At every workplace, a common buzz clamours through the hallowed corridors: Why do we use PPE?
According to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) website on 25th June 2015, PPE are those equipments that are designed to protect the user or wearer against any health or safety risks at work. PPE includes items like safety helmets, gloves, eye protection, high-visibility clothing, safety footwear and safety harnesses, as well as respiratory protective equipments.
Today, Organizations are increasing their awareness on the use of PPE. However, still it is common to ignore the maintenance of PPE. Proper care and maintenance of PPE is another issue worth training-one that can easily fall through the cracks, if not taken into consideration. So, to prevent that, here is a set of Guidelines for PPE, to keep in mind:
For care of Helmets
Employees who use head protection should be trained to:
- Keep their helmets clean with warm water and soap, on a regular basis
- Store head protection away from extreme temperatures, and in a safe place
- Check the headband to ensure that it fits comfortably on the head
- Replace a helmet if it is cracked, dented or showing a weathered stage
For safety eye-wear maintenance
Make sure workers take good care of their eye protection:
- Clean safety eye-wear with mild soap and water
- Wash lenses with water before wiping to prevent scratching
- Store eye protection preferably in a clean dust-proof case or in a safe place such as the top shelf of a locker where it will not get scratched or otherwise damaged
- Replace any kind of eye protection if lenses are scratched or pitted and impair vision
For maintenance of gloves
Instruct workers to:
- Keep gloves clean and dry.
- Ensure whether particular gloves are reusable or not and, if reusable, how long they can safely be worn before they should be replaced.
- Check for holes, cracks, and other damage before each use.
- Replace worn or damaged gloves right away
For footwear care
To get the best out of work shoes, employees should:
- Wipe wet/ soiled shoes with a clean cloth/ paper towel
- Air out shoes after work, and check regularly for signs of fungus and mould
- Have worn or damaged shoes replaced , with constant checkups on the condition
- Change socks during lunch break to keep feet and shoes dry
Maintaining PPE is not as difficult as it sounds and with awareness, workers can maximize the benefits of safety equipment and keep themselves protected, in the long run.