parts of the body. Make sure to protect yours with the right gloves. Some of the substances and conditions that gloves protect from include pathogenic agents, mechanical hazards, heat and cold, corrosive liquids, organic solvents, reactive chemicals, toxic compounds, and many others.
Hard Hats for the Head
Hard hats, otherwise known as safety helmets, provide protection against head injuries that can be caused by falling objects, falling building debris, and even electric shocks.
The secret to the safety helmet’s effectiveness can be traced to its suspended design, which means that the shell of the hat sits about an inch on top of the head. When an object falls on the head, the thermoplastic shell dissipates the energy, while the foam linings absorb some of the rest, keeping the head safe as a result.
Protective Eyewear for the Eyes
Protecting one’s eyes is an absolute must, considering how sensitive and vulnerable they are against the many hazards that a worker can encounter on a daily basis. Everything including small airborne particles, laser radiation, chemical substances, flying pieces of metal and concrete, and even the very tools and equipment used in the workplace can all damage the eyes.
It’s a good thing that there are eye protective equipment that can be used for just about all of these scenarios. These include general safety glasses, splash goggles, impact goggles, laser goggles, and full face shields.
It’s become common in many Asian cities for people to wear pollution masks when going out on the streets or in other public areas. After all, one can’t be too careful when it comes to protecting one’s own lungs. And if people are protecting themselves out on the streets, the more they should in workplace settings that present a hazard to the respiratory system.
NIOSH-rated respirators, depending on the type, can protect the wearer from a variety of hazards, including airborne pathogens, particulate matter, fumes, vapours, and gases.
Hearing Protective Devices
Dangerous tangible objects and physical substances are not the only hazards to the human body. High levels of sound, for example, present a risk of injury to the auditory system—something that is of particular concern if you work in an environment that is consistently noisy.
In order to protect you hearing from long-tern damage, you need to make sure that you wear protective accessories like earplugs, earmuffs, canal caps, and electronic noise reduction devices, especially if the noise levels in your workplace exceeds 85 decibels.
Protective Shoes for the Feet
Feet and toe injury can have debilitating consequences to an affected individual. After all, a person needs their feet to be able to get from one place to another. Long-term or permanent injury to the foot can have a devastating effect on an individual’s productivity and mobility. As such, never neglect your feet when working in potentially dangerous environments.
Safety shoes and boots with steel toe reinforcements can prevent your feet from getting crushed in the event of a compression or falling debris accident. There are many other types of safety shoes, including, puncture resistant shoes, electricity-resistant shoes, chainsaw resistant shoes, heat- and cold-insulated shoes, shoes with antiskid soles, shoes with ice claws, and others
No matter the industry, if you’re working in an environment that presents a hazard to your health and wellbeing, you need to protect yourself with the right personal protective equipment. Make sure to check with your safety workwear supplier if they have the items you need. If they don’t, procure the necessary materials from other suppliers at the soonest possible time.