Why PPE is so Important in the Workplace

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Image by Valentin Baciu from Pixabay 

Personal Protective Equipment, or PPE, is something that you may need to use within your working life. To some, it may be seen as a valuable tool to keep you safe. Others might, potentially, view it as a waste of time. After all, you’ve never had an accident before, so surely, it’s just one more thing to have to remember and lug around, right?

That is where those individuals are wrong. PPE doesn’t just protect you in the moment. It can also benefit you for years to come. Historically (and even to this day), individuals may have visited a local lung cancer law firm decades after exposure, due to chemicals or dust within the workplace. This exposure was strongly linked to their illness, even years later.

In today’s industries, PPE such as respirators can be used by employees to limit their chance of receiving potentially fatal lung damage over time from close contact with materials such as asbestos. This particular material is illegal in many countries, however, not in the United States. This is why workplace training for individuals who may come into contact with such materials is so vital, as it can educate workers on the potential dangers and why PPE is so vital.

It isn’t just your insides that need extra care when working. Your outsides will also benefit. Something as common as using a jigsaw on your worksite can come with dire consequences, which is why using finger protection or gloves is always a wise idea.

At the same time, shrapnel from the item you are sawing can easily ping back towards your face. Wearing protective eyewear or a face shield can help prevent any damage to your face or eyes. This kind of damage could lead to the end of your career and possible permanent blindness, meaning it is not worth risking.

High visibility workwear can also be a valuable part of your PPE. This can ensure that you are seen, which can be particularly important when working in the dark or on sites with a lot of large machinery. Whether your high vis is fluorescent yellow, green, or even pink, the color is irrelevant. What matters is that your colleagues are able to see you at all times, which can reduce the risk of accidental injury.

These machines can be very loud, which can also cause long term damage. Losing your hearing, or hearing ringing noises, are very possible outcomes when constantly in overly loud working locations. Companies should supply you with ear defenders which can help to protect your hearing.

Damage in the workplace isn’t simply immediate. Certain aspects can build up over months and years, up to a point where they cause debilitating illnesses or problems that cannot be resolved. Taking good care of your health, following company safety guidelines, and ensuring you always wear the correct protective uniform can prolong your life, as well as your overall health.