Sadly, according to the Health Safety Executive (HSE), in the UK, during 2018 and 2019, across a broad range of industries including Manufacturing, Construction, Agriculture and even the admin and support services, 147 employees lost their lives. In addition to that sobering figure, 650k people sustained a non-fatal injury from a list of incidents including trips and falls and handling, leading to an estimated total of 28.2 million lost working days in that period.
These troubling figures underline just how vital it is to ensure that your employees are equipped with the right PPE to suit their particular role. It may sound strange, but Personal Protective Equipment shouldn’t be the first line of defence when it comes to protecting people from workplace dangers. PPE only comes into the equation after a workplace risk assessment has taken place and safety measures have been built into the process. After all, wearing Safety Boots, Gloves and Ear Defenders will be of little use if the work site and the machinery being used hasn’t initially been made as safe as possible.
Choosing the right PPE
After the risk assessment, and the preventative measures required to make the functional aspects of the process are as safe as can be, such as machine guarding, safety barriers etc. It’s then time to consider what protective work wear and equipment is required and the level of protection needed.
- What risks are people going to be exposed too?
- Will different staff be exposed to different risks?
- What is the length of the exposure?
- How much of a particular danger will they be exposed too?
Considering questions such as these will help you to establish a baseline of the type of Personal Protective Equipment you are going to need to circumvent potential workplace hazards. Of course, providing the correct clothing and equipment is only a portion of the task, you need to ensure that the PPE is worn and worn correctly in the right situation. Effective training will be involved in the safe application, removal and disposal (if dangerous chemical are prevalent) of protective equipment and a regular risk assessment of the job at hand to ensure safety is always at the forefront.
A Peek at the PPE
Whether you are working in a metal working industry or working in a saw mill these industries and many more will require that operators wear Safety Goggles. Damage to the eyes can be devastating, potentially leading to a loss of sight or even the eyes themselves, make sure your eyes are as well protected as they can be.
There are a thousand applications for Disposable Gloves, from medical procedures in hospitals and the serving of food in a supermarket, to protecting the hands from exposure to viruses, bacteria, chemicals and oils. Disposable Gloves come in a range of materials including Latex, Nitrile, Polyethelene and more to cater for a multitude of scenarios.
Masks and Respirators
Some working atmospheres can be filled with particles than can prove dangerous if inhaled, from fine dusts that can cause respiratory distress to very dangerous chemicals and viruses. Face Masks come in a wide range of styles, disposable single use items with basic filtration to higher spec models such as the N95 type to the high-level protection offered by Respirators.
You have the Safety Goggles, the Safety Gloves and even a Face Mask, but what about protecting your clothing from liquid splashes and exposure to dust and chemical contamination? You are going to need Coveralls, which come in a range of styles from the basic plastic apron, to seam sealed, hooded options that are liquid and chemical resistant. Keep it covered.
Where there is a danger of flying particles or liquids splashing your face then face shields are the PPE of choice. Robust and hard wearing, Face Shields cover the entire front of the wearers face offering premium protection from high speed airborne particulates. For added protection, Face Shields can be worn with Face Masks and Protective Safety Goggles as well.
In industries where continual high frequency and loud sounds exist, you need to ensure that the operators in those areas have adequate hearing protection. Metal work foundries, forestry, wood mills, machining and construction industries are places where, along with other protective gear, Ear Defenders or Ear Plugs are a necessity.
When handling rough, sharp, wet and even freezing cold items you are definitely going to need Safety Gloves. Whatever the demands of the application, from the builder and the trawler fisherman to the warehouse operative picking orders in a sub-zero freezer there is a glove for every situation, make sure your hands are covered and protected.
A workplace staple, Safety Boots have come a long way in the past few decades, from the heavy, uncomfortable steel toe-capped models of yesteryear responsible for many a blister, to stylish, lightweight, water-repellent composite Safety Boots. Where protection of the foot is required, you will need Safety Boots, available for a wide range of industries and applications from construction to food and beverage.
Kempston Controls stocks a comprehensive range of Personal Protective Equipment from all the leading brands to help you quickly and easily acquire the safety products you need to help protect your staff from any workplace hazards. Visit our website www.kempstoncontrols.co.uk and select the PPE tab at the top of the page, or call us on +44 (0) 1933 411411 to discuss your PPE requirements.
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