Wearing the proper personal protective equipment (PPE) in your work environment helps minimize exposure to physical, environmental, chemical and biological hazards. This includes workers in the asphalt paving industry. To ensure you are using the proper equipment, start by assessing the work you will be performing and what potential hazards exist. Examples of typical workplace hazards include moving objects, hot materials, harmful dust or the presence of chemicals. The next step is selecting the appropriate PPE based on the risks identified with the job and the environment in which you will be performing it. PPE only works when it is right for the job and the environment.
Necessary PPE Includes:
Clothing and footwear: The importance of choosing the proper protective clothing is often overlooked and its benefits cannot be underestimated. This form of PPE covers the largest portion of your body and can help protect you from a variety of workplace hazards.
Clothing to be worn should include long sleeved shirt with buttoned up collar and cuffs and pants.
Footwear for this type of work protects in several ways. To do so properly, footwear should include a safety toe to prevent crushing injury, as well as boots with a six-inch top or higher.
Hand protection: Gloves are a critical and simple way to guard from chemical and burn hazards. For asphalt paving operations gloves should be thermal and have gauntlets covering the arms.
Fit is also an important consideration because if gloves are too large, they can impair dexterity of the hands or cause someone to lose grip, potentially causing an accident.
Eye protection: Using proper eye protection can help prevent injury and even blindness. Safety goggles or shields protect your eyes from chemical or flying fragments, dust, sand, dirt and other environmental hazards and should be worn when they exist.
In addition to these items, a barrier cream should be worn as well as extra protection from harmful chemicals.