Personal Protective Equipment [PPE]
The minimum Personal Protective Equipment [PPE] required for all personnel entering a construction area, fabrication shop/yard, warehouse, yard, and other active working areas is as follows:
- Hard Hat
- Safety Glasses/Goggles
- Safety Shoes
- Long Pants
- Long Sleeve Shirt
- High Visibility Vest
- Gloves (when handling material)
- Ear Protection (when noise levels exceed 90 decibels)
The use of mandatory PPE is a condition of employment and is to be strictly enforced by Company and Contractor Management 100% of the time.
Our eyes play an important part in our lives, they allow us to see the world around us and function within it. However the eyes are fragile and easily injured, thus in a hostile construction environment, they must be constantly protected. There are two main types of eye protection; safety glasses and safety goggles. Safety glasses are impact resistant and are designed to provide protection to the eyes from the front and the sides. Safety glasses, however, do not provide protection from liquids and fine dust. For this level of protection, you need safety goggles. As a minimum Safety Glasses are mandatory for all persons on construction sites. Workers are exposed to eye hazards nearly every minute they are on a construction site, thus they must be one of the first pieces of PPE put on before entering a construction area. In addition, it’s important to understand that face shields are designed to only protect the face, not the eyes. So when wearing a face shield or welding hood, you must wear safety glasses or goggles underneath the face shield or welding hood.
There are many different types of gloves, each designed to protect against a different hazard. Leather, cloth and canvas gloves are designed to protect the worker from rough material and minor cuts and abrasions. Rubber or plastic type gloves are for protection against biological hazards and chemicals. Chemical protective gloves are made out of many different materials, each designed to protect against specific chemicals. For example, gloves designed to provide protection from solvents may dissolve when exposed to caustics. There are also specialty gloves on the market, some made of cut resistant material to protect against sharp materials found in the construction environment. So make sure you match the glove, or combination of gloves, to the type of hazards you’ll be facing.
The Head is the command center of our central nervous system that controls all body movements, senses, and basic body functions. An injury to the head can pose a serious threat to the brain and lead to death. Hard hats are designed to protect your head and are mandatory for all persons at all times on construction sites.
Safety Shoes have impact-resistant toes, leather uppers and special soles that protect your feet against puncture hazards. Safety Shoes are mandatory for all persons entering or working on a site.
Your hearing can be damaged by exposure to loud noises. This can occur suddenly or over a period of time, but once the damage occurs it cannot be repaired. Hearing protection is designed to lower the noise decibels to safe levels while still allowing the worker to communicate and to hear what is going on around him.
There are two main types of hearing protection:
Ear plugs and ear muffs. Earplugs are designed to be inserted into the ear canal to block some of the noise. There are many different designs, but all work essentially the same way. Earmuffs are designed to be worn over the ears to block some of the noise. Hearing protection is required on construction sites in areas where noise levels exceed 90 decibels.
HIGH VISIBILITY CLOTHING:
High visibility clothing such as fluorescent orange and green vests are designed for various tasks to allow workers to be easily seen by equipment and vehicle operators. For example on a construction site where many large pieces of equipment are operating with limited visibility or for people engaged in directing traffic.
Personal Protective Equipment is your last line of defense against the common hazards found in the workplace. But it’s only effective when worn and used properly. Take care of your PPE, and put it on before entering the construction site or other work areas. Properly wearing and using the correct PPE can eliminate up to 100% of the injuries associated with some hazards – so wear your PPE it’s worth the time and effort.