Industrial Automation

What is Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and its types?

What is meant by Personal Protective Equipment?      

  • According to Article 16 of the 1981 Occupational Safety and Health Convention (No. 155) employers have obligations regarding the provision and use of personal protective equipment (PPE) at work.
  • PPE is gear that will protect the user from the risk of injuries or other negative health impacts.
  • It may include things like safety harnesses, gloves, respiratory protective equipment (RPE), high-visibility apparel, safety shoes, and safety helmets.
  • Any appliance or device intended to be worn by a person when exposed to one or more health and safety risks is considered PPE.
  • PPE encompasses all attire and other work-related accessories created to act as a barrier against workplace risks, and its use necessitates user training and hazard awareness.

Why is PPE important?

  • In order to work safely and responsibly, the workplace must be made safe. Some dangers may still exist even after engineering controls and safe work practices have been implemented.
  • These include wounds to the lungs, such as those caused by breathing in contaminated air, the head and feet, such as those caused by falling objects, the eyes, such as those caused by flying particles or liquid splashes, the skin, such as those caused by contact with corrosive materials, and the body, such as those caused by extreme heat or cold. In these circumstances, PPE is required to lower the risk.
Personal Protective Equipment

When selecting and using PPE Choose items that are appropriate for the residual risk and meet the necessary standards. Suppliers can offer advice to

  • Select gear that is comfortable for the user; take into account the size, fit, and weight of the PPE. Users are more inclined to use something if they helped to choose it.
  • If more than one piece of PPE is worn at once, confirm that they may all be used together. For example, wearing safety glasses may interfere with a respirator’s seal, resulting in air leakage.
  • Educate and teach users on how to use it, for instance, by showing them how to take off gloves without polluting their skin.
  • Tell them why it’s necessary, when to use it, and any restrictions it has.

 Role of Employee

  • Employees need to understand that the equipment just reduces the risk; exposure will still happen if the device breaks down.
  • Equipment must be correctly fitted and kept in a clean, functional state to lower the likelihood of failure.
  • Employees must get training prior to performing work that necessitates the use of PPE so they are aware of its limitations.

 What should employers do?

  • Employers are expected to do a risk assessment of the workplace to identify any potential dangers that call for the usage of head, eye, face, hand, or foot protection.
  • Employers must choose PPE that is appropriately fitted to protect personnel from these hazards if hazards or the potential of hazards are discovered.
  • They must carefully pick the equipment and guarantee that staff are trained on how to use it properly as well as how to spot and report any issues.

List different kinds of Personal Protective Equipment

     There are two different kinds of PPE: simple and complex.

  • Simple personal protective equipment (PPE) guards against lower risk dangers and has a simple design model. With this kind of PPE, it is appropriate to presume that the user is aware of the risks, can see how the risk is rising over time, and is capable of making an evaluation and safely determining when PPE is required to be worn.
  • Complex personal protective equipment is defined as gear with a higher technical design that offers defense against a major or fatal risk. With this kind of PPE, the user is exposed to risks right away that have permanent impacts since they are unable to identify the risk in time.

Types of PPE that can be used

 The personal protective equipment can be classified as

  • Non-respiratory protective equipment
  • Respiratory protective equipment

Non-respiratory protective equipment

         The equipment used in protection of skin, head, eyes, ears, hand, foot & body are classified under non-respiratory protective equipment.

Respiratory protective equipment

         The equipment used in protection respiratory system when exposed to hazardous environment after evaluating level of respiratory hazards in workplace.

Non-Respiratory protective equipment

Eyes and Face

Devices for eye and face protection must adhere to ANSI Z87. 1 standards.

  • Person performing welding operations must wear an approved welder’s helmet with the proper lens shade, and torch welders, cutters, and brazers must wear special shaded goggles.
  • Splash-proof goggles with rubber seals that fit flush against the face are required for person working with or near hazardous liquids, electrical workers must wear an arc-rated face shield
  • Electrical workers must also comply with arc flash hood requirement.
  • Based on the risk and the intended user’s visual requirements and limits, eye and face protection equipment must be used.
  • Make that the chosen eye protection fits the user comfortably and has the appropriate combination of impact, dust, splash, and molten metal eye protection for the task.
Eye Protective Equipment
  • Safety glasses with side shields at the top left corner.
  • A face shield in the upper right corner.
  • Safety glasses are in the bottom left corner.
  • A welding helmet with a face shield is shown in the bottom right corner.

