The Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992 makes personal protective equipment (PPE) a legal necessity. As a business owner, it is your responsibility under these requirements to ensure that all employees are equipped with suitable PPE and that it is well maintained.
Every employer should prioritize employee safety because if your staff is on the proper track, the job will be well done. It is just as necessary to protect yourself or your employees from irritable materials and chemicals as it is for a cook to protect themselves from burns and wounds in the kitchen. Every work has its own set of risks, and no two jobs are alike.
There are numerous advantages to investing in personal protective equipment for your workers that should not be overlooked. Remember that your goal is to preserve customer and employee safety while minimizing any threats to your employees’ health.
Examples of Personal Protective Equipment
Gloves, gowns, foot covers, head covers, masks, respirators, protective goggles, face protection, and glasses are some types of personal protective equipment.
1) Gloves: Gloves protect you when you are in direct contact with potentially infectious objects or contaminated surfaces.
2) Gowns: Gowns protect you from potentially infectious particles contaminating garments.
3) Footwear and Headwear: Footwear and head covers protect against potential exposure in a hazardous area.
4) Respirators and masks: Surgical masks protect your nose and mouth from bodily fluids, while respirators filter the air before you breathe it.
5) Additional Face and Safety Glasses: A face shield protects the skin, eyes, nose, and mouth from spatter.
PPE does not contain the following items:
- Regular working outfits or uniforms that are not intended to protect workers’ health or safety.
- Clothing is given for food hygiene reasons.
- Clothes are used for protection while traveling on a public highway (such as a motorcycle or bicycle helmet).
- Equipment for use during competitive sports competitions (though other protective equipment used by sports instructors, such as a life jacket worn by a canoe instructor, would be included).
- An offensive weapon used for self-defense or as deterrent equipment. For example, truncheons are used by police or the military (although helmets, body armor, and other PPE intended to protect workers from physical aggression are covered).
- Portable devices for detecting and indicating dangers and nuisances, such as radioactive badges or personal gas detectors.
Advantages/Benefits of Personal Protective Equipment
- Defense Against Occupational Harms and Hazards
Personal protective equipment can save lives by protecting employees from injury, disease, burns, cuts and bruises, and other industrial disasters caused by dangerous devices and materials.
- Increased Employee Satisfaction and Confidence
Personal protection equipment is not only a necessary component of any workplace health program due to the benefits listed above, but it also improves worker morale and work efficiency.
- Workplace Hazards and Occupational Safety
Imagine being hurt at work only to discover that you’ll have to pay for your own treatment because your employer or the business’s insurance policy deems it negligent.
- Lowering Staff Turnover
Employees who are pleased with their working conditions are more likely to stay than those who are not.
Disadvantages of Personal Protective Equipment
- PPE does not eliminate the chemical’s health or physical dangers.
- PPE can give the impression of security.
- Engineering controls, awareness, and housekeeping are still important safety standards to follow.
- If the occupational task’s danger changes, the PPE may no longer be appropriate.
- PPE might create a new hazard in the workplace.
- PPE might limit comfort and mobility.
- PPE can make breathing, vision, and communication more difficult.
- PPE increases the danger of heat exhaustion and dehydration.
- PPE can cause psychological stress in workers, including claustrophobia and panic attacks.
- PPE must be tailored to your individual demands. Personal protective equipment (PPE) ought not to be shared.
PPE and Covid-19
This covers the following WHO Priority Medical Equipment: surgical masks, non-surgical masks, face shields, gloves, goggles, gowns, and N95 masks.
- It is aimed toward procurement departments, industrial health departments, infection prevention and control departments, and focal points.
- Each type of personal protective equipment listed is a priority medical device under COVID-19.
- The technical specifications specify the product’s minimum requirements for quality, safety, and efficacy.
- Advice on the use of masks in the context of COVID-19 – in the community, during home care, and in health care settings
- COVID-19 advice for the public: when and how to use masks.
- An examination of the personal protective equipment (PPE) required for the clinical management of COVID-19 patients, as well as the Disease commodity package for new coronaviruses.
Personal Protective Equipment, or PPE, aids in the prevention of workplace accidents caused by inhalation, absorption, irritants, or other prolonged contact with a chemical. This, in turn, decreases accidents, improves employee health, and creates a safer, more secure work environment.