Safety is an essential part of our lives and we need to safeguard ourselves in every path of life. For certain situations and workspaces, PPE kits are mandatory. But what is PPE?
The protective equipment protects the wearer from physical, electrical, heat, chemicals, biohazards, and airborne particulate matter. They are also worn for sports or other recreational activities. PPE suits look similar to cleanroom suits.
Purpose of PPE
The PPE kits are used in order to reduce employee exposure to hazards when engineering controls or administrative controls are not practical or effective to reduce the risks to acceptable levels. If there is a presence of a hazard, there should be a presence of PPE.
The injuries that can happen in the workplace may affect a number of parts of the body that includes-
- Lungs- from breathing contaminated air
- Head and feet- from falling materials
- Eyes- from flying particles or splash of corrosive chemicals
- Skin- from contact with corrosive materials
- Body- from extremes of heat or cold
The first time PPE was used in World War One in the form of respirators. They allowed the troops to escape the effects of harmful toxins and gas. PPE also dates back to the middle ages where blacksmiths would wear protective aprons and hand gear to protect themselves from being burned or to stop equipment from falling on their heads.
Headgear and hard hats were used by soldiers and were also used by workers and miners and they are still in existence. Eye protectors were used by welders and construction workers and have been used since then. The origin of gloves dates back to the eighth century BC, where Homer’s Odyssey, a well-known poet describes Laertes using gloves to protect his hands from thorns while working in the garden.
Now, protective wear has been extended to clothing, footwear, goggles, and more such garments are all designed to protect an individual from an injury that may occur in industries.
Types of PPE
Respirators help the users to protect themselves from breathing contaminants present in the air. There are two types of respirators, one of them is used to filter out chemicals and gases, or airborne particles from the air breathed by the user. Gas masks and particulate respirators like N95 masks are examples of kinds of this respirator. The second kind of respirator protects users by providing clean and respirable air from another source. During the covid situation, masks have been a must. Hence, certain types of respirators are very much in demand now.
Our skin needs utmost care because it is very sensitive. Hence, we need to protect our skin from occupational skin diseases such as allergies, dermatitis, skin cancers, etc. Skin hazards are generally categorized into four parts- including chemical agents, physical agents, mechanical trauma, and biological agents. Any kind of PPE that acts as a barrier between the skin and the above-mentioned agents of exposure can be considered as skin protection. Most of our work is done with hands, hence protecting them with gloves is very important. Other than that, jackets, boots, coats, and other equipment that protects the skin should also be used in order to protect ourselves from future accidents or injuries. The gloves may consist of rubber gloves, cut-resistant gloves, chainsaw gloves, etc that are used in their respective fields.
Every day people are at risk of injuring their eyes due to some chemical or harmful radiation or excessive heat. These injuries stay with the individual for lifelong and prove to be harmful. Most eye injuries occur when solid particles like silver particles, metal chips, wood chips, or cement chips get into the eye. These tiny particles look tiny but may harm the eyes by giving major injuries. Apart from that, chemical burns, biological agents, and thermal agents from sources such as welding torches and UV lights can also contribute to eye accidents.
Should PPE be reused?
The question of whether a PPE kit can be reused varies for different situations. There are certain places where reusing PPE kits can be dangerous, whereas there are places where one can use it as many times as possible. We will be mentioning it down in points so that you can understand it easily.
Hospitals, laboratories, and other healthcare establishments
The PPE kits used in this section need to be changed almost every day due to the contraction of harmful germs and viruses that may stick on the equipment. Especially during the covid virus situation, doctors and other healthcare workers need to keep this in mind.
Harmful chemicals that may stick on the gloves need to be changed regularly as they may carry harmful radiations that can cause various skin diseases.
Welders do not have to change their PPE kits as long as they are in good working condition. If there is a single hole or tear, it may harm the body in a greater way. Hence, the welders need to make sure that they wear PPE kits of high quality that are long-lasting and strong.
Gardening and other minor work
Small works like gardening, plumbing, electrician work need equipment. But they can be used for as long as the wearer would like to wear them with the only exception that it gets damaged or torn.
The bottom line
When it comes to protective equipment, taking risks by not wearing them would be a careless attitude. Hence, one has to use the equipment effectively and ensure that they are safe not just for themselves but for their entire family. Buying PPE kits from the right place is another thing that should be taken into consideration.
A company that provides the best quality safety products at reasonable prices is RP Com trade that is working in the industry with more than 80 years of experience. They ensure that the customers get full protection with these products and are satisfied. They will provide you with the best quality products that will keep you safe in the toughest and extreme conditions.