How do you choose body protection PPE?
What is the role of PPE for body protection in industries?
In the previous articles, we have discussed different PPE that protect eyes, ears, nose, mouth, and face. Now, we will move on to the next type of PPE, i.e. PPE for body protection. Body protection PPE safeguards the body from hazards that can potentially harm or risk human life. Industries are responsible for the growth and running of the economy. They create employment that creates a livelihood for many individuals. But, these industries often require their employees to work under hazardous conditions. How do the employees protect themselves from these hazards? This is where PPE comes to the rescue.
In this article, we are going to answer the question of ‘How do you choose body protection PPE?’ So, let’s begin without any further ado. Industries are the hub of various operations and processes that may involve various risks, perils, and hazards. This includes various conditions like high pressure and temperature, handling corrosive and explosive chemicals, heavy and bulky machines, and many more. Once these hazardous conditions are analyzed, industrial personnel are trained accordingly. They are recommended to don a suitable PPE according to the hazardous conditions.
Why Do We Need PPE For Body Protection?
Industries often involve many hazardous and risky procedures. These processes and operations are a part and parcel of these industries. Industries like healthcare, manufacturing, food processing, pharmaceuticals, mining, metallurgy, agro-based industries, and many more often involve procedures where the human body is at risk. The risk is due to the procedures like heating, chemical mixing & agitation, cutting, grinding, drilling, welding, and many more.
PPE for body protection helps in protecting the body of an individual from pathogens, fluids, chemical splashes, lasers, sparks, flying metal or wood chips (often at high speeds), fire, heat, UV, IR, and other types of rays, and many others. Just as mentioned in previous articles on PPE, it must be noted that the PPE must be donned properly. Choosing PPE for body protection highly depends on the type of hazard, the extent of the hazard, and the level of protection required.
In the US, based on these workplace hazards, the PPE for body protection is classified into 4 types. Type A & B are encapsulated suits which often mean that they do not allow any contact between exterior surroundings and the human body. Type C & D are not encapsulated and are donned in less hazardous conditions.
For more details, check out the protective suit requirements from OSHA.
Why should an employer worry about PPE for body protection?
Ensuring the availability of proper PPE is one of the necessary steps that must be taken by an employer. Along with the provision of PPE, the employer should also train, create awareness and educate their employees about PPE and industrial hazards. Why should the employer take these initiatives? Let’s look at a few reasons.
The trust between employer and employees is established when the employer takes care of the safety and hygiene of the workplace. It should be noted that the human body and skin are highly sensitive to industrial hazards. They can easily get damaged if exposed directly to these hazards. The damages can be curable or incurable.
An employer surely won’t want their employees to be exposed to these hazards causing direct harm to them. Not only will this cause a loss in manpower for the employer but also cause heavy monetary losses due to workers’ comp. Also, no employer would want their employee to get hurt due to their negligence.
Anyways, an employer has to accept the necessary safety protocols recommended (in some cases made compulsory) by government regulators like OSHA and NIOSH in the US. The US has strict laws safeguarding the rights and safety of employees. These laws are stronger when safety is compromised due to the negligence of the employer. Not providing PPE along with lack of awareness about industrial hazards is considered to be negligent behavior of the employer.
Why is it better to wear PPE for body protection?
Independent researchers have found out that 1 in every 4 employees working in the industry lacks proper PPE concerning the industrial hazards that they face. The most common reasons for this negligence have been pointed towards the lack of awareness about the importance and training of PPE and lack of funds for buying proper PPE. This leads to grave losses if mishaps occur.
Find out more details of surveys on injuries due to lack of safety equipment.
For reducing the chances of any harm and maintaining a safe work environment, donning PPE for body protection is necessary. This must be taken into account by both the employer and the employee. For example, wearing high-visibility PPE clothing reduces any chance of an accident.
An employer must ensure that the employee receives proper PPE training along with a PPE kit that includes PPE for body protection tailor-made for the industrial hazards that the employee will face.
What Are The Different Kinds Of PPE for Face Protection?
As mentioned in the previous articles of the PPE, different industrial hazards can damage the employee. PPE for body protection is classified based on the industrial hazard it is protecting from and the extent of the industrial hazard. There are many different types of body protection PPE available. Let’s look at a few PPE for body protection in-depth,
Nomex suits are used to protect the body from extreme heat and fire. It is widely used in firefighting, petrochemical industries, military, and formula racing. Nomex was developed by DuPont in the 1960s and is their registered trademark. These suits also protect from moisture and wind. Moreover, they are flexible and long-lasting with minimal care required.
Tyvek suits are also a registered trademark of DuPont. It acts as a barrier between chemicals and the body. It is widely used in the industries of chemical handling, mixing, and agitation. Tyvek suits are durable and non-woven. They allow free movement and cause no restrictions.
These suits are used when the external hazard is very dangerous and the contact between the hazard and body must be prohibited completely. These suits do not allow any external particles to contact the body. They are often accompanied by a full-face respirator or SCBA. Acid suits are primary examples of these suits that protect from acids.
Also, find out when do we use PPE for respiratory protection?
Coveralls are often used in healthcare and research for protection against pathogens. They are mostly one-time-use PPE and are disposed of after they are worn.
Welding Protective Clothing
It is a special type of protective clothing worn during welding and soldering. It protects from sparks. It is often accompanied by a welding hood.
Interested ones can go through our article on PPE for face protection.
Other types of body protection PPE that are commonly used are rain suits, barriers, heat-resistant jackets, lab coats, aprons, reflective protective vests, life jackets, and many more.
How And When Do We Use PPE for Body Protection?
PPE for body protection is widely used in industries to protect the body from industrial hazards. The type of body protection PPE more or less depends on two factors. These two factors are the type and extent of the hazard. Wearing PPE for body protection may require proper PPE-related training.
The human body can be seriously damaged due to industrial hazards. This means there must be some protective barrier between the human body and the industrial hazards. Here, PPE for body protection comes to the rescue. They ensure that the damage is prevented, and in cases of any mishap reduce the damages. So, it becomes quite important to choose the right type of PPE for body protection.