Personal protective equipment (PPE) is designed to help protect the wearer from any health and safety risks that they might encounter. There are different types of PPE that are suited to specific occasions, however, it’s mostly used in workplace scenarios where employees are working in an environment that can potentially be hazardous.
But what makes PPE so important? how is it designed to help prevent these hazards? Read on to find out.
What is PPE?
Whether you’re a business owner who oversees a construction site or you’re a self-employed welder, it’s essential that health and safety is a priority. Whatever the industry, it’s crucial that both employers and employees are aware of anything that could lead to an accident at work.
Even with the most stringent risk assessments, injuries do happen. Statistics from the Health and Safety Executive revel that annually between 2017/18 and 2019/20, 610,000 workers were injured in workplace accidents on average. Further to this, 559,000 workers experienced a new case of ill health that they believed was caused or was made worse by their work.
These incidents may have occurred no matter what, but there are ways to make them less likely. One of these is to introduce the highest levels of PPE. PPE includes items such as safety helmets to protect the head from any falling objects or low beams, as well as gloves, full overalls, high-visibility clothing, heavy-duty footwear such as steel-capped boots, and ear defenders.
In some workplaces, this PPE is tailored for the individual job role, so if, for example, you’re new to a building site, make sure you check to see if all the PPE supplied is suitable for the setting.
It’s an employer’s duty to provide the right PPE, so if you’re a worker, make sure you have the right supplies for the role. For instance, there may be respiratory protective equipment required or if you’re a welder, specially designed welding glasses that meet the highest safety standards will be needed. Always double check before you begin a job as health and safety should be paramount.
Where is PPE used?
There are many settings where PPE is needed. Protective wear in the healthcare profession has been a major topic in the last year. This protective equipment is very different to that used by those working in construction and building, but it’s still an essential part of the job.
Other industries that use PPE include manufacturing, automotive, joinery, and woodwork. Here, goggles are needed to protect the eyes and gloves can be useful for shielding hands from certain materials.
What makes PPE so important?
There are different reasons why good-quality PPE is important. For employers, protecting your workers can keep them safe and can also be beneficial for business as you are showing yourself to be a trustworthy employer that prioritizes employee health and wellbeing.
For employees, being provided with the right PPE can make work safe. This can not only be good for physical health, but it can make workers feel valued.
Therefore, having a full PPE supply is a beneficial addition to any workplace that requires protective clothing.