Personal protective equipment or PPE refers to a set of protective garments, helmets, boots, and other equipment that is used to protect against injuries and hazards. People sometimes have to work in the most hazardous environment. Safety equipment help workers protect themselves against chemicals, biohazards, physical hazards, electrical hazards, and other dangerous environments where safety cannot be compromised.
Protective clothing is not limited to occupational safety and health. It also plays a crucial role in sports and recreational activities. Exposure to hazards can largely be reduced by wearing appropriate equipment when administrative and engineering controls become inefficient to reduce the risk at an acceptable level. However, in some cases, workers cannot rely entirely on personal protective equipment. The purpose of work wear is to maintain a barrier between wearer’s body and the working environment. Inappropriate dressing can impair the ability of a worker to carry out his task freely.
Lack of comfort and disability to perform tasks with ease can demotivate a person to take precautionary measures. This can elevate the risk of being exposed to injury and harsh environment. The solution is the use of excellent ergonomic design which reduces the discomfort and barriers that discourage workers from wearing protective equipment.
Categories of PPE
We can categorize the workwear by the type of clothing, nature of hazards, and the area of body. For instance, when it comes to food safety, boots can be categorized as:
- A steel toe cap and insoles are used to protect feet from puncture injuries
- Impervious rubber and lining to ensure foot protection from harmful chemicals
- Heat resistance and reflectivity is to ensure safety against heat and fire
- Electrical resistivity of boots help workers protect against electrical shocks
The availability of various forms of protective boots makes it easy for workers to select the pair of boots which is made specifically for their job. Some of the common types of PPE are:
- High-visibility clothing
- Chemical protective clothing
- Sports protective garments
- Industrial workwear
- Chainsaw safety garments
There is a long list of working garments used for different physical tasks. Workwear manufacturers keep bringing innovation and technology into their products to extend the scope of protective garments. Some of the common working clothes are coveralls, bib pants, insulated clothing, and parkas. Personal protective equipment is highly recommended and essential for people who have to carry out tough physical tasks in unfriendly environments. In fact, safety equipment is inevitable.