Safety is a major concern to laborers, regardless of their skill. Every year, we have more accidents than we’d like to admit attributed to the absence of personal protective equipment. The purpose of personal protective equipment is simple – to protect the worker from hazards and injuries on the worksite. These hazards include anything from falling debris to wet floors. The most commonly used personal protective items include safety gloves, safety harness, safety footwear, eye protection, respiratory protective equipment, and helmets.
Skin & Hand Protection
The most commonly used piece of personal protection equipment are work gloves. Each year, there are over 100.000 work-related hand injuries reported. Moreover, occupational skin diseases like skin cancer, contact dermatitis and various other infections and injuries are a common occurrence and treating them can be very costly. For this reason, work gloves are considered essential and valuable in almost any industry that exposes your hands to hazards, such as chemicals, sheet metal, glass, hot materials, electricity or slippery objects.
Hard head protection is a must on construction sites and it is probably the most commonly used piece of protective equipment. They’re designed to protect workers from falling or flying objects that can penetrate or impact their head. Some hard hats come with accessories like earmuffs and face shields. When looking for hard hats, make sure they’re well-fitted, as those that are too small or too large are inappropriate for use and do not provide optimum protection.
Noise in industrial settings is oftentimes discounted as an occupational hazard because it’s invisible to the eye. However, millions of workers in Australia are exposed to potentially harmful noise levels on a daily basis. It’s estimated that the majority of those workers are in the manufacturing sector. The recommended noise levels are 85 dBa, so earmuffs and earplugs are a highly recommended piece of personal protection equipment and their importance shouldn’t be undermined.
Face & Eye Protection
Face and eye protection is equally as important as head and hearing protection. Full-face shields, spectacles and safety goggles can give you the much needed face and eye protection, which is essential in metal work, hot-work, air-tool and woodwork operations. General laborers can also benefit greatly from safety goggles since they’re typically exposed to debris on construction sites.
This type of protection is crucial on worksites where there are toxic substances. Respirators are specially designed to protect you from pesticides, dust, paint spray, fumes, dangerous chemicals and other substances that can impair you permanently. Simply put, respiratory protection is an absolute must-have in worksites with air contaminants.