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Christian Robert C.

Marcos

Types of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Eye protection Eye protection is indicated for flying particles, acids or caustic liquids, welding, light that could injure eyes (lasers, ultraviolet, infrared, radiation), and infectious body fluids. Use safety glasses for minor splash hazards, goggles for moderate hazards, and goggles combined with a face shield for severe hazards. Hand protection is indicated for the possibility of severe cuts, lacerations, or abrasions, punctures, temperature extremes, and chemical hazards. Laboratory workers: Use disposable surgical-type gloves for incidental contact. (Nitrile gloves are usually a good choice for general use.) Use heavyduty gloves for non-incidental contact and gross contamination. Body protection Use protective clothing as a safeguard against hazardous material spills, splashes, intense heat, impact, cuts, infectious materials, and radiation exposures. Protective clothing includes lab coats, smocks, scrub suits, gowns, rubber or coated aprons, coveralls, uniforms, and pierce-resistant jackets and vests. Other criteria for selecting lab clothing include: Liquid-resistant fabric or coatings when spills or splashes are anticipated

Hand protection

Non-disposable garments must be capable sterilization should they become contaminated Closure types and location for ease of use Antistatic properties

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Shop and maintenance workers handling hazardous materials such as pesticides, herbicides, and caustic materials, should wear coveralls or a uniform they can change out of after work. Foot protection Lab workers must wear closed-toe shoes at all times to protect feet from chemical spills and sharp objects. Other high-risk professions require different types of protective footwear, including:

Steel-toed footwear and puncture-resistant soles and uppers for workers handling heavy materials or using rotating machinery near their feet, including groundskeepers and machine shop employees Rubber-soled shoes for electricians, construction workers, and others who work near live electrical conductors Slip-resistant shoes (usually rubber-soled with a grip pattern) for anyone who works in wet environments, including ships, or kitchens

Christian Robert C. Marcos

Hearing protection

A variety of hearing protectors, including earplugs and ear muffs, are available for employees whose workplace reaches critical noise levels. Situations where employees are routinely exposed to elevated noise levels must be evaluated to determine if employees must be included in Hearing Conservation Program. Work environments and processes where exposure to harmful material by inhalation is possible and cannot be prevented with engineering controls will be evaluated to determine if employees must be included in Respiratory Protection Program. Disposable "dust masks" may be used for protection from nuisance dusts. Head protection is indicated for moving or falling objects, the possibility of bumping heads on objects or equipment, or contacting an electrical source. Hard hats must be worn by electricians, construction workers, and any other workers when there is a danger of objects falling from above.

Respiratory protection

Head protection

Personal Protective Equipment (Benefits & Limitations) It is widely recognized that the risk of exposure should be addressed through administrative, and engineering controls, work practices and training. It is equally recognized that these controls may not prove to be adequate in situations where the risk could not be completely minimized, or in the event of an unplanned exposure. Thus the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) becomes last line of defense against exposure. The benefits gained by wearing PPE are:

possible prevention of exposure, potentially minimizing the risk should an exposure occur, and compliments existing controls to enhance personal protection.

It is also important to recognized the limitations associated with PPE:


PPE only protects the individual wearing it, not anyone else in the workplace, discrepancy between theoretical and actual levels of protection provided exists (the latter is difficult to assess), PPE is only effective if correctly selected, fitted, used, and cared for, and the individual is trained, and the choice of PPE may compromise mobility, visibility, communication etc..

When considering the appropriate type of PPE, it is important to identify and assess all the types of risk one will be exposed to, what risks can be mitigated through other control mechanism, and any detrimental impact associated with the selection of the PPE.