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PPE stands for personal protective equipment which we use in our daily work activities. OSHA gives employers responsibility for ensuring that employees wear appropriate PPE to reduce exposure to hazardous conditions such as falling objects, noise exposure, toxic atmospheres, etc. Personal protection is the main objective and each of us must follow our employer's safety requirements.
The first form of PPE is a hard hat. This safety device provides us with an impact resistant covering that protects the head. We know that all of our body functions are controlled by 'that gray matter' inside our head, so don't take chances -- protect your brain -- wear your hard hat at all times!
Many other forms of PPE are available to you. Hearing protection in the form of ear plugs or muffs reduces the amount of noise reaching your ear drums, thereby preserving your hearing. Respirators provide protection against toxic substances that might enter our bodies through our respiratory systems. Safety belts with lanyards and full body harnesses are types of personal fall protection, but they are effective only if we use them.
The eyes and face are another area that needs to be protected. There are many types and sizes of spectacles and goggles to protect the eyes and each has a special application. Be sure you read the manufacturer's instructions before wearing them and choose the right type. Face shields should be worn if potential danger exists from physical, chemical or radiation agents.
Personal Protective Equipment can be cumbersome, uncomfortable, hot, etc. and employees occasionally donít wear it even though they know they may be risking injury. Any worker who fails to wear required PPE should be disciplined.
Evaluate your work operations and define the hazards. Check with your supervisor for necessary PPE requirements and resolve to wear them. An ounce of protection is worth a pound or cure.
KEEP YOUR PPE CLEAN AND IN GOOD WORKING ORDER. REPLACE ANY DEFECTIVE GEAR IMMEDIATELY.
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