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Why PPE Plays A Huge Role In The Construction Industry

Why PPE Plays A Huge Role In The Construction Industry

Apr 16 2021 at 09:38

The likelihood of accidents and injuries occurring in the construction industry is potentially higher due to its environment and setting. Without the appropriate equipment in place, health and safety issues are to be expected. Many workplace accidents can be prevented with adequate usage of personal protective equipment (PPE).

Any negligence could lead to an accident occurring. Hence, the reason why it is crucial proper PPE guidelines are in place to protect workers from any health or safety risks. Learn more about the standard PPE used in construction sites and their purpose so you can better educate your workers on their importance.

Hard hats

Otherwise known as safety helmets, the hard hat is designed to protect against any falling debris or potential flying objects. Head injury is one of the leading causes of fatal injury in any workplace accidents. The human brain is fragile, which is why protection is so important. Workers need to choose the right equipment that best fits them, any hard hat that is too big or small will be inappropriate for use.

Safety goggles and face shield

Metalwork, woodwork and welding are some of the frequent tasks construction workers have to undertake onsite. When performing those tasks, foreign items can easily get in the eye without proper eye and face protection, leading to permanent blindness.

Safety goggles and face shield are mandatory when performing such tasks. Workers exposed to electrical hazards are advised to wear them as well. 

Respirators

Construction sites are filled with harmful substances that could cause permanent     respiratory damage. Dust, fumes, paint sprays and pesticides present respiratory hazards to construction workers.

The workers need to wear a respirator to prevent them from inhaling these harmful substances and damaging their lungs. This equipment is also mandatory for poorly ventilated working environments.

Earmuffs and earplugs

Construction workers are exposed daily to machinery that causes high levels of noise pollution. Prolong exposure can cause permanent damage to their hearing. As such, they need to wear ear protection when using machinery such as drilling equipment.

Do note that earmuffs are designed to reduce high-frequency noise and earplugs are meant for low-frequency noise.

Coveralls and gloves

Construction work is manual labour that requires the use of hands - hence, it is essential to wear gloves at all times when performing any task. There are various gloves tailored for specific working conditions.

Workers need to ensure they are using the right PPE for the job. It is also imperative to wear coveralls during construction work to minimise stray debris like glass from cutting your skin.

Safety harness

The safety harness is a crucial piece of equipment for scaffolding work where workers are required to work at height. Workers are advised to inspect the safety harnesses before use and ensure they are wearing them correctly. This equipment is often one of the most crucial  things preventing them from falling from a great height.

In addition to equipping yourself with the right equipment, having the knowledge of work at height (WAH) through attending the Perform Work At Height course will allow workers to carry out WAH duties safely and correctly. Meanwhile, for a more comprehensive understanding over WAH - the Manage Work At Height course gives workers an in-depth grasp of the skills and knowledge needed - such as ways to identify hazards and executing a Fall Prevention Plan.

Safety boots

It is paramount for construction workers to have proper footwear before stepping on site. They must ensure their safety boots are puncture-resistant and slip-resistant. The safety boots help prevent crushed toes in the event of falling objects or when coming into contact with heavy equipment.

Conclusion:

Everyone has a role to play in ensuring workplace safety. Employers need to maintain proper PPE guidelines and ensure their workers are following them strictly. However, this is just one of many precautions employers have to take to protect their employees.

It is imperative that regular training is conducted and employees are equipped with the latest knowledge and skills. For instance, workers must attend an Apply Workplace Safety and Health (AWSH) in Metalwork (MSOC) course before engaging in any metalwork onsite. Such courses educate them on the proper safety guidelines, the requirement of the tasks and how to respond in emergencies. With proper training, we can establish a safer workplace for everyone.