Yesterday we talked about the benefits of using head protection, eye and face protection and respiratory protection. Now it’s time we go into the importance of hand protection, safe footwear and hearing protection. These three other PPE’s are just as important as the first three. It pays to know the right ways to use them as well as considerations in choosing their kind.
Here are these three other PPE types:
4. HAND PROTECTION
Did you know that every year, in the world of manufacturing, construction and service industry, about 150,000 injuries to the hands and fingers are reported? No wonder this is the case with virtually all jobs in these industries requiring the use of hands. But this fact does not justify such a large number of hand and finger injuries.
With the use of gloves, hazards are more manageable in tasks that involve working with chemicals, glass, sheet metal, electricity, hot materials and slippery objects. Of course gloves are specially designed according to the type of work you need to perform. Some may be made of leather or rubber, while others may be electrically insulated or nitrile coated.
Keep in mind that the risk of accidents are higher if you wear gloves while operating power tools or machinery that present the risk of entanglement. This has been the case of many incidents before that led to the loss of hands or fingers.
5. SAFE FOOTWEAR
Any kind of construction or manufacturing work calls for the need for proper footwear. Without it, slips, trips and falls are likely to occur. Worse, employees are more prone to ankle, impact and puncture injuries. Most specially designed boots, shoes, foot guards and leggings serve as your protection against chemicals, hot substances and slippery floors.
Whatever footwear you use, remember that it should fit properly and comfortably. Make sure also to keep your laces securely tied.
6. HEARING PROTECTION
Hearing protection is perhaps the PPE type most taken for granted.
Here is an excerpt from our collection of safety meetings:
Noise-induced hearing loss is the term for hearing damaged by excessive noise. People differ in their sensitivity to noise, however, and there’s no way to determine who is most at risk. Factors such as sound pressure (decibel level), frequency (hertz), and exposure time all play a role in determining whether noise is harmful or just annoying. However, you should consider your hearing at risk if noise affects you in one of the following ways:
- Have to shout above noise to make yourself heard
- Have ringing in the ears for several hours after exposure to noise
- Have difficulty hearing normal sounds for several hours after exposure to noise
The best way to control noise in the workplace is making use of engineering controls. If this is not feasible, though, employers must provide their workers with proper hearing protectors. These come in the form of earplugs or earmuffs.
It’s important to note that earmuffs are more effective in reducing high-frequency noise, while earplugs are for reducing low-frequency noise. Both of these hearing protectors are used to control noise and not to eliminate it. That’s why they’re only effective if you wear them the whole time you’re exposed to hazardous noise.
This ends our two-part series on PPE. Remember to be always safe in your workplace by wearing the proper kind of PPE. Make sure also to maintain it well by referring to the safety program or training manual that comes with your PPE.
It won’t hurt to speak your mind so feel free to share with us your own tips about PPE or whatever thoughts you have related to safety.
- PPE and How It Can Save Your Life – Part 1
- Remember Your Safety Gear
- How Workplace Safety Applies to Every Business
- Disregarding Safety Will Cost You Twice (and so much more)