What is PPE Inspection?
Why is PPE Inspection so Important?
The COVID-19 pandemic has already brought many existing, far less-known things into the limelight. I am sure you must have never heard about work from home, online teaching & learning, ZOOM meetings & webinars, and even engagements & weddings.
The pandemic has pushed us more and more into the digital era! But, that isn’t what we’re discussing here. We are going to discuss PPE kits & the need for PPE inspection! We will also delve into the PPE inspection requirements. A piece of brief information on PPE inspection procedures will also enlighten you about the process.
The COVID-19 pandemic also brought many medical instruments, tools, and even medications into the mainstream. Medicines like Remedisivir became quite common in the general masses.
For instance, some of us didn’t even hear about PPE kits, but during the pandemic, these were the most searched words on the internet. So, if you want to know more factual & correct information about the PPE kits, then you are at the right website.
For those who think PPE kits are used only by healthcare warriors & for protection against COVID-19, let me enlighten you regarding them. Even before the pandemic, PPE kits were being widely used. They are being used in the manufacturing industries, companies, hospitals, sanitation & disinfection purposes, and other areas of work where body protection is essential.
What is PPE?
PPE stands for Personal Protective Equipment. As its name suggests, PPE is the protector and protects the body of employees who work in a hazardous environment.
The hazardous environment may be dealing with a dangerous pathogen or a facility with potential leakage of poisonous gases, PPE kits are useful in both situations. The hazardous environment includes conditions of factories, electric supply stations, mines, and chemical manufacturing places & centers.
PPE is designed in such a way that it protects the eyes, nose, head, skull, hands, and feet too. It also takes care of proper vision and proper hearing, even after wearing PPE. PPE kit includes gloves, safety shoes, safety glasses, earplugs, hats, respirators, bodysuits, and vests. Let’s deep dive into the world of PPE!
Different Types of PPE
Type 1: Simple PPE
Type 1 type of PPE kits is intended for minimal risk situations. It does not include tools and equipment required for hazardous situations such as chemical protection, harmful radio signals, and other potentially risky situations.
Minimal risks situations usually include:
- Different mechanical injuries
- Physical contact with hot surfaces
- Eye-sight damage due to exposure to bright light or sunlight.
Type 2: Intermediate PPE
This type of PPE kit is designed for medium risk situations. It includes safety goggles or spectacles, suits with helmets, bumps caps, nose protectors, gloves, and safety shoes. This intermediate PPE kit surely saves you from medium risk situations.
Type 3: Complex PPE
This type of PPE is specially designed for protecting workers from high-risk situations that can cause severe consequences. These consequences may include severe attacks, irreversible and serious attacks on the person exposed to such severely dangerous situations. These injuries can harm the body quite heavily, so it is highly recommended to use type 3 PPE kits to save themselves from any possible dangers.
Examples of high-risk are:
- Oxygen deficient places such as mines, high altitude, underwater, and other areas
- Places with high Drowning chances
- Places with potential chances of Electric shocks
- Places with a screeching harsh noise
- Places with potential chances of Ionizing Radiation
- Places with potential chances of Accidental fire
- High-Pressure Jets
- Harmful biological elements
- Harmful chemical release
- Bursting of harmful gas tanks
- High-temperature areas
- Low-temperature areas
Here is how PPE protects against COVID-19.
What is PPE Inspection?
As previously mentioned, Personal Protective Equipment is generally used for the protection of the body from hazards. It is highly useful for protecting the body against falls, mining, shock absorption, and especially well-known for protection against pathogens like the novel coronavirus.
PPE inspection is the common term used for frequent checking and repairing of the PPE kit. The inspection process mainly consists of checking whether equipment and tools are working properly or not.
Why is PPE inspection so important?
The safety of the employees should be the priority of companies and organizations around the world. There are many cases where workers have lost their lives due to insufficient care & safety, especially due to lack of proper safety equipment.
It is not physically possible to stop the industrial activities that cause hazards and accidents, as they highly contribute to the economy of the world, as well as create employment for many individuals. Yet, we can take proper care of workers by taking utmost care of the PPE kit’s safety.
PPE can stop accidents and minimize hazardous situations. PPE is worn to minimize contact or exposure to biological, chemical, harmful physical, electrical, or other workplace hazards. PPE can become damaged or lose its effectiveness over the period due to wear and tear, UV exposure, misuse, and grit.
So, regular PPE inspection is mandatory to regulate the functioning of the PPE kit. If PPE kits are not being used or kept in storage, then they should be checked frequently, otherwise, they can lose their effectiveness. Regular inspection will help you to extend the life of a PPE kit.
What happens if we don’t perform PPE Inspection?
PPE inspection is done for inspecting its effectiveness and functioning ability. If we don’t perform a timely inspection of PPE, then in extreme cases, it can even lead to the death of workers. Yes, you heard it absolutely correctly. PPE plays a significant role in saving workers from hazardous situations and if it is not performing we will invite attacks and accidents frequently.
Some of the situations that might occur if we don’t perform PPE inspection:
- Direct exposure to pathogens
- Cuts and punctures.
- Electric shocks.
- Impacts and collisions.
- Being struck by falling objects or debris.
- Exposure to excessive noise or vibration.
- Breathing in contaminated air.
- Chemical burns.
- Projectiles or chemicals directly harming the eyes.
When do we know it is time to replace PPE?
Before knowing the right time to replace PPE, you should know what to look for in a PPE kit before buying it. Buying a PPE kit depends totally on you, and the task you are going to do by wearing these PPE kits. Both single usage and frequently usable PPE kits are available, and choosing between these two will be completely an individual choice.
Look for the fabric and quality of other tools in kits. Don’t compromise and buy the best for yourself. After all, a wrong choice can even cost a life. Nothing in this world lasts forever, so how can a PPE kit? It is a must to replace PPE kits after a stipulated period. But, here a question arises, how to know that it’s time to replace PPE?
It may not always be possible to replace PPE kits frequently. Replacing it too early would mean financial losses and would need to buy another new equipment. Replacing it too late could mean injuries or even death for the individuals involved.
So, here we have compiled commonly observed signs that mean it’s time up, and you need to replace the PPE kit.
Mainly, there are few primary reasons for replacing PPE
- PPE kit may be nearing its expiration date (or maybe expired).
- Obvious visible damage like rips, holes, tears, degrading, and/or soiling.
- Material damage or decolorization.
- Missing components (In such cases, you can replace the components)
- Failing straps, adapters, locks, or security devices.
- PPE is not used by only medical staff or doctors.
- Workers, employees, and mechanics also wear PPE for safety.
- Time-to-time replacement of PPE is a must for better results.
- Ignorance towards PPE inspection can cause severe issues, even death in some cases.
- Wear PPE according to body type (size), otherwise, it may create discomfort while working.