Safety Focus of the Week: Controlling Exposures to Hazards – PPE
Controlling exposures to hazards are the key to a safe jobsite. This week we are discussing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). PPE is the bottom of the hazard pyramid and is the last level of protection from a hazard. As such, it is not intended to be the only protective system but instead a final level of protection as part of the entire hazardous control system.
PPE obviously consists of the protective gear worn on the worker and would typically include steel toe boots, hard hat, eye protection, hearing protection, gloves, dust masks, respirators, fall protection harnesses, and other specialty equipment. There are several key considerations for using PPE:
- Consideration for the hazards and exposures routes (air, skin contact, splash, etc.)
- Proper Fit and Use
- Maintenance/Cleaning of the Equipment
- Training for the specialty equipment (respirators, fall protection harnesses, etc.)
- Possible medical fitness evaluation for the equipment (respirators again)