SAFE OPERATIONS MEETING
Personal Protective Equipment
Dressed for Protection
One way to prevent injury at work is to wear proper personal protective gear. Some protective equipment is necessary for specific jobs, while other items are necessary for any work. Employers should know the hazards their workers face on the job, then provide the proper equipment to protect against those hazards. Itís important that workers be trained on how to use and care for the equipment so it will provide maximum protection.
Hard hats should be worn by all workers where there is a danger of flying, falling, and moving objects. Hard hats can mean the difference between life and death. A bolt, rivet or tool dropped through a floor opening can hit a worker below with great force and cause serious injury.
Safety boots with metal toe-caps protect the feet of the worker who handles heavy loads or who works around moving equipment. Rubber boots with hard toes and puncture-proof inner soles protect the feet and legs of those who work with wet concrete. Kneepads protect cement finishers and others who work on their knees for long periods.
Eyes can be damaged from chemical splashes, dust or flying particles. Protect eyes by wearing approved goggles or face shields. A pair of eyes are not for gambling. Wear eye protection when working around chemicals, while cutting material, when using power equipment and when spraying or sanding.
For some jobs, respirators are necessary to prevent noise and throat irritation or to prevent ingesting dangerous chemicals or vapors. The type of respirator to use depends on the nature of the work. Respirators should be worn when there will be a lot of dust, vapors or gases emitted into the air.
Even if the job will only take a few minutes, thatís all it would take for a chemical or fragment to fly into an unprotected eye or a heavy object to fall on an unprotected head or foot. Wearing appropriate personal protective gear will greatly lessen a workerís chance of injury on the job.
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