Nowadays, you can’t go very long without hearing someone talking about masks or gloves. Personal protective equipment (PPE) is important in the medical field and during the COVID-19 pandemic, sure, but it is also crucial in several other industries. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), all construction workers need to be wearing the proper protective equipment before they are able to begin working.
It is of the utmost importance that anyone working in an operation where objects can fly into the face and eyes wear either safety glasses, a face shield, or another form of PPE specific to the industry. This includes anyone working with electrical hazards, harmful chemicals, or concrete. Those welding, cutting, and grinding may also encounter foreign objects that they need to protect themselves from.
Just as you need to wear safety glasses to protect yourself from flying objects, you need to protect your head from falling objects. A hardhat will also protect you if you fall or if your head comes into contact with an electrical hazard. Be sure your hard hat is in good condition. If it begins to deteriorate, it’s time to replace it.
Working in the construction industry, you subject yourself to loud machinery. You must take precautions when working in loud conditions by wearing frequently cleaned earplugs or earmuffs. Your preference for plugs or muffs is dependent on not only your industry, but which one you will be most comfortable in and therefore more likely to wear.
Keep your hands safe with snug-fitting gloves. The material of the gloves you wear depends on the type of construction working you are doing.
You want to wear comfortable safety-toed work boots that are slip-resistant. The soles should be puncture-resistant. This will prevent your toes and feet from being crushed by any falling objects.
This is a list of the most basic PPE. Depending on what you are working on, you may require respiratory PPE, fall protection equipment, fire resistant clothing, and more. Not only is it important that you are always wearing this equipment on the job (and any other safety equipment your employer requires), but you also need to be maintaining it. If you notice wear and tear on your PPE, it’s time to replace it. It cannot do its job if it’s not in proper condition.