Safety gear, or PPE is defined as all equipment (including clothing
affording protection against the weather) which is intended to be worn or
held by a person at work and which protects him against one or more risks to
his health or safety’, such as safety helmets, gloves, eye protection, high-visibility clothing and safety footwear.
Safety standards also say that safety gear should be properly assessed before use to ensure it is suitable, maintained and stored properly, employees should be provided with instructions on how to use it safely, and used correctly by employees. To be sure you’re selecting the proper safety gear for your work environment, carefully assess every potential hazard and situation that would occur on a routine work day. Are you working around dangerous substance or handling chemicals and paint? Are you using cutting tools that would project particles of wood or metal? Are you exposed to traffic? Assess the safety gear you have purchased, and look at your work environment once over. Is your safety gear appropriate for the risks involved and the conditions at the place where
exposure to the risk may occur? Let’s use eye protection for example. Safety glasses that are designed for providing protection against agricultural pesticides will not offer adequate face protection for someone using an angle grinder to cut steel or stone. Secondly, does the safety gear prevent or adequately control the risks of your workplace or does it perhaps increase them? Can the safety gear be adjusted to fit the wearer correctly? Has the individual who will use or wear the safety gear been taken into account? What demands or needs does your job place on you? For
example, how long does the safety gear need to be worn? Does the safety gear meet the demands of a typical work day and how often should it be inspected or replaced?
Another thing to take into account with safety gear is whether one piece is compatible with another. For example, does a particular type of respirator make it difficult to get eye protection to fit properly? Discrepancies like these can make wearing certain safety gear void altogether.
Be sure you’re up to par in the workplace with the proper safety gear, but also be sure that the safety gear is up to current regulations, that it fits properly and meets your job demands adequately. Safety gear should be worn properly and at all times on the job.