Personal Protective Equipment

Personal Protective Equipment

What is PPE?    Head Protection     Eye Protection    Hearing Protection    Hand Protection    Foot Protection

What is PPE?

Personal protective equipment is designed to protect you from health and safety hazards that cannot practically be removed from your work area. Personal protective equipment protects many parts of your body including eyes, face, head, hands, feet, and ears.

Head Protection

Hard hats protect you from impact and penetration caused by objects hitting your head. They also give you limited protection from electrical shock or burns.

Hard hat tips:

  • The shell of the hat is designed to absorb some of the impact.
  • The suspension, which consists of the headband and strapping, also absorbs impact. It is important that the suspension is adjusted to fit you well and to keep the shell a minimum distance of 1-1/4" above your head.

Eye Protection

You must always wear proper eye protection if you work with: molten metals, liquid chemicals, hazardous gases, or flying particles.

Eyewear tips:

  • Coverage from the front and the sides is required when there is a hazard from flying objects.
  • Safety glasses or goggles should be worn under face shields for added protection.
  • Tinted or shaded lenses protect you from glare when working in a bright environment.

Hearing Protection

Hearing protection consists of earplugs and earmuffs. Wear hearing protection when:

  • The sounds in your work area are irritating.
  • You need to raise your voice to be heard by someone closer than two feet away.
  • Sound levels reach 85 decibels or higher for an 8-hour time period.
  • There are short bursts of sound that can cause hearing damage.

Hand Protection

You must wear gloves for protection against severe cuts or lacerations, severe abrasions, punctures, chemical burns, thermal burns, and harmful temperature extremes.

Glove tips:

  • When working with chemicals, gloves should be taped at the top, or folded with a cuff to keep liquids from running inside your glove or onto your arm.
  • Use vinyl, rubber, or neoprene gloves when working with most chemicals. If you are working with petroleum-based products, synthetic gloves are needed.
  • Use leather or cotton-knit gloves when handling abrasive materials.
  • Do not wear metal-reinforced gloves when working with electrical equipment.
  • Do not wear gloves while working on moving machinery. Moving parts can pull your glove, hand, and arm into the machine.

Foot Protection

Foot protection is important to prevent injuries in case a heavy or sharp object falls on your foot or you step on an object that could pierce your shoe.

Footwear tips:

  • If you work around exposed electrical wires or connections, you need to wear metal-free, nonconductive shoes or boots.
  • Rubber or synthetic footwear is necessary when working around chemicals. Avoid wearing leather shoes or boots when working with caustic chemicals because they can eat through the leather.