Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Safety: A Guide | safety culture (2023)


According to the hierarchy of controls by theNational Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), PSA (sometimes referred to asPSAequipment) – is recommended as a last line of defense to prevent occupational injuries, illness and death, but some companies combined it with other control measures to ensure a safe and healthy environment for their workers.Here are some benefits of using PPE:

The 4 basic types

However, even the most stringent controls will not necessarily eliminate all of the risks associated with most work tasks and this is where the need for PPE needs to be assessed. A risk assessment can help determine what specific PPE is required. Depending on the risk situation and working conditions, numerous types of occupational safety equipment are available. The following are basic PPE that can help protect employees:

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Safety: A Guide | safety culture (1)

face and eye protection

PPE includes goggles and a face shield and should be used for tasks that can cause eye damage or loss of vision, splashes of toxic liquids, splashes and burns.

Safety tips:

  • Verify that the goggles meet ANSI Z87.1 eye protection standard.
  • Make sure the lenses are not cracked or deformed.
  • Make sure the strap is in good condition and is snug against the cheek and forehead.
  • Clean and disinfect after use.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Safety: A Guide | safety culture (2)

respiratory protection

PPE includes full-face respirators, self-contained breathing apparatus, gas masks, N95 respirators, and surgical masks used for a task that may involve inhalation of harmful substances into the body. This includes harmful gases, chemicals, large particle droplets, sprays, splashes or splashes that may contain viruses and bacteria such as COVID-19, viral infections and more.

Safety tips:

  • Ensure that the equipment is suitability checked and that the employee has received appropriate training before wearing it.
  • Read the instructions carefully to determine if they are intended to help protect you from the hazards you may be exposed to.
  • Change the filters on half-mask or full-face respirators frequently.
  • Replace disposable respirators with each use.
  • Surgical masks are not to be shared with anyone.
  • Avoid touching the surgical mask after wearing it.
  • Change the surgical mask in good time and you should dispose of it after use.
  • Replace the mask immediately if it is damaged or dirty.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Safety: A Guide | safety culture (3)

Skin and body protection

PPE includes the following categories to protect workers from physical hazards:

head protection

PPE includes hard hats and headgear and should be mandatory for tasks where violence or objects may fall on the head.

Safety tips:

  • Make sure there are no dents or warps in the shell and the internal connections are tight.
  • Do not store in direct sunlight as extreme heat can cause damage.
  • Choose appropriate cleaning products as they can weaken hard hat shells and eliminate electrical resistance.
  • Always replace a hard hat that has been subjected to an impact, even if the damage is not apparent.

body armor

PPE includes safety vests and suits that can be used for tasks that can cause bodily harm from extreme temperatures, flame and sparks, toxic chemicals, insect bites, and radiation.

Safety tips:

  • Make sure they are clean and free from cuts and burns.
  • Always ensure a good fit to ensure full body protection.
  • Make sure the bodysuit is heat-resistant clothing, thoughWorking with high temperatureDriven.

hand protection

PPE includes protective gloves and should be used for tasks that can cause burns to hands and skin, absorption of contaminants, cuts, fractures, or amputations.

Safety tips:

  • Make sure the handguard fits perfectly with no gaps and is free from cuts, burns and chemical residue.
  • Always replace them if signs of contamination are found.
  • Use rubber gloves when working with heat and electricity to reduce the risk of burns or electric shock.

foot protection

PPE includes knee pads and safety boots and should be used for tasks that involve serious foot and leg injuries from falling or rolling objects, hot substances,Risk of electric shock, and slippery surfaces.

(Video) What Is Personal Protection Equipment (PPE)? | Donning and Doffing Training | SafetyCulture

Safety tips:

  • Make sure boots have non-slip soles that can protect against compression and impact.
  • Make sure the sole plate is in good condition to avoid punctures.

fall protection

PPE includes safety harnesses and lanyards and should only be used for tasks that could result in a fall from a height that could result in serious injury or death.

Safety tips:

  • Make sure the straps are free from tears, deformation and burn marks.
  • Check that the buckles are connected securely and tightly.
  • Discard the device if it has been used after a fall accident.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Safety: A Guide | safety culture (4)

ear protection

PPE includes earmuffs and plugs and should be used for tasks that can cause hearing problems and hearing loss.

Safety tips:

  • Make sure the device fits perfectly in the ear canal.
  • It is recommended to use malleable earplugs that fit different sized ear canals.
  • Use protectors that reducenoise pollutionto an acceptable level to have room for communication.
  • Make sure the earplugs are clean and in good condition.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Safety: A Guide | safety culture (5)

COVID-19 Prevention and Control

The global COVID-19 pandemic is having a far-reaching impact on economies, businesses and living standards around the world. The introduction of the use of PPE such as face mask and face shield in public areas is mandatory in different countries to prevent andControlling the spread of COVID-19. However, this protocol does not guarantee that the ongoing risks have changed significantly.

