Personal protective equipment includes a whole range of products from the simplest hard hat to advanced breathing apparatus. Each is designed with its own safety features, ensuring maximum protection within its specialised environment. In this article we will be looking at the main categories within the Personal Protective Equipment industry, explaining what each includes and how it protects the user.
There are many types of work gloves each designed to protect against different hazards. For instance, cut resistant gloves are designed to reduce the chance of injury from blades and sharp objects. Whereas other gloves can protect against hazards such as chemical splashes, vibrations and much more.
Available in a whole range of sizes and colours, there is a perfect glove to fit every environment.
Most eye protection is designed to protect the eyes from either a projectile or a particle of some kind, the particle can be anything from dust to chemicals. Each of these can cause serious damage to the eyes and even cause blindness.
With many different styles from visors to spectacles, there is eye protection designed to protect you from the hazards around.
The ears are a very sensitive area and can be easily damaged by increased levels of sounds, whether this is higher in decibels or frequency. Lower frequencies can also affect the hearing when exposed to these sounds for an extended period of time.
Eye protection is usually in the form of plugs or defenders, both are each to use and can increase safety within seconds.
Hi Vis Clothing
The most popular of the PPE category is the Hi Vis Clothing, a specialised product that is designed to ensure maximum visibility. These products range from trousers to vests, each has reflective materials surrounding the garment, ensuring that higher level of visibility.
The reason why most individuals wear hi vis clothing, is that they are working around moving vehicles. Under workplace regulations, employees need to ensure they are as visible as possible to drivers to ensure a reduced risk of injuries.
Respiratory Protective Equipment
Respiratory Protective Equipment also known as RPE is designed to protect the wearer from inhaling potentially harmful fumes or particles. Usually, in the form of a mask, the respirators help to reduce the number of hazards that could affect the wearer.
Most head protection is in the form of a hard hat or bump cap, they are designed to reduce the impact from objects to the head. The objects that hit the head can be from above or to the side, from walking into objects to falling objects.
Kneepad protection is ideal for when you are regularly kneeling, this is the case in jobs such as plumbing and electrical. Kneeling can also cause long-term damage the kneecaps and sharp objects can penetrate the knees.
One of the most effective ways of protecting a user when working at a height. Fall protection gives you that level of protection which can result in few injuries and a safer working environment. Products include everything from lanyards to harnesses, each is designed to protect based on certain scenarios.
With a whole range of spill kits available on the market, many environments such as garages and laboratories have an immediate response to spillages. Spill kits are designed for 3 types of hazards, water, oil and chemical, each has their own specialised protection.
First Aid Kit
The most common item of Personal Protective Equipment is the first aid kit, all workplaces are required to have some kind of first aid kit in the event of an injury. Most first aid kits are designed to provide immediate improvement to wounds and injuries, however, some provide more advanced care.
Safety Boots & Shoes
There is a wide range of footwear available in the modern age, however, for that footwear to be safe they have to meet certain criteria dictated by HSE. Safety boots and Safety shoes both tend to have protection such as steel toe caps to protect the toes and steel midsoles to protect the underside of the foot, however, there are many different protective properties that can help to reduce injuries.
Each pair of safety boots or shoes have a dedicated list of protective properties to protect the wearer from a specific hazard. One example is slip resistant safety boots, they are specially designed to protect the wearer from slipping on surfaces.