Personal protective equipment (PPE) serves a crucial purpose on the job site. Whether you’re involved in installing sheet metal or you’re overseeing a project as a foreman, a building site is full of workplace hazards. Working at heights, dealing with chemical and electrical hazards, and navigating construction equipment and building materials make a construction site potentially dangerous.
On building sites, employers are required by federal law to provide their workers with essential PPE products. To ensure workplace safety, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) established a set of regulations for job site PPE use.
Besides providing PPE, employers must train workers on how to wear PPE, when it is necessary, the limitations, and how to maintain, care for, and dispose of equipment. This training should be offered through a dedicated PPE program. Depending on the type of work being carried out on-site, different PPE may be necessary.
Types of PPE for the Job Site
Certain building niches require specific PPE. However, the most common types of PPE for the job site are:
Eye and Face Protection
Eye and face protection are some of the most critical forms of PPE for job sites. Safety glasses protect the wearer’s eyes from dust, airborne particles, and other loose debris that might be blowing around. There are approximately 2.4 million eye injuries in the U.S. every year. The American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) claims that 90% of these injuries can be avoided by wearing suitable eye protection.
Face shields are also vital in certain scenarios. They can protect your face from harmful droplets and loose debris without affecting your breathing ability. Another benefit of face shields is that many of them are transparent, making face-to-face communication easier. Wearing protective eyewear is advisable even if you wear contact lenses or glasses, so face shields or alternative styles of safety glasses are essential for glasses and contact wearers.
Specialist workers, such as welders, require specific eye and face protection, including full-face shields and heavy-duty goggles while they’re working.
Hand protection is necessary to prevent damage from the various hazards encountered on a job site, including burns, scratches, cuts, scrapes, chafing, and electrical shocks. However, workers must be wearing the correct type of gloves for maximum protection. They must also be the right size for a comfortable fit.
Although minor skin irritations may not be severe in the short term, they can lead to more significant conditions down the line. Skin cancers, dermatitis, and other types of infections are common occupational diseases.
Natural latex rubber gloves are effective in protecting the wearer against minor chemical contact. Nitrile gloves are best when working with oils and irritable solvents. When dealing with more corrosive materials, thicker gloves are essential. Nitrile and latex gloves can be doubled up for additional protection.
To protect the lungs and respiratory system while on the job site, workers should use a respirator. According to OSHA, all respirators must have a NIOSH certification to be deemed suitable. NIOSH-certified masks contain markings, letting users know they are legitimate products.
N95 respirators are U.S.-made, FDA-approved respirators that are commonly used on job sites around America.
Head and Hearing Protection
Job sites are noisy and often chaotic environments. Loud noises not only cause ear damage, but they can also affect your awareness, leading to an accident. Standard ear protection on job sites includes molded reusable earplugs, disposable earplugs, and airtight earmuffs. Depending on the noises workers are exposed to, any of these may be suitable.
Hard hats should also be worn at all times on the job site. They are generally available in 3 classes: A, B, and C. These protect wearers from impact and electrical shocks.
Other Forms Types of PPE
Some other common PPE products found on the job site include:
- Disinfectant equipment
To ensure that workers and visitors are kept safe on job sites, it’s crucial to have a reliable source for quality PPE. In addition to worker safety, having certified equipment is also a legal requirement. Employers must prioritize having adequate supplies of PPE at all times.
ICU Production Inc. is a leading provider of premium, tested PPE that is fit for use in construction and medical environments. We stock various PPE products, including gloves, masks, face shields, sanitizers, and more. We’re happy to partner with businesses in all industries to keep employees safe.