Workplace safety is always a major concern, especially for industries that involve the handling of hazardous chemicals, heavy machinery, and dangerous animals. After all, the employees who work in these industries will always be at risk of potentially debilitating or even fatal injury every time they clock in. As such, measures must be taken by companies to minimize that risk as much as possible, not only to protect their skilled human labour force but also to keep their operations continuous and profitable.
This is where the safety industry comes in. Thanks to its creation and mass-production of personal protective equipment (PPE), employees in hazardous or dangerous industries can continue to work in reasonable safety. So long as employees are wearing the right safety workwear clothing or protective gear specific to their industry, they can be reliably insulated against the potentially injurious or deadly effects of their workplaces.
With that said, what are the types of PPE that exist and their importance in the safety industry? To help you get acquainted with them and how significant they are in workplace safety, we’ve assembled the top ones in the list below.
This type of PPE refers to protective gear that insulates employees against airborne hazards and threats, as well as enabling them to receive a continuous amount of breathable air to continue their work without issue. Respiratory PPE is important as the ability to breathe freely is a hard requirement of any human employee to continue to perform work, and is compromise will result in a workplace fatality. What’s more, the inhalation of hazardous chemicals or compounds may result in either death or debilitating health conditions in the long term.
Examples of respiratory PPE include gas masks, face masks, oxygen tanks, respirators, and so on.
Eye or Vision PPE
This type of PPE refers to protective gear that shields the wearer’s eyes from being exposed to harmful substances such as solid or liquid matter, as well as excessive amounts of heat or light. Without this type of PPE, an employee’s vision may get compromised to the point of near or total blindness.
Examples of vision PPE include spectacles, goggles, shields, visors, and so on.
Ear or Hearing PPE
This type of PPE protects the human ear from excessive amounts of sound. Constant exposure to loud sounds can cause near or total impairment of hearing. It may also result in minor conditions such as tinnitus, which can easily affect the employee’s quality of life. With this PPE, an employee can continue being productive and be able to receive instruction.
Examples of Ear PPE include earplugs and ear muffs.
This type of PPE protects the human hand from being cut, injured, abraded, or exposed to hazardous substances such as acid or biological contaminants. The hand is, after all, a very important body part involved in manual labour. It being damaged could seriously impact an employee’s ability to work, as well as their quality of life. As such, this type of PPE can be considered very important in the safety industry, as it both preserves employee productivity and quality of life.
Examples of hand PPE include ruggedized gloves, barrier creams, latex gloves, cut-resistant gloves, and so on.
This type of PPE protects the human foot from injury or exposure to hazardous elements. The human foot is just as important as the human hand, as it allows for locomotion and load-bearing work to be done. Specialized PPE that can prevent feet from suffering crush injuries, burns, or corrosion is important in the safety industry. Just like hand PPE, foot PPE is essential for keeping up employee productivity and quality of life.
Examples of foot PPE include steel-toed boots, fire-retardant shoes, and so on.
This type of PPE refers to protective gear that fully encases or protects the human skull, face, and adjacent tissue/structures from trauma or exposure to harmful elements. They may be geared to protect against flying or falling objects that would otherwise crush or split the skull due to the force behind them. This makes head PPE arguably one of the most important in the safety industry.
Examples of head PPE include helmets, hard hats, masks, hoods, and so on.
Fall or Height PPE
This type of PPE refers to protective equipment that prevents employees from falling from great heights that they are required to work from, such as work relating to tall structures and machinery. Without these, employees risk severe injuries by falling from such a height. This type of PPE also helps steady employees and allows them to better perform their work.
Examples of fall PPE include harnesses, fall arrest devices, rope, and so on.
Personal Protective Equipment is the key to workplace safety and productivity
While it will always be lamentable that many of our important industries require working in hazardous conditions or with dangerous elements, it’s also comforting to know that the safety industry is continuously hard at work in developing new PPEs to make these other industries that much safer. If you own a company that involves dangerous work, then ensure that your employees have the necessary above-mentioned types of PPE in their daily equipment. You’ll not only help preserve their productivity, but also their health and quality of life as well.