Personal protective equipment (PPE) is crucial for employees who work in high-risk conditions. It refers to a set of gear that creates a barrier between the workers and the potential hazards they may face on the job. However, even with PPE, accidents still occur on worksites. Over 60 percent of PPE-related accidents are estimated to be caused by human errors.
These errors can happen due to improper training, misuse, or negligence. Let's discuss four common mistakes to avoid when using worksite PPE and how to address them.
Not Properly Adjusting PPE
One of the most important things people can do when receiving their PPE is to ensure it fits correctly. Adjustment is integral for PPE effectiveness. For example, hard hats should fit snugly on the head so that they do not fall off when workers move, and the chin straps should be easily adjustable. Eyewear gear should have a strap that wraps around the eyes to create a tight seal on the face. People should not use PPE that fits poorly or is not adjusted properly.
When people don't have training on how to correctly wear PPE, they may end up misusing it. For example, people may use safety glasses as a substitute for face shields or may use respirators for the wrong substance. Therefore, people should receive proper training on the kind of PPE to use for specific jobs so that they can avoid this mistake. They should also read the instructions that come with the equipment.
Skipping Regular Inspections
PPE needs inspections to ensure it still functions correctly and is not damaged. However, people may skip these inspections or not inspect their gear rigorously enough to detect damage. For example, people may fail to examine protective clothing closely after washing it. Everyone should inspect their PPE before every use and replace it when it is no longer suitable for the job.
Not Wearing PPE Every Time
The feeling of being safe can sometimes lull people into thinking they do not need to wear PPE all the time. However, employees should wear PPE every time they are exposed to hazards. They should not assume that they will not get hurt. Additionally, you should only remove PPE in a designated safe space, which should always be nearby, to prevent exposing yourself and others to dangers.
Wearing PPE cannot guarantee that people will not get hurt. It can only function correctly if used properly. Therefore, people must not make mistakes regarding PPE adjustments, misuse, skipping regular inspections, and not wearing it every time. These mistakes can lead to accidents and injuries on the job, and employers and employees must ensure PPE is used correctly. By avoiding these four common mistakes, workers can create a safe working environment where it is possible to prevent injuries and fatalities.
If you need high-visibility clothing or any other PPE for your worksite, check out our selection at Hi Vis Safety. We offer various PPE options to protect employees in different industries and environments. Stay safe and stay protected with Hi Vis Safety.