Types of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to Guarantee Your Safety

For many jobs, some type of PPE is an essential aspect of workplace health and safety. Construction workers, lab technicians, manufacturing plant employees, and health care workers are among the many industries that must wear PPE to protect themselves.

However, there are many types of PPE, and not all working environments require full body protection. Some many only need masks for respiratory protection, while others may require safety glasses to protect against flying sparks or bits of metal. Once you or your company does a hazard assessment to determine what hazards your industry entails, you can order your PPE from ICU Production.

Eye and Face Protection

There are several types of eye protection, ranging from safety glasses to full face shields. Normal glasses do not protect against chemical or body fluids splashes, so you should wear safety glasses over your prescription lenses if your work requires them. Our safety glasses are reusable and provide glare protection and fog resistance.

Goggles are the next level of protection for eyes and provide a tighter seal. Besides protecting against fluids, goggles are designed to protect your eyes from dust and other dangerous particles.

The final level of protection is the full face shield, which you can either use on its own or combine with a face mask, goggles, safety glasses, or hearing protection. The light plastic shield reduces the amount of particles and droplets that reach your face.

Mouth and Nose Protection

Masks have become a recognized form of PPE. However, there are varying mask levels, not all of which protect from airborne particles.

Most 3-ply masks follow the ASTM rating system, with level 1 providing protection against fluids, level 2, which offer a higher level of filtration than level 1, and level 3, which create the highest barrier of protection of fluid exposure.

While all levels of 3-ply masks protect against viral infections in liquid, they don’t offer as much protection against airborne particles as N95 masks. For some workplaces, like those in the hospitality or customer service industries, level 3 3-play masks offer sufficient protection.

If you require protection from airborne particles at your place of work, N95 and KN95 masks are a better option. For anyone from doctors treating infectious patients to construction workers dealing with dangerous particles, both N95 and KN95 masks filter out at least 95% of all airborne particles larger than .3 microns.

Full Body Protection

Full body protection is essential for healthcare workers today. The rating system, ANSI/AAMI, has four gown levels, with Level 1 equipment worn for minimal risk situations and Level 4 worn for maximum risk situations.

The FDA recommends that healthcare workers providing basic level care or entering an isolation room wear Level 1 CPE gowns. Visitors can also wear Level 1 gowns if the patient has an infectious disease.

Level 2 gowns provide a slightly higher level of protection against bodily fluids. Medical personnel should wear these when drawing blood, working in a pathology lab, suturing wounds, or attending to patients in the ICU.

For situations with the potential for spraying fluids, like drawing blood from an arterial vein, working in the ER or with trauma cases, or when placing an IV, healthcare workers should wear a Level 3 gown.

Level 4 gown protects healthcare workers when performing surgery and long procedures that involve fluids and against pathogens or non-airborne infectious diseases. Workers who need the highest level of protection but also require more mobility can benefit from Level 4 coveralls.

types of Personal Protective Equipment

Hands and Arms Protection

Although gowns and coveralls protect your arms, you should pair them with protective gloves to keep your hands safe. PPE gloves come in various materials, including latex, nitrile-vinyl blend, pure nitrile, and pure vinyl.

Latex gloves are ideal for healthcare workers, particularly surgeons who need protection from bacteria and pathogens while performing precise movements. For surgeons with a latex allergy or people who work with hazardous chemical substances, nitrile gloves are a fantastic alternative.

Nitrile-vinyl blend gloves offer less protection than pure nitrile gloves, making them good for working with irritating but non-dangerous chemicals. Vinyl gloves are the most affordable type of hand PPE and are ideal for people in the hospitality industry since they are disposable and protect against chafing and some pathogens.


Sanitizer is essential in most workplace settings. At restaurants, wiping down your surfaces with disinfection wipes to ensure that tables are clean protects employees and guests, and sanitizing your hands before and after touching other’s plates prevents the spread of germs.

Hand sanitizer comes in two forms, gel and liquid. The gel form is easier to apply to hands, while the liquid form dries faster and is ideal for spray bottles and sanitizing frequently touched surfaces.

Protect Yourself with PPE from ICU Production

Whether you want every day masks to protect yourself at the grocery store, or you need to purchase a large number of gloves for your hospital employees, ICU Production can help. We pride ourselves on providing FDA-approved, high-quality PPE products, from face shields to full-body gowns.

Call us at (323) 970-2532 to learn more about how we can help you protect yourself and your employees.