Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

What is personal protective equipment (PPE)?

Personal protective equipment, commonly referred to as “PPE”, is equipment worn to minimize exposure to hazards that cause serious workplace injuries and illnesses. PPE includes hard hats, safety glasses, safety goggles, face shields, respirators, hearing protection, gloves, boots, garments and other items which offer protection.

What hazards are associated with not wearing PPE?

1. Falling objects can seriously injure or kill workers without hard hats
2. Flying debris from a range of tool use can permanently damage an eye when eye protection is not worn
3. Occupational noise can permanently damage hearing when ear protection is not worn
4. Toxic dust and vapors can injure or kill workers who do not wear respirators
5. Abrasions and cuts to extremities when arm / hand protection or leg / foot protection is not worn
6. Chemical burns or other contact with skin can cause permanent injury or illness if protective suits are not worn when working with chemicals or around vapors
7. Electrocution or shock from contact with electrical parts
8. Heat or cold illness from exposure to extreme weather

What can you do to maximize personal protection while on the job?

1. Do not wait on someone else to tell you to use PPE if there is a risk of personal injury or illness
2. Encourage other employees to wear PPE when applicable
3. Ensure that proper PPE is always selected for the type of hazard you are exposed to
4. Never use PPE that does not fit properly or that has defects
5. Visually inspect PPE prior to each use and after each use to ensure serviceability
6. Never store PPE in direct sunlight or in extreme hot or cold temperatures
7. Report defective PPE to your supervisor as soon as you become aware of defects
8. Mark, tag or destroy defective or expired PPE before it is discarded to prevent use of the equipment by other workers who are not aware of its defects or expiration date

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