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How To Choose The Best Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

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OSHA’s PPE standard (Personal Protective Equipment Standard: 29 CFR 1910.132 for general industry) has been in place for longer than ten years and remains the primary regulation that governs your PPE program. The PPE standard cover addresses four major requirements: Assessment, selection, training as well as verification. Each and every activity demands a different set of skills. As a line manager, you should designate leaders whose abilities are tailored to the requirements of each of these activities. Here are some tips to determine the equipment you and your company will need!

Conduct an Assessment: Understanding the Environment

Hazard assessment is the most important step when choosing the best Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). You need to be both open minded as well as realistic when assessing the environment; you need to understand the significance of each and every hazard faced in your work environment. The hazard assessment should start with a work through survey your facility to develop a list of potential hazards in the following basic categories:

1.)   Impact Compression (roll-over)
2.)   Penetration
3.)   Chemical
4.)   Harmful dust
5.)   Heat/cold
6.)   Light (optional)
7.)   Radiation
8.)   Biologic

It is also essential to review the basic layout of your facility and review any historic occupational illness or injuries and concentrate in the following areas:

1.)   Sources of electricity
2.)   Sources of acute temperatures that can cause burns, eye injuries or fire
3.)   Sources of motion such as processes and machine movements that can lead to impact
4.)   Sources of harmful dust
5.)   The potential of falling or dropping objects
6.)   Sharp objects that could poke, stab, cut or puncture
7.)   Biological hazard like blood or any other potentially infected material.

When the work through is done, you must organize and analyze the information so that it may be properly used in determining the proper Personal Protection Equipment at the site. You must understand the different types of PPE and the levels of protections that are available. When choosing a PPE, select one that provides a level of protection than the minimum required to protect yourself and employees from these hazards.

Selection: Match PPE to the Hazards

Before choosing you PPE, you must first determine whether the PPE is the proper and only solution. As OSHA indicates in the compliance guidance to this regulation that, you shall not rely on the PPE device alone to help with the protection against these hazards, But PPE must be used together with other guards, engineering controls as well as sound manufacturing practices.

These PPEs are available in different sizes and care must be taken to select the right size for each worker. It is required that many categories of PPE meet the standards developed by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). When selecting your PPE, You must:

1.)   Choose products which are CE marked in accordance with the Personal Protective Equipment Regulations 2002- Suppliers can help you
2.)   Select Equipment that suits the user- take into consideration the size, weight and fit. Ask your workers to help you choose that fits the properly
3.)   If there is more than one product to be worn at the same time, ensure that they can be used together, for instance wearing safety glasses may inconvenience the seal of a respirator, therefore, resulting in air leaks.

Training: Proper Wear, Care, and Disposal

Your worker must receive proper training on how to don, doff, adjust as well as wear the PPE. It is always an ideal stage to confirm the sizing because relying on the sizing charts may not be enough. How well the equipment can impact the type of the job. You must ensure that your workers wear the PPE and simulate the working environment and activities to ensure the fit. Where size is a matter, too big may lead to tripping any may present movement hazard like snags, tears or rips.

Maintaining your PPE

PPE should be properly looked after as well as stored in a dry, clean cupboard. If it can be reused, it should be cleaned and kept in good condition. Make sure that you keep the replacement parts available and the individual responsible for maintenance understands how it is done. Always utilize the proper replacement parts which match the original for instance, respirator filters.

To obtain proper training on how to choose and maintain the Best PPE equipment, NTT Training provides training and seminars for you. It has earned accreditation from the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education & Training (ACCET) and is capable of imparting the required knowledge in industrial safety management.

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