Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is special gear you wear to protect you from contact with chemical, physical, thermal, biological, and radiological hazards. It includes a variety of devices and garments such as hardhats, goggles, safety glasses, face shields, earplugs, respirators, vests, coveralls, safety shoes, and gloves that protect your head, eyes, face, ears, body, arms, legs, feet and hands.
PPE prevents hundreds of deaths and thousands of injuries every year.
Do you want to be a fatality or injury statistic or would you rather continue with your life in the same state of health and wellness that you currently enjoy?
PPE effectiveness depends upon you using it.
Gloves cannot do much good for your hands if they are hanging out of a back pocket. Safety glasses cannot ward off eye injuries if they are dangling from your neck. And earplugs will not protect your hearing if they stay in your pocket.
PPE must be worn properly to allow it to make a difference for you.
It may not “look cool” or it may not be as comfortable as without it…but it can make a difference.
PPE that is not properly maintained or inspected routinely for wear and tear offers little or no protection.
A cracked hardhat with sagging suspension, for example, is not the best buffer when a hammer comes flying out of nowhere. Advise your supervisor immediately of deteriorating or defective PPE.
You have to wear PPE the right way for as long as you’re exposed to a hazard - not only for yourself, but also for those who care about you.
Please visit the Safety Resources section of www.asa.net for more safety articles and Toolbox Talks.
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