PPE stands for Personal Protective Equipment used to protect individuals against one or more health or safety hazards in a workplace, home, or in public setting. PPE equipment is imperative for first responders, health care professionals, and those assisting in the public health industry to protect them from the illnesses, diseases, or hazards they are trying to fix. PPE can be used to describe gear protecting workers on construction sites, road work, utility work, and any other industries requiring their staff to wear protective clothing due to inherent hazards on the job.
What is PPE?
PPE examples include gloves, masks, gowns, helmets, aprons, shoes, goggles, respiratory devices, and any kind of clothing or equipment you wear in your place of work. Some examples include face masks for surgeons, helmets for construction workers, gloves for dentists, goggles for lab technicians, or ear protection for mill workers. These are just some of the many types of PPE these professionals need to wear in order to safely avoid the hazards inherent to their workplace.
Why is PPE important?
PPE is one of the most important tools for health care professionals, first responders, police, construction, dental, electric line employees, road workers, and anyone using or needing protection while working on the job. It ensures you can work safely in potentially hazardous or +harmful areas of employment.
The Safety, Health and Welfare act of 2005 states that “an employer has exercised all due care by putting in place the necessary protective and preventative measures, having identified the hazards and assessed the risk and health… at a place of work.” An employer cannot pass on any financial duties, related to safety, to employees and must identify these hazards and provide the appropriate protective equipment needed to do that job.
This is good news for anyone in the workplace! This act protects you from hazards at work and having the appropriate equipment, training, and revision courses to safely do your job. This applies to every job within the United States.
What to do if PPE is damaged?
If the PPE is ever damaged during or after work hours, it is important to inform your employer that the equipment is defective and needs to be replaced. The employer should have replacement PPE or provide resources to get protective PPE for you.
PPE and COVID-19
With the recent pandemic sweeping our globe, it has been recommended by nearly every government to wear PPE in public. The main type of PPE recommended is face masks. Any face covering is better than no face covering and can help reduce the spread and risk of getting COVID-19. Please wear a face mask in public even though you might not be showing symptoms. It could save someone’s life and slow the curve of active COVID-19 infections.
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