Before even approaching a manufacturer like Engelbert Strauss to buy protection equipment, you should be clear what it is for. Against which threats is the gear guarding? The PPE suitable for a chemical plant is not the same one that would work at a mine site. To identify the appropriate PPE for a specific work site, conduct a hazard assessment of the environment where it will be used. The process requires you to determine the potential threats that people have to deal with. Radiation, sharp objects, biological hazards, impact injuries, extreme temperatures and dust exposure are some of the threats that employees may need protection against. When selecting PPE, every piece should be suited for the risks identified during the hazard assessment.
Every workplace that has to use personal protection gear has to adhere to the 2002 Personal Protective Equipment Regulations. The regulation sets requirements for the design, manufacture and supply of protective safety gear. Each piece of equipment must bear the CE mark in accordance with the regulation. The marking indicates that the products have attained the required standard. Find out the specifics of the regulation to ensure that everyone is in compliance. Some products must have ratings for specific hazards such as electrocution, sole puncture and chemical corrosion.
The type of material and design will determine the durability of PPE. A helmet that is made from the cheapest plastic can only last a few weeks. Insist on protective gear that can serve the wearer for a significant while. Some products will have information tags indicate how long they are built to last. Remember though that the environment where the equipment will be used will also affect its lifespan. Check the warranty offered by the manufacturer to know which kinds of issues it covers. When it comes to quality, never attempt to save a few pennies by compromising the standard of the product. Footwear that is made with cheap sole may fail to protect a worker against static discharge, causing injury. Make certain that a manufacturer uses first-grade material and quality construction for PPE.
You can get gloves made from the toughest material and with top-of-the-line stitching but find out they don’t fit right. The fit of protective gear, from eyewear to footwear, is as crucial as any other aspect. PPE has to be comfortable and of the right size to make it easy to wear every day. When buying PPE for several people, get accurate measurements for all of them. Check these measurements against the size chart provided by the manufacturer. Consider the sizing requirements of an individual employee. For example, when buying eyewear, factor in individuals who have to wear them over prescription glasses. Poorly fitting gear can increase the risks of accidents as oversize gloves can get caught by moving parts, goggles that are too large can fall off during a task and ill-sized overalls can cause a person to trip.
Getting the right gear is not enough; workers must be able to use them correctly if they are to receive the protection they need against workplace hazards. People should understand the extent of the protection offered by specific gear, so they know what additional protection to implement. Personal protection equipment is designed to guard against hazardous environments. Everyone must fulfil his or her responsibility in ensuring the use of proper gear.
Visit engelbert-strauss.co.uk for quality PPE products for different settings.