The importance of PPE or Personal Protective Equipment cannot be refuted for it is used universally in all aspects of the modern world. From construction sites, factories, work-areas and industries, certain standards are met to ensure the safety of everyone working. But what is PPE? It is true that it plays a huge role when it comes to safety but are we really well-informed on how it is used and utilized?
When you hear the word PPE, probably the first things that come to your mind are helmets, gloves, safety shoes and goggles. While these things are the most popular when it comes to PPE, there are certainly other types that are used depending on the industry or company you are working in. But even with variations of rules and standards for different companies, they are still basically the same, nonetheless.
What PPE should protect us from
When wearing your PPE, it is important to learn and understand the purpose of the equipment. Each PPE is designed to protect certain areas of your body and depending on the danger present in the environment, you have to wear the PPE suitable for the circumstance. Basically, there are three areas of concern.
- Respiratory – Breathing can be a huge problem in situations where there are contaminants in the air or the oxygen is too low. Our respiratory system can suffer from this. This type of PPE is often called Respiratory Protective Equipment. Examples of RPE are respirators, face mask, filters.
- Skin protection – Our skin is the most exposed part of our body. It can easily be wounded or have an allergic reaction to certain elements on the air. Examples of PPE for this are coveralls, gloves, boots, aprons, etc.
- Eyes and face– It can be said that our eyes and our face are the most sensitive part of our body. They are easily irritated and can be easily injured. Examples PPE for this are face shield, safety goggles, and safety spectacles.
Dangers of improper PPE
PPE serves as our lifeline when it comes to working in dangerous areas. That being said, using wrong PPE may result to danger or even worse, death. Let us not underestimate the importance of PPE in our lives and try to wear them all the time. Hazards include:
- Skin allergies
- Respiratory problems (Asthma)