Head Protection

  • In designated areas, such as
    • Construction sites,
    • Operating plant areas,
    • Where there are overhead objects or activities that could result in falling or flying objects,
    • When performing tasks that could result in electrical shock or burn hazards to the head, personnel are required to wear approved hard hats.
  • The components of a hard helmet must include a shell, suspension cradle, and, if desired, a chin strap in order to comply with ANSI Z89.1, Type “1”, Class “E” (electrical resistance) criteria.
  • On the inside of the shell, hard helmets must include identification that includes the manufacturer’s name, ANSI Z89.1 compliance, the date of manufacturing, and the hard helmet class.
  • Condition of Hard Helmet
    • Hard helmets made of metal are not permitted. Hard hats must be worn in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. No holes shall be drilled, paint, or huge stickers shall be added to any hard hat.
    • If hard helmetshas been painted, has been damaged (e.g., has a hole, gouge, crack, or a defective suspension cradle), or has been subjected to a direct blow while in use, it must be disposed of. It must be changed no later than five years after the date of manufacture, unless the manufacturer specifies otherwise

Hearing Protection

Ear Protective Equipment
  • It is essential in areas with noise levels protection under 85 dBA.
  • On the job site, approved hearing protection must be available, and it must be worn in environments with a lot of noise.
  • Noise Reduction Rating (NRR) of 20–25 dBA for earplugs
  • Earmuffs has NRR of 25 dBA (minimum)
  • Cotton earplugs are not permitted.
  • Disposable plugs must be disposed at the completion of each shift.
  • SAES (Saudi Aramco Engineering Service)-A-105 limits the noise levels for impacts or pulses. Additional safety equipment might be needed, and NIOSH(National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health) advises de-rating NRR levels.
  • The following frequent sounds we hear on a daily basis have the following noise levels to put noise levels in perspective:
    • Guns or a jet engine are 140 decibels loud.
    • 130 dB is the jackhammer.
    • 110 dB is reached using common machinery.
    • Chainsaw noise is 100 dB.
    • 90 dB for a lawnmower or subway.
    • A busy city street or your alarm clock is 80 dB.
    • 70 dB forVacuum cleaner
    • 60 dB is equal to a dishwasher or an average conversation.

Hand Protection

  • Gloves must not be used where they could provide a safety risk by getting caught in moving parts of machinery or when they are near moving or rotating machinery
  • The type of materials or equipment being handled should determine the gloves that are chosen and worn.
  • Gloves must be able to withstand the risks unique to the job, which may include:
    • cryogenic surfaces,
    • high voltage,
    • corrosive chemicals and substances,
    • abrasive or sharp edges,
    • hot surfaces
  • As a result, the hazard will determine the glove’s construction material:
    • Kevlar for cutting-prevention
    • Rubber varieties for chemical resistance
    • simple cotton gloves for handling and protecting against moderate temperature changes
    • Electrical workers must wear high-voltage rubber gloves with leather guards as needed.
Hand Protective Equipment

Foot Protection

  • In outdoor operations, process areas and other designated places, approved safety footwear must be worn.
  • Foot protection must adhere to GI 8.005 specifications.
    • Based on the need for resistance to oil or chemicals, impact, heat, or electrical current, safety footwear must be chosen and worn.
    • Safety shoes must feature toecaps made of steel or a nonmetallic composite with leather uppers or leather composition.
    • Non-slip soles and heels are required.
    • Rubber safety boots are acceptable while operating in rainy or muddy conditions that call for waterproof footwear.
  • To protect the inner arch and top of the foot, workers with or near jackhammers, soil compactors, and concrete breakers must wear safety shoes, ideally with metatarsal protections.
  • Anyone working with electrical equipment must wear nonconductive safety shoes.
  • When working with electrical equipment, safety shoes must not be worn if they become wet, the rubber sole has worn through, or metal fragments have become lodged in the sole or heel.
Leg Protective Equipment

Body protection

  • Employees must have access to and use body protection as necessary to safeguard against dangers including flash fire, electrical arc flash, abrasive blasting, welding, handling asbestos, or corrosive chemicals.
  • Flame-resistant clothing (FRC), Tyvek, leather, or impermeable fabrics are some examples of this protection.
  • Electrical personnel must receive and wear arc flash FRC and PPE in accordance with GI 2.721.
  • According to the Safety Management Guide for Flame Resistant Clothing (FRC), the FRC does not offer enough protection from electrical arc flash dangers. This GI primarily covers arc flash protection.
Body Protective Equipment

