If you’ve been watching the news as of late, you’ve probably seen or heard a lot about personal protection equipment in relation to the Coronavirus outbreak. Below is a brief overview of the different types of PPE. You can find all of these items on our website by clicking here for protective suits and respirators, and here for all protective equipment related to eyes, ears, hands and head protection.
All types of gear for multiple industrial and manufacturing fields fall under the umbrella of personal protection equipment (PPE). Equipment for the military and law enforcement to standard safety gear are all used for personal protection in various instances. In construction, warehouse, and industrial environment, personal protection equipment generally refers to typical safety gear to protect the torso, head, face, eyes, and ears from impacts, electrical hazards, heat, chemicals, or infection.
Personal protection equipment for the head often comes in the form of a hard hat or helmet. Most are made from high-density polyethylene and have a suspension inside. Helmets need to be worn in spaces in which falling objects – from small debris to packages and rocks – could cause injury. Because of the disparity of potential threats, some work areas only need basic protection from a bump cap, while others require a higher-quality hard hat.
Eye protection is required in areas with debris, as well. As even small particles could cause an injury or blindness, safety goggles or glasses keep them out. Nearly all industrial, construction, and laboratory workspaces require safety glasses or goggles to protect workers’ eyes from particles or chemical splashes.
Loud noises are also a regular feature for various industrial and construction sites, and proper ear protection is required. This personal protection equipment, however, shouldn’t block out all sounds. Ear plugs or muffs should offer enough protection to allow a worker to hear coworkers in case of emergencies, but should muffle most distracting background sounds.
Other worksites or jobs may require specific personal protection equipment. Jobs involving working at heights always require a harness and lanyard as fall protection, while hazardous materials personal protection equipment is needed for decontamination procedures and spill cleanup. Equipment for these instances, such as Level 1 or 2 decontamination suits, are worn by workers handling and cleaning up chemicals or oil. Afterwards, the workers will go through a decontamination procedure to remove the chemical, hazardous, or oily substance and the suits will be disposed.