To guard against the hazards at the workplace it is essential to take some mitigation measures. Most of the times it can be achieved by engineering controls such as the use of lock out tag out procedures, machine guarding, barricading etc.
Personal Protective Equipment or PPE is the last approach for protection. When all the engineering efforts fail, PPE have to be used for protection. There are different types of PPE available in the market for the protection of body parts starting from head to toe. Following are the basic PPE and their respective uses at the workplace: -
This is required for protection against rotating parts. Usually it is suggested to avoid loose clothing and loose long hair in the factory premises as this may turn hazardous for the respective person.
Ear plugs/ear muffs
Protection is required to avoid hearing impairment. There are instances when the person has to stay in high noise areas for long hours. The hearing ability is not lost instantaneously but keeps deteriorating with time. Ear plugs and ear muffs reduce the decibels to the extent where the noise can be heard safely.
At the workplace depending upon the category of work eyes are exposed to variety of hazards for example flying objects, dust, UV rays or IR rays, chemical splashes etc. To prevent such incidents safety goggles of two basic categories i.e. open type and box type are generally used though there are varieties of models available in the market nowadays.
Respiratory protection is required against dust, fumes, vapors, mist etc.
While working with chemicals or while hot work such as grinding, welding etc. it is essential to protect the face against the hazards. For this purpose face shields are used. It is always recommended to wear respirators inside the face shields.
Safety apron/ Full body protection suit
Full body protection suit is specifically required for protection against chemical hazards. This is used by those who are engaged in works such as chemical handling, chemical loading/unloading etc.
Apron is not used for the full body protection but only the upper portion of the body.
Hands are exposed to hazards such as hot objects, reactive chemicals, sharp objects, electricity etc. To minimize the chances of any incidents hand gloves are used.
The word used earlier was safety belt which has now been replaced by safety harness. This is used for protection against hazards while working at height. The harness is available in different models and the sizes are adjustable.
Apart from all the protection features that shoes generally exhibit, safety shoes come with an additional safety feature i.e. the steel toe. Steel toe protects the foot against the roll over of a light vehicle or a falling object etc.
For the problems and solutions faced in PPE implementation please refer the link below: - http://expertscolumn.com/content/ppe-personal-protective-equipment-compliance-problems-and-solutions