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5 Types of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Personal protective equipment (PPE) is required in any situation in which the hazard in question cannot be completely removed or controlled in such a way that serious harm is unlikely. Without the appropriate PPE, your workers are left exposed to significant injury or illness, including radiation exposure, chemical burn, electrical shock, and more. Depending on the hazard or workplace conditions, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recommends different protective equipment to manage or eliminate the hazard to the greatest extent possible. This article will review the various types of PPE so that you may understand how to select the appropriate PPE for a variety of common circumstances. If you need further assistance with understanding which OSHA standards regarding PPE apply to activities conducted on your jobsite, consult one of the OSHA lawyers with Cotney Construction Law.

Related: 4 Steps to Properly Using PPE in the Workplace

1. Head Protection

Head protection is required for all employees working in areas where there is potential danger of head injury from impact, electrical shock or burns, or falling or flying objects. Examples of head protection PPE include helmets, hard hats, bump caps, guards, and more. Such protective helmets are designed to absorb the shock of a blow and resist penetration by falling or flying objects.

2. Hearing Protection

Hearing protection is vital for those working in an environment with high-sound levels where it’s not feasible to reduce the level of noise or duration of exposure. Examples of hearing protection include earplugs, noise meters, acoustic foam, and communications sets. Plain cotton is never an acceptable protection device as the equipment should provide an adequate level of protection, hygiene, and comfort to its user.

3. Eye and Face Protection

Eye and face protection is necessary when workers are exposed to eye or face hazards from liquid chemicals, acids, chemical gases, molten metal, light radiation, and flying particles. Examples of eye and face PPE include visors, over specs, eye and face shields, eyewear accessories, safety glasses, and goggles. Common activities that necessitate the use of eye and face protection include welding, working with lasers, heavy cutting, the use of gas under pressure, and the handling of hazardous substances.

Related: Women and PPE: One Size Does Not Fit All

4. Respiratory Protection

Respiratory protection covers a broad range of equipment that should be used when workers may come into contact with large amounts of harmful dusts, fogs, mists, fumes, vapors, powders, or gases. The goal is to protect the health of your employees by preventing atmospheric contamination. This type of equipment may include face masks, detectors, protective hoods, respirators, helmets, and more.

5. Hand Protection

Last but certainly not least, hand protection equipment is necessary to protect your workers against cuts, lacerations, punctures, abrasions, chemical burns, thermal burns, and harmful temperature extremes. Common activities that may require hand protection equipment include working in hot or cold environments, manually handling sharp objects, and working with hazardous chemicals. Hand protection equipment may include leather, canvas, metal, coated fabric, and chemical-resistant gloves. If you have received an OSHA citation for failing to provide the appropriate PPE to your workers, it’s important to contact a Florida OSHA defense lawyer as soon as possible.

If you would like to speak with a Florida OSHA defense lawyer, please contact us today.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.