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Different types of Personal Protective Equipment in Farming

What are the different types of Personal Protective Equipment in Farming?

PPE in farming

If you’ve never come across the term personal protective equipment or PPE, then this article is worth reading. There are many different types of personal protective equipment required for a variety of farming tasks.

Working in the agriculture sector means complying with strict health and safety regulations and that means buying high-quality products which not only meet the required safety standards but are also appropriate for the kind of work you engage in. This could be anything from disposable chemical resistant gloves to gas masks, self-contained breathing apparatuses, air purifying disposable masks, and many other different personal protective equipment used in farming.

Aside from purchasing quality PPE equipment and products, you’d also want to buy specifically those that fit well and are as comfortable to wear as possible.

Why Quality PPE Products are so critical in Farming

Each year, a significantly high number of young farmers are either killed, injured or suffer permanent disabilities on US farms. The cost of non-fatal injuries to young farmers comes up to an estimated $1 billion every year.

The OSHA (Occupational Safety and Hazard Administration) recommends that farmers and ranch owners use specialized equipment to minimize hazards and protect themselves from potentially ‘dangerous’ situations where the likelihood of getting injured, or worse yet, death, is very high.

Agriculture happens to be a major industry in the US and responsible for producing much of the country’s cotton, corn, fruit, livestock, poultry and beef, just to name a few. Farmworkers are usually at a very high risk of suffering fatalities and injuries, including noise-induced hearing loss, work-related lung diseases, skin diseases and even certain kinds of cancers – all associated with prolonged sun exposure and chemical use.

This is where different kinds of personal protective equipment comes in to keep farms safe, healthy and productive.

Different personal protective equipment used in farming

PPE not only helps protect farmers from imminent health hazards but also boosts productivity. You may not know this but eye injuries are among the leading causes of sight loss among farmers and ranchers. The right protective eyewear can easily prevent eye injuries by up to 90%.

Here are 4 types of personal protective equipment commonly used in farming:

Body protection

A number of pesticide labels demand protective clothing like long-sleeved shirts and pants, socks and boots. This clothing is typically made of tightly woven fabric and pesticide-free.

Other pesticide labels, however, require farmers to wear a chemical-resistant or waterproof coverall, possibly along with a chemical-resistant apron if there’s any pesticide mixing involved.

Head and neck protection

The human head is highly absorptive and can easily suffer due to pesticide-related exposure. In fact, this absorption increases the more farmers sweat. PPE protection for the head typically includes face shields, chemical-resistant hats, protective goggles/glasses, etc.

Headwear needs to be waterproof and made from a washable material, and not leather or fabric. Baseball caps and straw hats do not provide the protection hard hats, bump caps and chemical resistant hats with an added wide brim do.

Hand and foot protection

The majority of pesticide-related accidents occur through the hands, particularly as farmers mix and load chemical solutions. This is where disposable chemical resistant gloves come in, although they are required by specific pesticide labels, not all. With that said, even if a label does not demand disposable chemical resistant gloves, it’s a good idea to wear them, unless you’re working with a fumigant.

Without the proper footwear, farmers can easily suffer from foot injuries due to burns from spills, slipping, electrical shocks or compression injuries. Latex/rubber footwear, steel toe footwear, nitrile footwear, insulated footwear, etc. are all designed to protect farmers from all kinds of health and safety hazards.

Respiratory protection

While working with highly volatile pesticides and fumigant products, as most farmers do, the right level of respiratory protection is vital. From air-purifying respirators to protection from hazardous vapors to dust masks which protects the lungs from small particles, there are many different types of personal protective equipment on the market to protect the lungs from a variety of on-the-job hazards.

The KN95 protective face mask, for example, has been recommended by WHO, a lightweight and breathable NIOSH 95-approved mask which complies with CDC guidelines for exposure control and offers a highly level of protection in enclosed spaces. In fact, it’s highly-filter efficiency offers protection against 95% of particles which are as small as 0.3 microns.  

10 personal protective equipment types farmers may need at some point

Protective goggles

Goggles not only protect protection against unexpected front and side impact but also against sudden chemical splashes from vapors or liquids.

Face shields

Full face shields protect against dust or splashing along with different degrees of impact resistance, although safety glasses or goggles underneath are recommended for complete protection.


Many farmers must use equipment or machinery that generate a lot of noise. Both formable earplugs and large earmuffs work well to cut out noise by more than 80%.

Air purifying disposable/washable masks

These offer protection against non-toxic aerosols whether they are solid or liquid. The exhalation valve makes it easy to breathe and reduces the build-up of hot air within the mask.


Self-contained breathing apparatuses are often used by farmers who work in manure puts, silos, grain storage areas or where fumigation is required. These oxygen-providing respirators offer farmers all the protection they need.

Gas masks with cartridge

A full-face covering air purifying device which comes with a large chemical cartridge respirator to offer protection against toxic airborne materials.

Neoprene gloves

Protects the hands against toxic substances with rubber gloves offering protection against electrical hazards.

Chemical-resistant hats

These are designed to offer protection when applying pesticides, especially those with an added wider brim.

Latex/rubber footwear

These are purpose-designed to resist chemicals and provides adequate traction on slippery surfaces.

Chemical-resistant coveralls

Both coveralls and aprons can be worn over regular clothing and offer protection while mixing, diluting or applying pesticides.

The respirators and face masks sold at True PPE are all medically certified and extensively tested to comply with the latest US standards for health and safety in agriculture.