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OFF-SITE CONSTRUCTION - - WORKPLACE COMMUNICATIONS - -. - - PPE - - (Personal Protective Equipment). What is personal protective equipment (PPE) and what are some of the types? .

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off site construction workplace communications


- - PPE - -

(Personal Protective Equipment)

what is personal protective equipment ppe and what are some of the types
What is personal protective equipment (PPE) and what are some of the types?

PPE is defined as all equipment, including clothing, which is intended to be worn or held by a person at work and which protects him against one or more risks to his health and safety. Some of the types of PPE which are used throughout the workplace include:

  • Hearing protection
  • Head protection
  • Eye protection
  • Foot protection
  • Hand &arm protection
  • Body protection
  • Respitory protection
hearing protection
Hearing Protection
  • Earmuffs/defenders, which completely cover the ear
  • Earplugs, which are inserted into the ear canal
  • Semi-inserts (also called canal-caps), which cover the entrance to the ear canal
head protection
Head Protection
  • Industrial safety helmets (hard hats), which are designed to protect against materials falling from height and swinging objects
  • Industrial scalp protectors (bump caps), which are designed to protect from knocking against stationary objects
  • Caps/hair nets, which protect against entanglement

Hazards- Impact from falling or flying objects, risk of head bumping, hair entanglement

eye protection
Eye Protection
  • Safety spectacles. These are similar to regular glasses but have a tougher lens. They can include side shields for additional protection
  • Eye shields. A frame-less one piece moulded lens, often worn over normal prescription glasses
  • Safety goggles. These are made with flexible plastic frames and an elastic headband
  • Face shields. Heavier and bulkier than other type of eye protector. Face shields protect the face, but do not fully enclose the eyes so do not protect against dusts, mists or gases

Hazards- chemical or metal splash, dust, projectiles, gas and vapor.

foot protection
Foot Protection
  • Safety boots or shoes. Normally with steel toe-caps. Can also have other safety features (e.g. steel mid-soles, slip resistant soles, insulation against heat and cold)
  • Wellington boots, which can be supplied with steel toe-caps
  • Anti-static and conductive footwear. Designed to protect against the build up of static electricity.

Hazards- Wet, electrostatic build up, slipping, falling objects

hand arm protection
Hand & Arm Protection
  • Gloves and gauntlets (leather, nitrile, latex, plastic coated, chain mail etc.)
  • Wrist cuffs and armlets, e.g. used in glass cutting and handling
  • Barrier cream may sometime be used, where gloves cannot practicably be used

Hazards- Abrasions, temperature extremes, cuts and punctures, impact, chemicals, electric shock, skin infection, disease or contamination.

body protection
Body Protection
  • Overalls, aprons and coveralls. Protection against hazardous substances
  • Clothing for cold, heat & bad weather
  • Clothing to protect against machinery, e.g. chainsaws
  • High visibility clothing (e.g. jackets, vests)
  • Harnesses
  • Back supports

Hazards- Chemical or metal splash, spray from pressure leaks or spray guns, impact or penetration, contaminated dust, excessive wear or entanglement of clothing

respiratory protection
Respiratory Protection
  • Respirators that filter contaminated air or clean it as it is breathed in
  • Respirators that supply clean air from an independent source
  • Face masks
  • cartridge filters
  • Basic Dust mask (3M 8822)

Hazards- Dust, vapor, gas, oxygen deficient atmospheres.

sr 100 sr 90 2 sr 75 half mask
SR 100 * SR 90-2 * SR 75Half Mask

Use –

If equipped with a suitable filter, the mask provides protection against the inhalation of harmful gasses/vapors and/or particles. The choice of filter determines the degree of protection provided by the mask in a given situation

Filters –

  • Particle Filter

Filter Class P3 (includes P2 & P1)

Provides protection against all types of particles, both solid and liquid

gas filters
Gas Filters
  • Type A

Provides protection against organic gasses and vapors, I.e solvents whose boiling point exceeds +65 degrees Celsius

  • Type AX

Provides protection against organic substances with boiling points of up to +65 degrees Celsius

  • Type B

Provides protection against inorganic gasses and vapors. I.e Chlorine, hydrogen sulphide and hydrogen cyanide

  • Type E

Provide protection against acid gasses and vapors. I.e Sulphur dioxide and hydrogen fluoride

  • Type K

Provides protection against ammonia and some amines. I.e Ethylendiamine

  • Type HG

Provides protection against mercury vapor. Maximum usage time is 50 hours

  • Mask Body
  • Filter Attachment
  • Head Harness
  • Membrane Seat
  • Exhalation Membrane
  • Protective Cap
  • Inhalation Membrane
  • Filter/Combination Filter
  • Pre-Filter
  • Pre-Filter Holder

(Pre-Filter prevents premature

Clogging of the main filter &

Also prevents damage to the

main filter)

How do I know if the PPE is designed to provide adequate protection against the hazards at my workplace?

Designers, manufacturers or suppliers of PPE can give advice on the specifications and appropriate use of their products.

This is important as seen in the following example: Clearly, no one type of glove provides adequate protection against all chemicals. A respirator designed to be effective against medium air levels of one particular chemical, may not be effectiveagainst high levels of the same chemical, or lower levels of a different chemical.

For this reason it is highly important to contact the suppliers and read any enclosed information regarding the uses and protections of the particular PPE employed.

how do i determine whether or not to use personal protective equipment ppe in the workplace
How do I determine whether or not to use personal protective equipment (PPE) in the workplace?

Initially the employer must determine if there is a hazard and assess the risk associated with the hazard. An employer must then eliminate any reasonably foreseeable risk to the health and safety of any person within his/her workplace.

If it is not possible to eliminate the risk, an employer must control the risk. PPE may assist in reducing this possible risk of harm.

However, it should be noted that legal requirements state that all workplaces should specifically follow the outlined PPE and OH&S practices, and any workplace which does not have these regulations in place should be brought to the attention of head office, or in extreme cases, Work Cover and/or Industrial Relations

maintenance of ppe
Maintenance of PPE

There are two main points to maintaining safe PPE equipment, these include:

  • the PPE is well looked after and properly stored when it is not being used, for example in a dry clean cupboard or in the case of smaller items, such as eye protection, in a case or box.
  • The PPE is kept clean and in good repair. Repairs and maintenance can be done by a set schedule which is organized and checked by a person put in charge of that specific area in the workplace.
key points to remember
Key points to remember
  • PPE is provided
  • It offers adequate protection for its intended use
  • Those using it are trained in some way
  • Its properly maintained and that any defects are reported
  • It is returned to its proper storage after use
assessing ppe
is it appropriate for the risks involved and the conditions at the place where exposure to the risk may occur? E.g. eye protection will not provide adequate face protection for someone using a grinder.

does it prevent or satisfactorily control the risks involved without increasing the overall level of risk.

Can it be adjusted to fit the wearer properly?

has the state of health of those who will be wearing it been taken into account?

what are the needs of the job and the demands it places on the wearer? For E.g. the length of time the PPE needs to be worn, the physical effort required to do the job and the requirement for visibility and communication.

If more then one item of PPE is being worn, are they compatible? For E.g. does a particular respirator (mask) make it difficult to wear eye protection properly?

Assessing PPE