The World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have established guidelines on how to properly wear face masks to protect against contracting or spreading the virus. Here are the do's and don'ts of wearing masks.

  • Wash or disinfect hands before wearing the mask
  • Check the mask for damage
  • Make sure the colored side is facing out
  • Cover your mouth, nose and chin and adjust accordingly without leaving any lateral gaps
  • Make sure you can breathe properly when wearing a mask
  • Avoid touching the mask while using it
  • Wash or disinfect hands before removing the mask
  • Remove the mask by the strap behind the ears
  • Preferably wash the mask with soap and hot water at least once a day
  • Dispose of the mask properly after use
  • Use the mask if it is damaged, wet or dirty
  • Wear a loose mask. Wear the mask under your nose
  • Wear a mask that makes it difficult for you to breathe
  • Touch the mask while using it
  • Take off the mask when talking to other people
  • Share used masks with other people. Reuse disposable masks

The fight against the global pandemic requires frontliners, including doctors and nurses, to wear isolation gowns to protect them from contracting the virus. This would help reduce the chances of getting sick, even if they always interact with COVID-19 patients. Below are CDC guidelines to follow when using PPE:

  • All healthcare professionals should receive comprehensive training on PPE, including appropriate use, proper donning (donning) and doffing (removal), limitations, maintenance and disposal.
  • Make sure your choice of dress size matches your height.
  • Perform hand hygienebefore putting on the isolation gown.
  • Don a NIOSH-approved respirator with N95 filtration or higher. Use a face mask if a respirator is not available.
  • Respirator bands should be put on at the top of the head (top band) and at the base of the neck (bottom band).
  • Conduct a leak test every time you wear a respirator.
  • Face mask straps should be attached at the crown of the head (upper strap) and at the base of the neck (lower strap). If the face mask has loops, hook them around the ears accordingly.
  • Choose the right eye protection such as a face shield or goggles.
  • Pay attention to the correct position of the eye protection. It should not affect the seal of the respirator.
  • Wear gloves, they should cover the cuff (wrist) of the gown.
  • PPE must be appropriately donned prior to entering the patient area including the isolation room.
  • While on duty, PPE must remain in place and be worn correctly, especially in potentially contaminated areas.
  • Do not adjust PPE while treating patients. For example re-tying the gown or adjusting the respirator or face mask.
  • PPE must be removed slowly and deliberately one at a time to prevent self-contamination.
  • Ensure that removing the gloves does not cause additional contamination of the hands.
  • Gloves can be removed using the glove-in-glove or bird's beak technique.
  • When removing the gown, gently reach up to your shoulders and pull the gown down and away from your body.
  • Always practice hand hygiene after removing the gown.
  • When removing the eye shield, do not touch the front of the face shield or goggles.
  • When removing a respirator or face mask, do not touch the front of the respirator or face mask.
  • Dispose of face masks properly.

Occupational safety should start with arisk assessment. Once the hazards and risks have been identified, a plan can be put forward to prioritize and reduce the risk of injury. Useful systems and tools for conducting risk assessments include conducting arisk assessmentand aOccupational Safety Analysis (JSA).

The hierarchy of controls is a proven security approach that helps protect employees. When elimination, replacement, technical and administrative controls are not enough to eliminate the risk, it is important to carefully select the appropriate PPE. Make sure workers are properly trained to use the equipment and are able to identify and report damage before beginning work.

AToolbox talk about PPEIt is recommended to discuss the different types of PPE that can be used to minimize the likelihood and mitigate the impact of hazards. With aToolbox Conversation Template, it can be helpful in assessing the adequacy and availability of equipment for all employees.

PPE Safety Requirements

To promote PPE safety in their workplace, safety officers must do the following:

  • Regularly inspect workplaces for the need for PPE.
  • If PPE is required, provide workers with properly fitted PPE.
  • Train employees on OSHA PPE standards.
  • Provide safety goggles or a face shield if there is a risk of flying particles or corrosive materials.
  • Require safety goggles to be worn at all times on job sites where there is a risk of eye sting, abrasion, crushing or burns.
  • Provide and require protective gloves in situations where employees could cut themselves or potentially be exposed to corrosive liquids, chemicals, blood and other potentially infectious materials.
  • Require the use of foot protection when there is a risk of foot injury from hot, corrosive or toxic substances and falling objects.
  • Regularly inspect hard hats for damage to the shell and suspension system.
  • Keep the PPE in hygienic conditions and ready for use.
  • Ensure that eyewash stations and quick showers are easily accessible for employees if they are accidentally exposed to corrosive materials.
  • Establish safe working practices for disposal or decontamination of PPE following hazardous exposures.

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Examples of PPE safety

These examples of PPE safety are based on aFree PPE Checklistprovided by SafetyCulture for anyone to download and use for free.

