How PPE protects against construction injuries
Working in construction can be noisy, exhausting and hazardous. You are subject to potential dangers, such as loss of hearing or eyesight, falls, burns and other injuries.
Thankfully, using personal protective equipment (PPE) can help reduce the risk of injury in the construction site.
How does PPE keep you safe in the construction site? We will discuss five recommendations from the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) in this post.
1. Protecting your head
Wearing a hard hat is a good way to protect your head from impact or electrical shock. Hard hats come in different classifications, ranging from A to C, that provide different levels of protection that correspond with worksite hazards.
Class A and B hard hats defend against electrical hazards, with the latter having the highest level of protection. Hard hats should be regularly inspected for cracks or dents and should always be replaced after an impact or shock.
2. Protecting your eyes
In general, wearing safety glasses or goggles are good defenders against impact injuries and floating dust particles. Depending on the workplace or task, welding or face shields should be worn when welding, grinding and the like.
3. Protecting your hearing
You can protect your ears by wearing earplugs or earmuffs. There are one-time use earplugs, or, if you prefer, you can have them customized to be reusable. Be sure to clean them after each use if you reuse them.
4. Protecting your hands
To protect against burns or lacerations, wearing proper gloves is important. Depending on the type of material or equipment being handled, the type of gloves worn can vary.
These include leather gloves, fabric gloves and synthetic gloves. There are also gloves which protect against specific chemicals if you are handling dangerous materials.
5. Protecting your legs and feet
Construction sites often include heavy equipment or materials, which is why it is important to wear proper feet protection. Utilizing safety shoes, toe guards or metatarsal guards can protect your feet from being crushed by a rolling or falling object. There are also shoes that protect against electricity.
Long pants, such as jeans, should always be worn on site to protect against burns or lacerations. Additional protection can be prevented through the use of leggings, which cover below the knee and can be easily attached and removed.
In many jobs, it is important to wear PPE when at work. Employers are responsible for determining the type of PPE needed to keep employees safe. This includes providing the correct size and type of protective equipment.
Keep in mind that all PPE should fit comfortably. If a piece of equipment does not fit or if it is damaged, inform your employer so that you can obtain the correct fit. Having the correct size and proper equipment will help you prevent injuries that would inhibit your ability to work.