What Employers Need to Know About Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)


Personal protective equipment (PPE) is designed to minimize exposure to workplace hazards that could cause injuries or illnesses. There are many kinds of PPE, each of which is designed to protect against a specific kind of hazard. Workplace managers can find out everything they need to know in order to provide their workers with adequate PPE for any task below.

Types of PPE

PPE comes in all shapes and sizes. Some PPE is familiar to the general public, while other pieces of equipment have very specialized uses. Forms of PPE used on modern worksites include:

  • Gloves
  • Safety glasses
  • Safety boots
  • Earplugs
  • Earmuffs
  • Hard hats
  • Respirators
  • Coveralls
  • Vests
  • Full-body suits

Companies that manufacture PPE are held to strict standards. All of this equipment must be designed and constructed to prevent exposure to workplace hazards. In order to be effective, it also needs to fit properly.

The Importance of High-Quality PPE

If a piece of PPE is not manufactured properly, it can place workers at unnecessary risk. All PPE should be manufactured according to OSHA standards, which means it needs to meet or exceed the standards developed by ANSI, the American National Standards Institute.

It’s equally important to make sure PPE fits comfortably. Few workers will reliably wear protective equipment that makes it difficult for them to do their jobs, and even those workers who wear ill-fitted PPE despite the discomfort still won’t be adequately protected. PPE that doesn’t fit properly can lead to dangerous exposures.

Ensuring Proper Use

It’s not enough to just provide workers with well-fitted, high-quality PPE. Site managers or team leaders also need to make sure the workers know how and when to use it. Schedule training sessions with new and current workers to explain:

  • When to use PPE
  • What kind of safety equipment to use for different hazards?
  • How to properly put on, adjust, and take off PPE
  • How to provide proper care and maintenance for the equipment
  • When to dispose of PPE
  • What kinds of limitations are associated with the equipment?

Industries That Use PPE

There’s a common misconception that PPE is only used in healthcare settings. While it’s true that hospital and clinical workers need to be provided with high-quality masks, gloves, and gowns, workers in other industries also need to be outfitted with the equipment required to keep them safe. Remember, OSHA’s guidelines apply to all workers, not just those in a specific field.

Workers in the construction industry are usually provided with protective equipment like safety boots, hard hats, eye protection, face protection, and coveralls. Machinists often need gloves, face shields, hard hats, and safety goggles. Pharmaceutical industry employees need PPE such as protective gloves, safety goggles, and respirators to protect them against harmful chemical and biological substances.

Where to Find High-Quality PPE

Know it’s time to upgrade a team’s PPE and need to find a reputable, reliable vendor? Look no further than Premier Safety. The company carries a wide variety of personal protective equipment to protect workers from all kinds of hazards. Whether employers are looking for respirators, fall protection, or high-visibility clothing, they can find it all in one convenient place.

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