Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Gain the necessary knowledge to use PPE correctly for occupational safety.

What are the Benefits of PPE in Terms of Work Safety?

PPE stands for Personal Protective Equipment. It comprises clothing or equipment designed to protect workers from physical hazards at the workplace when they are at work. In work safety and health, PPE equipment should always be the last line of defence between a hazard and the worker. Always try to proactively address the risks and hazards in the workplace first to prevent events before they happen.

In order to assess whether PPE contributes to work safety in the workplace, a risk assessment should always be carried out first. A plan for prioritizing and reducing the risk of injury is drawn up after all hazards and risks have been identified. Useful systems and tools for conducting a risk assessment are the risk assessment and the occupational safety analysis.

PPE Equipment: Basic Types in Work Safety

Even the most stringent controls cannot eliminate all the risks associated with most work tasks. At this point it is necessary to determine what the real need for PPE is. A risk assessment helps to determine what special personal protective equipment is required. Nevertheless, the following basic types of personal equipment examples should be available on every construction site.

1. Head Protection

PPE equipment includes protective helmets and headgear and should be used for tasks which may cause forces or objects to fall on the head. When the headgear is checked for safety, care should be taken to ensure that there are no dents or deformations on the housing and that the connections are tightened on the inside. Do not store the helmet in direct sunlight and always replace helmets if they have been subjected to impacts of any kind, even if the impact is not visible.

2. Face and Eye Protection

PPE equipment includes safety goggles and face protection for greater safety at work and should be used for work which may lead to loss of sight and eyesight through burns, splashes of toxic liquids, etc. When carrying out safety inspections on equipment, care must be taken to ensure that there are no cracks or deformation of the lenses, that the strap is in good condition and that it tightly encloses the cheek and forehead.

3. Foot Protection

Work protection with PPE equipment includes knee pads and safety boots. These are used for tasks that can cause serious foot and leg injuries due to falling or rolling objects, hot substances, electrical hazards and slippery surfaces. The boots should have a non-slip sole that protects against pressure and impact.

4. Hand Protection

PPE equipment includes protective gloves used for work which may cause hand and skin burns, absorption of harmful substances, cuts, fractures or amputations. When inspecting the equipment, make sure that it fits perfectly and without gaps and is free of cuts, burns and chemical residues. Always replace the hand protection if signs of contamination are detected.

5. Body Protection

For tasks that can cause physical injury due to extreme temperatures, flames and sparks, toxic chemicals, insect bites and radiation, PPE equipment in work safety includes safety vests and suits. Ensure that clothing is clean and free of cuts and burns. Always make sure they fit well to ensure complete body protection.

6. Hearing Protection

For tasks that lead to hearing problems and hearing loss, PPE equipment includes hearing protection and earplugs. To ensure this hearing protection, the equipment must fit perfectly into the ear canal. Recommended models are malleable earplugs that can be adapted to different sizes of ear canals.

7. Fall Protection

When work is carried out that may cause falls from a height, serious injury or death, the PPE equipment includes safety belts and lanyards. During the safety inspection of the equipment, care must be taken to ensure that the straps are free from tears, deformation and burn marks and that the buckles are securely and firmly fastened. It is very important to dispose of them after a fall.

8. Protection of the Airways

For tasks involving the inhalation of harmful substances, PPE equipment includes a breathing mask as work clothing. When carrying out breathing protection measures, ensure that the equipment has been tested for suitability and that employees have received appropriate training before wearing it.

PPE safety checklists

Personal protective equipment checklists are used by safety officers and supervisors to identify tasks that require PPE as work equipment. This ensures that personnel use the correct equipment to reduce overall damage. Use Lumiform, the powerful inspection tool, to perform regular PPE self-inspections. This allows you to identify tasks that require PPE equipment for work safety and to ensure that all personnel are using the correct one. Start with free customizable PPE checklists to find out how you can prevent workplace accidents.

Featured templates

Workplace Hazard Assessment Form

Workplace Hazard Assessment Form

Use this template to identify and eliminate potential hazards in advance. See template

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Checklist

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Checklist

Use this template to check the personal protective equipment (PPE) and its use. See template

PPE Safety Toolbox Talk Checklist

PPE Safety Toolbox Talk Checklist

Use this template to prevent employees from uncontrollable hazards. See template