What is personal protective equipment (PPE) for occupational safety ?
Personal protective equipment (PPE) describes any equipment designed to protect workers from physical hazards in the workplace. The PPE serves as additional occupational safety for risk prevention. First and foremost, workplace hazards should always be avoided and proactively minimized.
By means of a risk assessment and work safety analysis the risk of injuries and accidents at the workplace can be evaluated in principle. The identified risks then help to select suitable personal protective equipment.
This article deals with the following questions:1. What does personal protective equipment include? The top 62. Why wear PPE equipment ? 3 good reasons3. What PPE must the employer provide?4. how do digital technologies support the use of PPE for better occupational safety?
What does personal protective equipment include? The top 6
PSA safety at work helps employees to carry out work processes when risks are absolutely unavoidable. It is important to choose the right protective equipment and to clarify the exact need for it in order to prevent serious accidents and incidents and to avoid legal disputes or fines as far as possible. In the following you will learn which types of PPE are distinguished and which of them are indispensable for your industry:Head protection
Head protection is always necessary when massive objects or forces fall on the head or can affect it. For the following work a head protection is of utmost importance:
- On construction sites
- When working with molten metal
- When working with large devices
- Working with elevators and cranes
- When working with explosives
The body protection is to be divided into hand, foot and body protection. Hand protection is used if skin burns, cuts or even serious injuries such as amputations or similar can be caused, for example during assembly work. Foot protection is always necessary if heavy objects can fall or roll on the floor or if the floor is not non-slip. Especially protective boots but also knee pads are used. Finally, general body protection is necessary when dealing with chemicals, radiation, flames, high temperatures or similar. Face protection
Face protection mainly affects the eyes, which can cause serious injuries, such as loss of sight or eyesight, when handling chemicals. Protective goggles should always be in perfect condition and cover the face area optimally. Hearing protection
Hearing protection is also of great importance when handling equipment, for example during welding work, in order not to damage the ear canal in the long term. Protection of the respiratory tract
Respiratory protection, by means of masks is necessary when handling toxic substances and liquids. Fall protection
Fall protection is one of the most important protective equipment and requires strict control, as falling accidents are among the most frequent accidents at work. The safety belts and buckles should always be in ideal condition.
Why wear PPE equipment? 3 good reasons
Despite its obvious importance for occupational safety, devastating accidents at work occur time and again due to unused, incorrect, insufficient or damaged PPE stock and incorrect handling. The correct training of the employees as well as the organization of the equipment is half the battle. So here are the top 3 reasons for the use and obligation to wear safety clothing.
- Security of the employees
The safety of employees depends on a variety of factors, because even comprehensive security controls and risk assessments cannot reduce certain dangers in their entirety. Careless handling of these risks can lead to devastating lifelong health damage.
- Legal protection
As PPE is an integral part of occupational health and safety, the use of safety equipment in companies is mandatory and regulated by law, depending on the industry and activities. If the use of PPE is omitted or not documented, this can lead to illegal consequences, which can have fatal consequences for the reputation of your company.
- Avoidance of fines
One thing is certain: you should never cut back on occupational safety, because if accidents occur, this will lead to much higher costs from a financial point of view than the precaution and care of your employees by using the right and safe protective equipment.
Which PPE must the employer provide?
As an employer, you have the responsibility for the well-being of your employees. This includes a number of responsibilities that should not be neglected and should be fully documented. You have the following four duties for your employees:
- Provision of the PSA
The PPE is used when organizational or technical methods to contain the risk are not effective. The PPE must always comply with Regulation (EU) 2016/425 of the European Parliament and Council. The protective equipment must be used in the event of health hazards and fatalities. The PPE should always be provided free of charge by the employer.
Employers must sensitize employees to report defective equipment and protective clothing immediately and to replace them; in addition, independent checks must be carried out regularly by responsible persons.
Information on the correct use of the equipment must be provided to the worker when the items are handed over. In addition, regular training courses should be held to ensure that workers are aware of occupational health and safety and the handling and maintenance of PPE.
After all, it is not only important to sensitize employees to the responsible use of PPE, but also to ensure occupational safety through safety analyses and risk assessments. This works best with the use of digital technologies.
- PSA is primarily used in the construction industry, where it is increasingly being used.
- A distinction is made between head, body, foot, hand, face, breathing and fall protection
- PSA offers occupational safety and protection against illegality and fines
- In addition to provision, employees must also carry out maintenance, training and checks.
How do digital technologies support the use of PPE for occupational safety ?
By means of PPE safety checklists, security officers or supervisors can comprehensively evaluate, document and control occupational safety. In this way, employees can always guarantee that personnel are using the right equipment to minimize major damage as far as possible. Use Lumiform to perform regular PPE self-inspections. With free and customizable PPE checklists, you always have an overview of work processes and the required stock and condition of PPE.