Do you need personal protective equipment at work?
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) does just that. It is equipment which protects the person wearing it.
The term covers everything from steel toe cap boots to hard hats, hi-vis clothing, aprons, coats, gloves, goggles and ear protection. In certain industries, the wearing of PPE workwear is mandatory, in other situations, it's best described as 'the sensible option'.
It not only protects against physical injury, it can also protect against radiation,chemical burns or inhalation, extremes of heat and cold.
Anyone involved in warehousing, stock control, construction, fitting or laboratory work will need protective clothing. It could be as simple as a heavy duty polo shirt, a pair of cargoes or carpenters' trousers, or as complicated as a full chemical protection suit and respirator.
Even standard reinforced gardening gloves class as personal protective equipment when dealing with brambles or stinging nettles, after all. On a construction site, personal protective equipment is mandatory due to the dangers posed by heavy machinery.
Even the admin staff have to adhere to the rules, attend safety briefings and wear full PPE clothing when moving around on site.
For some workers whose jobs involve daily exposure to hazardous conditions or substances, personal protective equipment can save their lives. Firemen, laboratory staff and radiologists don specialist PPE clothing to protect themselves from the harmful effects of smoke, chemicals and radiation respectively.
Protective clothing can also be useful to cyclists, walkers and runners, especially in the long, dark winter nights. Cyclists often wear hard hats and hi-vis clothing as well as lights, while dog walkers and runners kit themselves out with hi-vis gear for safety.
These days it seems as if almost everyone has at least one item of PPE clothing in their wardrobe. If the wearing of personal protective equipment is mandatory for a role, the employer will usually provide the necessary items to the employee, either as standard issue or, as in many hospitals, as single use disposable items such as gloves or masks.
The other function of personal protective equipment is to prevent the spread of infection. Masks, gloves and tabards can all be used as protective workwear by hospital staff who will come into contact with patients who may be infectious.
Regular cleaning is part of the regime in all hospitals with all staff being trained in basic hand hygiene and cleaning. Radiologists will wear a tabard when assisting patients during their scan if they are in the line of the x-ray.
Nurses and doctors dealing with infectious people will routinely wear a mask and gloves, as well as an apron, to attend to their patients. Recently, the Ebola outbreak saw widely shared photographs of health workers in full bodysuits, boots, masks and gloves.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is essential workwear for many people. Here at Aston Pharma we stock a full range of protective clothing to suit every need.