Personal Protective Equipment

What is considered personal protective equipment? While common to all trades, PPE varies according to individual, job, and site conditions. Legal requirements for PPE also vary and the appropriate sections […]

What is considered personal protective equipment?

While common to all trades, PPE varies according to individual, job, and site conditions. Legal requirements for PPE also vary and the appropriate sections of the Occupational Health and Safety Act or the Regulations for Construction Projects (O. Reg. 213/91) should be consulted. Federally regulated firms should refer to the Canada Labour Code, Part II for legal requirements of PPE.

In any work environment, you may face a number of different types of hazards. One of the ways we can protect ourselves from sustaining preventable injuries in the workplace is by properly making use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

There are many types of PPE for different situations and it is imperative that you understand how to select the proper piece of gear required. It is also necessary to understand how to properly wear each piece of equipment in order to get maximum effectiveness, as well as how to inspect and maintain your gear.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) includes all clothing and work accessories designed to protect employees from workplace hazards. Protective equipment should not replace engineering, administrative, or procedural controls for safety. It should be used in conjunction with these controls. Employees must wear protective equipment as required and when instructed by a supervisor.

Personal protective equipment must be selected to protect against any hazard that is likely to occur or has a serious injury impact if it does occur. It is important that employees become familiar with the potential hazards, the type of protective equipment that is available, and the level of protection that is provided by that equipment, i.e., splash protection, impact protection, etc.

Why personal protective equipment is important?

Safety is a major issue for day laborers and skilled laborers. Each year, accidents happen frequently in the construction industry and often times it is due to the absence of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) or failure to wear the provided PPE. PPE is equipment that will protect workers against health or safety risks on the job. The purpose is to reduce employee exposure to hazards when engineering and administrative controls are not feasible or effective to reduce these risks to acceptable levels. These hazard risks can be anything from wet floors to falling debris and everything in between. PPE includes items such as protective helmets, eye protection, high-visibility clothing, safety footwear, safety harnesses and, sometimes, respiratory protective equipment. Let’s explore some PPE commonly used on construction sites and their benefits:

Head Protection

Hard hats are common on construction sites. Just passing by a site, you can usually identify workers by their hard hats. They are designed to protect against flying or falling objects that would otherwise impact or penetrate the worker. Some hard hats are equipped with accessories such as face shields and earmuffs. Hard hats should be well-fitted; those that are too large or too small are inappropriate for use.

Eye and Face Protection

Eye and face protection are equally as important as head protection. Safety goggles, spectacles and full-face shields can give you the protection needed for the eyes and face. Metalwork, woodwork, hot-work and air-tool operations all require this type of protection. General laborers can also benefit from safety goggles since there is usually debris on construction sites.

Respiratory protection

Respiratory protection is vital on sites where toxic substances are present. Sometimes what you can’t see can hurt you. Respiratory protections like respirators are designed to protect you from dust, fumes, paint spray, pesticides and other dangerous substances that could cause permanent impairment. Respiratory protection should be used in environments with air contaminants. In work environments, respirators are relied upon when adequate ventilation is unavailable or other engineering control systems are not feasible or inadequate.

Hand & Skin protection

Construction jobs typically require the use of hands. Each year, around 150,000 hand injuries are reported. Occupational skin diseases such as contact dermatitis, skin cancers, and other skin injuries and infections are the second most common type of occupational disease and can be very costly. Because a lot of work is done with the hands, gloves are an essential item in providing skin protection. Some examples of gloves commonly used as PPE include rubber gloves, cut-resistant gloves, chainsaw gloves and heat-resistant gloves. Using gloves helps to avoid hazards usually involved when working with chemicals, glass, sheet metal, electricity, hot materials or slippery objects.

Hearing protection

Industrial noise is often discounted as an occupational hazard since it isn’t visible to the eye. Earplugs and earmuffs are common hearing protection tools. It is important to note that earmuffs are more effective in reducing high-frequency noise while earplugs are more effective for reducing low-frequency noise.

Using PPE, and wearing it properly, is vital to avoid unnecessary injury in the workplace. Choosing not to wear PPE can be dangerous especially when it could save your life. Results Staffing always provides workers with necessary PPE unless otherwise noted. Safety is important and having an understanding of these various protection devices can help to prevent hazardous injury.

Who needs to use PPE?

All employees who are required to use personal protective equipment in order to safely perform work-related tasks must undergo proper training. As such, this course is geared towards current employees and can be purchased in bulk by businesses looking for an affordable solution to comply with the latest safety regulations.

Employees in the following industries are most likely to work with personal protective equipment on a daily basis:

  • Energy & Electricity,
  • Oil & Gas,
  • Seismic,
  • Logging & Forestry,
  • Mining,
  • Construction,
  • Pharmaceuticals & Healthcare,
  • Automotive & Manufacturing,
  • Waste Management.

eSafetyFirst Personal Protective Equipment program has been developed in accordance with provincial legislation as safety training for workplaces across Canada. This course consists of 2 modules and tests. Once you pass all the tests, you may print your certificate of completion (wallet & wall-sized). Training may be paused or resumed at any time, is fully narrated, and includes interactive exercises to ensure understanding of course content.