The Different Types of PPE
PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) has been around for decades in the working environment, but it is only relatively speaking – since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, it has become a household word or phrase.
Those dreaded masks that many people hated having to wear, and the introduction of antibacterial gel at every store and supermarket entrance, were effective weapons in the fight against the spread of the virus. But they are only two of the tools in the PPE “cupboard” that can be used to keep people safe in their everyday working (and home) lives. There are many other items of PPE, too, which can also be called into play, the most common of these are:
Hands need protection in the working environment too. People are already used to donning rubber gloves in the home to protect their hands when washing up and doing other chores. But in some industries, protective gloves must be made from other materials to offer the best protection.
You can get:
- Latex gloves standard
- Vinyl gloves
- Cut-resistant gloves knitted from advanced hi-tech fibres for maximum protection
- Mixed fibre gloves – important items of PPE for anyone handling delicate items
- Needle-resistant gloves – necessary for anyone in cleaning, health management, law enforcement and waste management
Whether it’s chemical resistance, heat and fire resistance, or detergent resistance, there are types of safety gloves for almost everything, including things like beekeeping and using chain saws.
Protective Glasses and Goggles
You are probably already aware of the dark goggles that welders wear to protect their eyes from glare and sparks. But you can also get eye safety ware to guard against anything from UV rays to gaseous or acidic emissions.
Safety glasses and PPE goggles are mandatory for all workers operating in particularly hazardous conditions where potential eye injury by projectile objects or liquids is a risk.
Covid-19 highlighted the use of material or surgical facemasks, but there are different types of facemasks for different jobs. From full breathing apparatus when dealing with noxious gases to lightweight paper masks for less invasive tasks. It’s important to understand the different types and ensure you are using the correct type to fit the task at hand.
Once upon a time, safety footwear was limited to big, ugly-looking steel-capped boots. They did the job of protecting delicate feet and toes from heavy objects being dropped on them. Now, they are no longer just big boots but come as stylish-looking shoes and trainer-type footwear too.
Everyone is aware of hard hats that constructions workers wear on building sites. These are to protect from falling objects and must be worn when in areas or situations where falling objects or debris are a risk.
These can range from full cover, zip-up boiler suits in a range of materials to simple plastic aprons with the main aim to stop dirt, debris, liquids etc going onto clothing and to protect your skin from harmful chemicals. There are even flame retardant types to protect when working in hot or flammable environments.
Why PPE is so important
Here at TSS (Total Support Services), our employees are our most valuable resource, and we make sure we look after them by training them in the awareness use and care of PPE as they go about their cleaning tasks.
Whether it is an office, a supermarket, a school, a museum, a warehouse or any other environment, there are always potential dangers. We take special care to ensure all our workers are properly equipped with appropriate PPE and know how to look after it.
Faulty, (torn), or poor-fitting PPE may offer little or no protection at all, so always check it before you wear it – whatever you’re doing. It can save you from minor or life-changing injuries.