What do you wear for personal safety

The most important protective equipment and its purpose

Many dangers and risks in the workplace can be eliminated with the right clothing. Wearing protective equipment is not necessarily comfortable and sometimes it looks strange, but PPE makes sense.

Extensive protective equipment in particular may limit your mobility. In summer you can sweat a lot underneath. So the temptation is to do without clothing. However, that would be a fatal mistake.

That's why we need protective equipment

All protective equipment protects you from devastating injuries and accidents. Even if the probability of an accident appears low, the possible consequences can be so severe that protection is always necessary.

For example, if you handle corrosive liquids in a chemical plant, you not only need to protect your eyes with glasses, but also your legs and arms with a suit made of airtight plastic. Because if something goes wrong and you spill even a few drops of the corrosive liquid, your body is exposed to the hazardous substance unprotected without protective clothing.

The 6 most important protective equipments

Here is an overview of the most important components of personal protective equipment and their function:

1. The helmet - for everyone with a "head"

Objects that fall unchecked onto the head from above can cause serious injuries. The following applies: the greater the height of fall, the stronger the penetration.

An example: On a construction site, a small stone remains unnoticed on a component that is being lifted by a crane. If the stone falls from a certain height, it can hit the skull
to smash a human being. The same goes for tools and other work equipment.

That is why it prevails on construction sites, in mines and also in many companies Helmet compulsory. Without a helmet there is a fundamental danger to life there. Because nobody can guarantee that a tool, a bolt or a stone will never slip out of his hand.

2. Hearing protection - because if you don't want to hear ...

Noise is one of the greatest environmental and health threats to our modern society - for two reasons:

Take it easy: 3 noise protection measures for your company

3. Gloves - not only in winter!

Gloves are also part of all protective equipment. Depending on their nature, they protect us from skin contact with dangerous substances. And ordinary work gloves let us grip better. They not only protect against sharp edges, but also offer more slip resistance than the bare hand.

4. Safety shoes - when steel becomes gold

If a concrete part or a steel girder tips over on your foot, the steel toe in the shoe is worth its weight in gold: Shoes with steel toe prevent serious injuries. In addition, safety shoes offer a high level of surefootedness and also adhere well to damp ground. In this way, you won't slip even on a wet scaffolding at a lofty height.

This is what the markings on safety shoes mean

5. Respiratory protection - so you don't run out of air

There can also be dangers in the air, for example poisonous and corrosive gases, but also dust and tiny particles. Some substances come across as harmless, but they have it all. Beech wood, for example. Nobody would see a hazardous substance in a lush green beech forest. However, if you saw the trees, a carcinogenic poison is created: beech wood dust!

Harmless materials are also harmful to health: all dust, even if it is completely harmless, settles on the respiratory tract. The microscopic parts are a disruptive foreign body for the organism. Therefore, respiratory masks are important in all dusty work - and not just when dealing with toxic chemicals.

6. Safety glasses - helpful even without prescription

Although safety glasses do not help you see more clearly, they do protect your eyesight from injury from chemical liquids or dust. You must always put on protective goggles when there are potential hazards to the eyes, which is the case, for example, when working with hazardous substances. However, it is also mandatory to wear protective goggles for activities that can cause eye damage from optical radiation (laser or UV rays).

Safety glasses: this is how you specifically prevent eye injuries

Protective equipment only works if you wear it properly

The list shows that personal protective equipment makes sense. But only if the employees actually wear them. You must therefore instruct your colleagues regularly (at least once a year) and before wearing the PPE for the first time. This is the only way to guarantee that the helmet fits correctly and does not fall down and injure other people.

Did you know how - suddenly employees like to wear protective goggles

Author: Uta Fuchs

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