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Emphasizes the importance of using personal protection when required. Addresses hard hats, gloves, eye protection, hearing protection, and other aspects of protective equipment.Excerpt
: Hazards in the workplace are a fact of life. No matter whatyou do there's the need for personal protective equipment on many of the jobsyou perform. Health hazards. Eye hazards. Noise, and chemicals. Whether or notyou use personal protective equipment is really up to you. If you choose not toyour attitude may be the biggest hazard of all. Personal protective equipmentis one of the best ways to protect your own health and safety. You've seen itall before. Eye protection that's uncomfortable. Equipment that gets in yourway, and thousands of other excuses for not wearing protection when it'srequired. When personal protective equipment is provided by your employer, andit's use is required, it's your job to wear it. Maybe your equipment isn'tcomfortable or convenient as you'd like it to be, but you should convinceyourself that your health and well being are worth the effort. Stop for aminute and consider the risks. What if you lost an eye, or hand, or becomeexposed to a life-threatening illness. Is it really worth the gamble? Of coursenot.
Let's take a good look at some basics of personal protectiveequipment. Ear plugs or ear muffs can go a long way to avoid hearing loss.Adjust your muffs so they are comfortable and don't squeeze your ears.Disposable earplugs must be clean and fitted properly. Never insert dirty earplugs or use dirty hands when putting the plugs in your ears. Of course, earplugs connected to portable radios are not considered hearing protection.Safety glasses provide eye protection from flying chips, debris, and other eyehazards. Goggles protect your eyes from chemical splashes, and face shields area safeguard when worn over other protective eye wear such as safety glasses.Handy dandy straps connected to safety glasses keep them from falling off yournose, or connected around your neck when safety glasses are not necessary.Gloves protect your hands from chemicals, and offer a wide range of skinprotection. Keep in mind there are literally hundreds of different types ofgloves, each designed for a specific purpose, so select the proper glove forthe job. Respirators can protect you from a wide variety of dusts, fumes,gases, vapors, and many other health hazards. One of the most misusedrespirators in the industry is the dust mask. It is designed only for certaintypes of dust, but many people believe it's good for any type of hazard. A dustmask cannot be used for spray-painting or other types of vapors. Each specifichazard must have the proper respirator that provides protection for thathazard. Proper fitting of respiratory equipment, and the wearing of equipmentas it was intended is equally important. The old stand by. Hard hats protectyour head from low hanging or falling objects. Wear hard hats as they wereintended to be worn, and never make modifications to your hat, such as drillingair holes in the sides. Each hat is engineered for impacts and if you modifythe hat you could damage the hat to such a degree wear the hat will not affordthe designed protection. Bump caps are made of lesser quality plastic and arenot engineered for falling objects or impacts. Bump caps are used in areaswhere they are areas where there are bump hazards and not falling objects. Manyfood processing facilities use bump caps solely for the purpose of containinghair, and not for protection of impacts of falling objects. Boots and shoes aregood personal protective equipment. Even if your job doesn't require steel-toedsafety shoes, leathertop shoes can provide a degree of protection from chemicalsplashes, petroleum products, and small cuts, bruises, and abrasions. Yourshoes should be in good condition, and the soles of your shoes should beslip-resistent. Keep your foot wear in good condition, and always clean offyour shoes before climbing ladders or getting into vehicles. Grease or slipperyshoes can create accidents. Chemical clothing and encapsulating suits are usedwhen there are vapor, gas, or other airborne hazards. When you are engaged inthis type of work more training is necessary to make sure you understand whatprotection is offered and how to specifically use, store, and handle theequipment. When we talk about personal protective equipment the basic equipmentjust described comes to mind. But in a work environment you must consider manyother safety devices that can be lumped together with personal protectiveequipment. Machine guarding isn't just for one individual, but it could beconsidered personal protective equipment. Electrical safety devices, lock andtag out procedures, barriers, warning signs, labels, and hundreds of othersafety devices should be considered.