Wearing the proper personal protective equipment (PPE) in your work environment helps minimize exposure to physical, environmental, chemical, and biological hazards. 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, electric connections, extreme temperatures, or faulty or damaged wiring. 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 the 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 a long-sleeved shirt, pants, and coveralls that are flame resistant.
Footwear for this type of work protects in several ways. To do so properly, footwear should include electrical shock-resistant footwear with non-conductive electrical shock-resistant soles and heels.
Hand protection: Rubber-insulated gloves and sleeves are a simple way to guard against many hazards, from chemicals to cuts and punctures. Fit is also an important consideration because if gloves are too large, they can impair the dexterity of your hands or cause you to lose your grip, potentially causing an accident.
Head and eye protection: Hard hats must be worn when overhead hazard conditions are present such as falling objects or low ceilings or when contacting electrical conductors is possible. Using proper eye protection can help prevent injury and even blindness.
Whenever there is a danger of injury to the eyes or face eye protection should be required. Safety glasses that are anti-static, with 99.9% UV protection should be worn. Arc flash face shield or balaclavas should be worn.
Hard hats should be worn to protect falling objects from over the head. They must also be worn in areas where the is exposure to electrical conductors that could encounter the head.