A quick PPE checklist to make sure you get the correct PPE in 2016
For the many Health and Safety veterans that Acure work with, this quick checklist for selecting Personal Protective Equipment will no doubt seem like child’s play. However, we have found a good number of small teams and subcontractors looking for solid guidance on simple health and safety issues.
So this guide is a good start and based on Health and Safety Executive approved principles.
Selection and use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
When selecting PPE:
- Choose quality products which are marked according to CSA Standards which are found here CSA Standards for PPE
- Choose equipment that suits your team. Consider the size, fit and weight; you may need to consider the health of the wearer, eg. if equipment is very heavy.
- Get your team involved – let users help choose it. Listening to early feedback and responding positively will mean your team are more likely to use it.
Using and distributing PPE to your team:
- Instruct and train employees in the correct use of PPE, before moving into area of use.
- Let them know why it is needed, when to use it and what any limitations are.
- Never allow exemptions! Not even for those jobs that ‘only take a few minutes’.
- If something changes on the job, check the PPE is still appropriate.
- If you are ever in doubt, seek further advice from a safety specialist.
The hazards and types of PPE
Hazards: Impact from falling or flying objects, risk of head bumping, hair entanglement.
Options: A range of hard hats and bump caps. Look to implement tool tethering as a proactive measure, using tool lanyards to secure tools and equipment.
Note: Some safety helmets incorporate or can be fitted with specially-designed eye or hearing protection. Don’t forget neck protection, eg scarves for use during welding. Do not use head protection if it is damaged – get it replaced.
Hazards: Chemical or metal splash, dust, projectiles, gas and vapour, radiation.
Options: Safety glasses, goggles, face-shields, visors.
Note: Make sure the eye protection has the right combination of impact/dust/ splash/molten metal eye protection for the task and fits the user properly.
Hazards: Dust, vapour, gas, oxygen-deficient atmospheres.
Options: Disposable filtering face-piece or respirator, half or full-face respirators, airfed helmets, breathing apparatus.
Note: The right type of respirator filter must be used as each is effective for only a limited range of substances. Where there is a shortage of oxygen or any danger of losing consciousness due to exposure to high levels of harmful fumes, only use breathing apparatus – never use a filtering cartridge.
Hazards: Temperature extremes, adverse weather, chemical or metal splash, spray from pressure leaks or spray guns, impact or penetration, contaminated dust, excessive wear or entanglement of own clothing.
Options: Conventional or disposable coveralls, flame resistant coveralls, specialist protective clothing, eg. high-visibility clothing.
Note: The choice of materials includes flame-retardant, chemically impermeable, and high-visibility. Don’t forget other protection. If you are working at height and near an open edge, you will need a safety harness and tool tethers for your equipment.
Hazards: abrasion, temperature extremes, cuts and punctures, impact, chemicals, electric shock, skin infection, disease or contamination.
Options: Gloves, gauntlets, mitts, wrist-cuffs, armlets.
Note: Avoid gloves when operating machines such as bench drills where the gloves could get caught. Some materials are quickly penetrated by chemicals so be careful when you are selecting them.
Hazards: Wet, electrostatic build-up, slipping, cuts and punctures, falling objects, metal and chemical splash, abrasion, ice.
Options: Safety boots and shoes with protective toe caps and penetration-resistant mid-sole, knee pads,kneeling mats, ice cleats.
Note: Footwear can have a variety of sole patterns and materials to help prevent slips in different conditions, including oil or chemical-resistant soles. It can also be anti-static, electrically conductive or thermally insulating. It is important that the appropriate footwear is selected for the risks identified. Consider using gel knee pads to reduce pressure on, and damage to, the knee if working at low level, eg. flooring contractor.
Remember that keeping your team comfortable and protected from the elements, not only keeps them safe but increases productivity too. Good quality PPE is a worthwhile investment. Reach out to us today to speak to a safety expert.