OSHA Approved Personal Protection Equipment (PPE)
Personal protective equipment, commonly referred to as "PPE", is equipment worn to protect the user against health or safety risks at the workplace. They minimize exposure to hazards that cause serious workplace injuries and illnesses as a result of contact with chemical, mechanical, radiological, electrical, physical, or other workplace hazards.
PPE are sometimes the only barricade between employees and workplace hazards that can hurt, mutilate, or kill. PPE that is not well maintained is likely to become worn or damaged. And if it is not in good condition, it cannot properly protect employees from dangers.
General requirements under hand protection 1910.138(a) require employers to select and require employees to use appropriate gloves when their hands are exposed to hazards. Workers should be trained to always keep gloves clean and dry. They should check for holes, cracks, and other damage before each use. Employers should provide a backup pair of gloves for when they are get damaged or worn out.
OSHA construction standard Subpart G, 29 CFR 1926.201, states that reflective safety vests should be either red or orange warning garment while flagging. Safety vests worn at night shall be made of reflective material. The OSHA standard however does not stipulate that the clothing must be a vest, the type of reflective strip or fasteners that should be used.
Employees working in areas where they are likely to encounter head hazard from flying or falling debris, burns or even electrical shock should wear protective helmets 29 CFR 1926.100 at all times. Hard hats are classified into Class G (General) hard hats rated for 2,200 volts; Class E (Electrical) hard hats rated for 20,000 volts and Class C (Conductive) hard hats that do not offer electrical protection.
Helmets should be cleaned regularly with warm water and soap, and allow to air dry. They should be stored in a safe place, like a locker, and away from the sun and extreme temperatures. A hard hat should be replaced when it is cracked, dented, or has taken a heavy blow.
OSHA's eye and face protection standard, 29 CFR 1910.133, requires the use of eye and face protection when workers are exposed to, or face hazards such as molten metal, flying objects, liquid chemicals, caustic liquids or acids, potentially injurious light radiation or chemical gases or vapours. Safety and maintenance includes regular cleaning with mild soap and water. Lenses should be washed with water before wiping to prevent scratching and stored a clean, dust-proof place. Immediately replace any kind of eye protection if lenses are scratched or pitted and impair vision. Also replace safety glasses if frames are bent, and replace goggles if headbands are worn, loose, twisted or knotted.
OSHA's respirator standard, 29 CFR 1910.134, requires the use of respirators to safeguard employees against breathing polluted or air without oxygen. Respirators should be cleaned and disinfected regularly according to manufacturer's instructions. Always check for holes, cracks, or any other form of deterioration that could interfere with their effectiveness. Respirators should be stored in a clean, safe location, against dust, heat, chemicals, cold and moisture.
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