Why do I need to use personal protective equipment (PPE) and what are the best ways to use them?
Each year, around 700,000 work days are lost due to injuries caused by the failure to properly or adequately use personal protective equipment (PPE). There are different types of PPE’s available depending on the type of job or the type of hazards. PPE’s offer protection against injury or illness resulting from contact with physical, chemical, radiological, mechanical, and electrical hazards.
The use of PPE’s is the last line of protection and indicates that the hazards cannot be controlled through engineering, design, or administrative controls.
Some causes of PPE failures include:
- Inadequate assessment by the employer – Failure of the employer to properly assess hazards can lead to workplace injuries, ranging from head trauma to chemical exposures.
- Poorly fitted PPE’s – In order for PPE’s to work properly, it should fit properly. It is particularly important when working with hazards such as heat, respiratory irritants, and chemicals.
- Insufficient worker training – Employers often fail to provide detailed training to workers on the proper use of PPE’s.
Come to the 2018 Highway School at Ithaca College to learn about what works best in the afternoon workshop:
The Good, the Bad, & the Ugly of Personal Protective Equipment
Edmund Starowicz, DPW Risk Management Specialist, Public Employer Risk Management Association, Inc.
OSHA Webpage on PPE's