Personal protective equipment (PPE) allows workers in many fields to do their jobs safely. But there are several things you should consider when choosing PPE items such as facemasks, body gowns and gloves.
First, there are laws and regulations regarding the types of PPE required for certain occupations or trades. Failure to comply will result in fines or grounds for closure of the business. Secondly, there are a large number of PPE options, so choosing exactly what to get can be confusing. For example, do you need latex, neoprene or nitrile rubber gloves? Aprons, gowns or coveralls? Here we explain what you need to know and do before buying PPE.
Get to Know OSHA’s PPE Rules
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has developed regulations for PPE, offering guidance on the type of equipment required for certain occupations and workplaces. Some medical waste providers like US Bio-Clean provide consultancy services to help businesses understand their PPE needs.
Complete a Hazard Assessment
Different occupations require different types of PPE, and a workplace/job hazard assessment can help you understand your unique needs. During this evaluation, you will detail every source of potential hazards in the work area. The result of the assessment will serve as your guide when choosing PPE.
Look for Quality and Simplicity
PPE is not something to skimp on. If the equipment isn’t sturdy enough, it can cause contamination or serious illnesses. Plus, employees have the right to access proper PPE, and employers will face liabilities if they do not provide it.
When choosing PPE, keep in mind that it must provide adequate protection under everyday conditions, and it should be easy to use. Features like strapless aprons and extended-length gloves that cover the wrists offer extra safety and ensure that PPE doesn’t get in the way. If employees find that PPE is simple to wear, there will be fewer compliance issues, creating a safer workplace.
Train Your Employees
After you purchase the right PPE for your workplace, you need to make sure it’s going to be used correctly. Educate employees through customized training sessions. You can also post instructions in conspicuous spots around the office, and provide manuals to staff. This will help ensure workers stay safe and your company remains compliant.