Staying Safe: Different Types of Personal Protective Equipment

Your personal protective equipment (PPE) is there to protect you. Your employer should have a clear policy that lays out what is required to keep you safe on the job. However, it is important that you have the knowledge on what PPE is required for each task. Your safety comes down to you, and making sure that your company has appropriate requirements is critical. Typically, PPE can be broken down into respiratory protection, crush and drop protection, and full body hazard protection. While this is not an exhaustive list, you should be able to get a solid understanding of basic PPE that is available.

Respiratory Protection

This include several different ways of ensuring that what you breathe in is not going to be hazardous. The simplest equipment is a filter. These come in different grades, depending on the protection needed. In other types of application, more advanced equipment is required. Workers dealing with sulfuric acid, like in a natural gas plant, are required to wear full face masks with their own air supply.

Crush and Drop Protection

In many workplaces, there is a risk of things being dropped or body parts being crushed. This is going to impact your feet and your head in most scenarios. Hardhats and steel-toed boots are going to regularly be on the required PPE list to mitigate these risks.

Full Body Protection

In some hazardous environments, workers need to have their entire body protected. Work jumpsuits help keep people safe by providing a barrier for your entire body. These are going to have different requirements depending on the hazards that you are exposed to. Firefighters are going to need fire resistant suits, while lab workers are going to be more concerned about splash resistance. Airborne particles are also going to be blocked in a different manner than liquid hazards.  You must make sure that your jumpsuit fits the job.

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