How to Maintain and Store your PPE?
Ultimate Guide on How to Maintain and Store your PPE!
In 2018, the world’s deadliest pandemic, the Spanish flu pandemic marked a centennial. Hardly, anyone would have expected that a pandemic would greet the world only after a span of a year or so. The COVID-19 pandemic surely has hit the world hard. But, thanks to modern medical advancements, the casualties in the pandemic were far less than the Spanish Flu pandemic. Even though the world is recovering, the precautions taken to protect oneself from the novel coronavirus are still practiced.
The war in the pandemic was ‘Humans vs Coronavirus’. Both sides fought the battle ferociously, and eventually, it was evident that humankind would easily triumph. The winners need to acknowledge the weapons they have used against their oppressors. These weapons include healthcare facilities, medicines, vaccines, soap & water, hand sanitizers, face masks & respirators, and PPE kits.
PPE kits are widely used by people at the workplace to protect themselves from any potential hazards. PPE stands for Personal Protective Equipment includes a bunch of safety gear equipment that protects one from head to toe. Depending upon the occupation & potential hazards, there are different types of PPE available.
This article will cover a different aspect of PPE, i.e. PPE storage & maintenance. Go through this article to find out more about what and where PPE storage is done, the necessity of proper PPE storage & maintenance, and a lot more! Go through the article, to find out how you should store & maintain PPE, and a lot more!
What is PPE storage?
Remember that the PPE kits are designed & manufactured for the safety of people to protect themselves from occupational hazards. In many nations, PPE is essential & mandatory at workplaces. It is the responsibility of the employer as well as the worker to always don a PPE. Just as proper training is required for donning & doffing a PPE kit, similarly PPE storage is also essential to keep it safe.
The storage of PPE is more or less dependent on its types of PPE. But, as the number of equipment increases and a wide variety of safety gear is included, then the PPE storage may differ. Healthcare-related PPE will have a respirator, while the PPE used in certain industries will include safety harnesses. Obviously, the storage for both these PPE kits differs from each other.
Why is proper PPE Storage essential?
It is important to ensure that the PPE is organized & stored well. Proper PPE storage ensures that the equipment stays damage-free. It also stays in a good touch & the longevity of the equipment is enhanced. Proper PPE storage also ensures that the safety parameter of the equipment doesn’t get disturbed. Proper PPE storage will reduce any chances of an increase in the contact of potential hazards. It also ensures to protect you from any injury, if any accident happens.
Note:- It is essential that one has trained & knows the proper procedure of PPE storage. Though PPE storage is simple, even a small mistake can compromise the safety of the PPE kit.
Where should one store the PPE?
PPE storage solutions include using PPE organizers, PPE storage bags, PPE racks, and many such utilities. Though these solutions aren’t necessary, they are highly recommended. The criteria for a PPE storage place are clean, dry, dust-free, and easily accessible. As long as these criteria are met, any place can be used to store PPE. It is advisable to avoid storing PPE with other garments & clothing. You can even store the PPE kits in a cupboard or rack, of course meeting the above criteria.
Tips on how & where to store PPE in a nutshell:
- PPE storage should be well-organized. Stacking is highly inadvisable.
- The place of PPE storage should be dry & clean.
- Use of PPE storage utilities like PPE organizers, PPE storage bags, PPE racks, and other utilities like separate shelves & wall hooks are highly advisable.
How to maintain your PPE?
Just as PPE storage, PPE maintenance is also vital. Basic PPE maintenance includes keeping a check on expiry dates, keeping the PPE kit clean, a basic understanding of legal work for PPE kits. Depending upon the equipment, the maintenance may differ. Here are a few tips to properly maintain PPE.
- Keep the headgear neat & clean before storing it. Use soap & water to clean the headgear after you use it.
- Keep a note of expiry dates, if any.
- Ensure that the headgear is comfortable enough.
- Replace the headgear, if you notice any potential damage.
- Keep the eyewear neat, dust-free & clean before storing it. Use soap & water to clean the headgear after you use it.
- Ensure that you don’t handle it roughly. There should be no scratching while cleaning the eyewear.
- Replace the eyewear, if you notice any potential damage.
Gloves & Face Masks
Note: Gloves & Face Masks should be reusable. Disposable ones must be discarded after a single use.
- Check the number of times gloves & face masks can be reused.
- Keep the gloves & face masks clean & dry before storing them. Use soap & water to clean the gloves & face masks after you use them. Dry the gloves & face masks before storing them.
- Replace the gloves & face masks, if you notice any potential damage.
- Keep the footwear clean & dry before storing them. Clean it with a clean cloth. Dry it before storing them.
- Replace the footwear, if you notice any potential damage.
- Ensure that the footwear is comfortable enough.
Note:- Always keep reminders or alarms for a maintenance check.
Can you reuse PPE?
Some parts of PPE can be reused. A few of them may be disposable, so discard them after a single use. In certain cases, when these disposable PPE come in contact with pathogens or hazardous chemicals, they should be discarded with proper precautions. Few PPE equipment can also be restored or parts can be replaced. Ensure that these parts are properly replaced without any damage to existing material.
Storage & Maintenance of PPE is simple, yet proper care & precautions while doing it must be taken care of. Proper maintenance & care of PPE will ensure its longevity & better safety. As PPE plays a vital role in avoiding major injuries & infections, they must be maintained properly. One has to store it well, getting complacent & not following proper instructions can put the safety & proper working of PPE in jeopardy.