Respiratory Protecting Equipment

  • Respiratory protection keeps anything from getting into the mouth and protects the entire internal respiratory system.
  • Due to the way it is made, respiratory protection also aids in protecting the outside of the mouth and face.
  • There are two primary categories of respiratory protection, which are as follows:
    • Breathing equipment is utilized during high-risk work situations where breathing in contaminated air
    • when there is a potential that the air could become oxygen-deficient.
  • There are three different types of respirators that remove contaminants from the air in the workplace.
    • Respirator (full face or half face reusable mask) with a simple filtering face piece.
    • Respirators with power assistance.

Minimum Equipment

  • Communication tools for the standby guy and a fire extinguisher should be placed close to any access points.
  • CO2 should not be used in tight spaces.
  • Wearing a full-body harness
  • Cooling devices to reduce heat exhaustion

Emergency supply equipment

  • Equipment that is intended to be used in emergencies, such as compressed-air escape breathing apparatus, respirators, and safety ropes or harnesses, requires careful selection, maintenance, and regular, practical operator training.

Tabulation of list of equipment for various hazards.

CategoryTypes of HazardsProtecting EquipmentPoints to be considered
Eyes             Dust, bullets, gas and vapor, radiation, chemical or metal splashFace screens, face shields, visors, safety glasses, and gogglesAlways use glasses or goggles underneath a face shield or welding helmet.
Head and Neck  Risk of head bumps, hair getting twisted in equipment, chemical splashes or drips, impact from falling or flying items, climate or temperatureHairnets, Bump caps, Industrial safety helmets, and firefighter’s helmetsSome safety helmets come with or have the option of adding custom-made eye or hearing protection.Remember to wear neck protection, such as scarves, when welding.  
EarsNoise is a mix of sound intensity and exposure time; extremely loud sounds can be hazardous even for little periods of time.    Earmuffs, semi-insert caps, and earplugs  Make sure workers know how to properly fit hearing protection and provide the appropriate ones for the sort of work. Select noise-cancelling earplugs that nevertheless provide safety and communication while reducing noise to an acceptable level
Hands and Arms  Chemicals impact, electric shock, radiation, biological agents, severe temperatures, wounds, punctures and prolonged submersion in water  Gloves, gloves with cuffs, gauntlets, and arm sleeves are all examples of protective clothing.  Keep gloves off while using tools like bench drills where they might get caught.Chemicals can quickly infiltrate some materials, so choose carefully. Barrier creams are unreliable and cannot replace appropriate PPE. Prolonged glove use can cause the skin to get heated and perspire excessively, which might result in skin issues. To avoid this, wear separate cotton inner gloves
Legs and Foot      Conditions that are wet, hot, or cold, electrostatic buildup, slips, cuts and punctures, objects that fall, large loads, metal splash, and automobiles  Safety footwear, include footwear with protective toecaps, mid-sole wellington boots resistant to penetrating objects, and specialty footwear, such as foundry boots and chainsaw bootShoes can have a variety of sole designs and materials, such as oil- or chemical-resistant soles, to aid prevent slipping in various environments.Additionally, it may be thermally insulating, electrically conductive, or anti-static.
LungsAtmospheres, dusts, gases, and vapours that are low in oxygen  Respiratory protection equipment (RPE) Simple filtering facepieces, respirators, and power-assisted respirators. Tight-fitting respirators (filtering face pieces, half and full masks), wearers must make sure the RPE is comfortable. Breathing apparatus SCBA (self-contained breathing apparatus), compressed airline, and fresh-air hoseSince each respirator filter is only effective for a specific range of compounds, it is important to use the correct one with replacement of filters after certain period Breathing apparatusMust be used in confined spaces or if there is a chance of an oxygen shortage in the work area.Provides a continuous supply of breathable airNever be used in situations where there is a risk of unconsciousness due to exposure to high levels of hazardous fumes.
Body      Heat splashes, Chemical splashes, pressure leaks, contaminated dust, impact or penetrationBoiler suits, Aprons, traditional or disposable dungarees and chemical suits    Materials with flame retardancy, anti-static properties, chain mail, chemical impermeability, and high visibility are among the options.Don’t forget additional safety measures like life jackets or safety harnesses.

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