Personal Protective Equipment PPE

PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT - PPE

What is personal protective equipment used for? Personal protective equipment, commonly referred to as PPE, is safety equipment used to reduce exposure to workplace hazards that cause serious injuries or illnesses. Contact with physical, electrical, mechanical or other job site dangers. Personal protective includes safety gloves, safety shoes, safety glasses, safety earplugs or safety ear muffs, protective hard hats, full and half face respirators, or safety coveralls, protective vests and full body safety suits. What are the levels of protection in PPE? 1926.95 – GENERAL REQUIREMENTS: “Application” This standard requires all protective equipment, including personal protective equipment (PPE) for eyes, face, head, and extremities, protective clothing, respiratory devices, and protective shields and barriers, to be provided by the employer, used by the employee, and maintained by both parties in a sanitary and reliable condition. For employee-owned equipment, employers are responsible to assure its adequacy, including proper maintenance, and sanitation of such equipment. If an employee provides adequate safety equipment, the employer may allow the employee to use it and is not required to reimburse the employee for that personal protective equipment. Although it is not required by this standard, a hazard assessment should be conducted to ensure that appropriate personal protective equipment is used in all work areas. Consider such hazards as heat, impact, chemicals, compression, electrical, light/radiation, punctures and dust when choosing PPE. Based on the assessment results, a personal protective equipment list should be compiled by the employer and consulted to ensure compliance with OSHA standards and common sense. The types of personal protective equipment used for a given job are determined by the conditions and hazards of the workplace.

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Personal Protective Equipment Levels Defined There are four basic levels of protection for PPE.
PPE Level A: The highest PPE level available, required for the most severely hazardous situations and areas with high incident potential. Examples of Level A protective wear include a self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA), hazmat suits, chemical-resistant gloves, and other high-performance items.
PPE Level B: Same as PPE Level A for respiratory protection, with a lower PPE level of skin protection. Includes hooded coveralls, face shields, splash suits, boot covers, and so on. For situations where chemicals are present that are harmful when inhaled but not through skin contact.
PPE Level C: PPE for situations where atmospheric contaminants, liquid splash, or other contact will not harm or be absorbed through the skin. At this level, airborne hazards have been identified and measured, with air-purifying respirators chosen to match the situation.
PPE Level D: Minimum personal protection equipment level, for when the atmosphere contain no known hazards and there is low possibility of contact with harmful chemicals or substances. This level covers the standard basic versions of gloves, protective wear, safety glasses, and so on.
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