Common Myths about PPE in the Workplace
PPE in the workplace can seem confusing at times. What type of PPE should be worn? When is it appropriate? Do we really need to bother?
Keeping your employees safe and healthy is essential as we all know, so here we thought we’d explore a few common myths and how to tackle them.
“It’s only a short job, so I don’t need to bother with PPE”
The fact is that it only takes a second for an accident to happen, so regardless of the duration of the task, you must always ensure that the correct PPE is worn when required,
“A long as I’m wearing one piece of PPE, that’ll be enough”
Failure to wear all required PPE for the task at hand can cause injury or death. For example, if your employee is working with chemicals, goggles will protect their eyes from splashes, but unless they’re also wearing the correct gloves or overalls, their skin could also be at risk from chemical burns. All parts of the body should be considered when deciding on the appropriate PPE for any given task.
“The more PPE I wear the better”
Over-protection can be just as dangerous as under-protection when it comes to PPE. For example, over-protection could cause heat stress by wearing too many layers, just as under-protection when exposed to hazardous substances could cause chronic health problems. So, the key is to find the correct level of PPE to offer the best protection against hazards, while also providing optimum comfort to the wearer.
Gloves also seem to be a very common area for confusion…
“Having a latex allergy means I can’t wear gloves”
There are several alternatives to latex, such as nitrile, neoprene, and vinyl gloves so there’s sure to be something that your employee can use to ensure they still have the same level of protection.
“I find gloves too slippery to work with”
There are gloves available with textured fingertips that make holding smaller, lightweight objects like glassware easier, and you can also find gloves with a roughened surface to make gripping larger, heavier objects easier.
“Leather gloves will prevent me getting cut”
Always keep the fact that even leather can be cut at the forefront of your mind when it comes to handling sharp objects. If leather gloves are required for a job, then ensure that your employees have those with the best protection, dexterity, and tactile performance for the job at hand.