Type of activity: Laboratory (Chemical Handling)

Possible hazards at work:

  1. dangers to the eyes– handling/dispensing of chemicals and ingredients; working around UV light; Machining, grinding, grinding, welding, metalworking; Tasks that generate dust
    Risk/e– Chemical exposure, dust particles, flying debris
    Description of the hazard– Corrosive chemicals that are harmful if they explode
    PPE required– Safety goggles with side shields, chemical safety goggles
    Is the equipment checked and in good condition?
    The glasses are in good condition. The lenses are clean with no dirt or debris
    Does the equipment fit perfectly?
    They fit perfectly on the cheeks and forehead.
  2. Head/Neck/Face Hazards– Handling/dispensing chemicals and ingredients, chipping, sanding or grinding metal or wood; Working on live equipment, working in closed rooms
    Risk/e– Chemical exposure, dust particles, flying debris, UV/IR radiation
    Description of the hazard– Dispensing of chemicals and spills
    PPE required– Full face protection
    Is the equipment checked and in good condition?
    Face shields have no dents and marks.
  3. Respiratory hazards– handling/use of highly hazardous chemicals; Tasks that generate dust and/or fumes; Cutting, soldering on certain metals (stainless steel)
    Risk/e– Chemical exposure, dust particles, flying debris
    Description of the hazard– Contact with hazardous vapors
    PPE required– respirators
    Does the equipment fit perfectly?
    It fits perfectly. Straps are tight.

To give you a better idea, we have created a sample report in PDF format below:

Preview of the PSA sample report

(Video) Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

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Ensure proper PPE use with PPE courses

Providing your employees with Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) alone is not enough to protect them from hazards, injuries and accidents, especially in industries such as:construction, manufacturing and healthcare. To ensure their PPE is performing its function fully, it is critical that your employees understand proper use, maintenance and disposal to protect themselves (and in the case of healthcare workers, the people they serve). Luckily, with the available online PPE courses that your employees can take at their leisure, training will be easy and convenient for you.

Here you will find our highly recommendedPSA-Coursescovering the different types of PPE and showing when and how to use them correctly. Enhanced PPE training not only protects your employees from hazards, but also increases productivity without the risk of unwanted incidents. AttemptEdApp by SafetyCulture, a mobile-first microlearning platform offering hundreds of free courses including:

All EdApp courses can be customized to fit your organization's needs and deployed to your team in minutes. Employees can access lessons in the course on the go, anytime, even offline.

The EdApp team can also convert your existing PPE safety training materials into an interactive mobile course that is both fun and educational for your employees.

Try EdApp now!

PSA security software

SafetyCulture (formerly iAuditor)provides a digital space for safety officers and employees to work towards PPE safety.SafetyCulture helps teams conduct hazard assessments to determine if enforcing PPE use is the best control measure for the job. It also allows employees to easily maintain the PPE.

With the SafetyCulture app, employees can take photos of PPE defects and even annotate photos to show where the damage is.Safety officers also find it easier to track the number of PPE they can use and are better equipped to provide their employees with what they need to get the job done.

Learn more about SafetyCulture features for PPE safety.

PPE inspections with SafetyCulture

By using SafetyCulture for PPE inspections, safety officers can protect employees from the hazards of the job by ensuring their PPE is always in good condition.

With SafetyCulture, conducting regular PPE inspections is easy with convenient access to inspection data that is automatically stored in the cloud. Safety officers can also generate PPE inspection reports anytime, anywhere with just a tap.

Beyond PPE inspections, SafetyCulture can also be used to develop an organization's health and safety program by empowering safety officers to:


  • Enforce standardized security protocols across teams and different locations
  • Reduce risk with a variety of free risk assessment templates
  • Immediately plan corrective actions to prevent incidents

Discover a better, faster, and easier way to empower teams in the workplace.

Ensure security and protect employees

PPE safety is the practice of maintaining a safe work environment for employees and visitors through the use of personal protective equipment (PPE).Security is paramount for all businesses across all industries. Use of PPE coupled with inspections such asWorkplaceandRestaurant Inspection, reviews likeHealth and safety risk assessments, and analyzes such asGap-Analyse—is essential to protect employees from risks and hazards.

Here are the frequently asked questions about PPE.

Frequently asked questions about PPE

SeaWorld Health Organization, people should not wear masks when exercising because masks can affect the ability to breathe comfortably. Once a mask gets wet, it encourages the growth of microorganisms and makes breathing difficult.

All personal protective equipment (PPE) should be well maintained, clean and reliable. Employers should check that they are designed and built safely for their function and use. It should fit comfortably for users to ensure they are protected and able to work efficiently.

Yes. AfterOSHA, employers should conduct PPE training that includes topics such as when to use it, what appropriate equipment should be used, how to use and adjust it, equipment restrictions, and the proper maintenance and disposal of equipment.

(Video) Importance of PPE Safety on board ship

OnOSHA regulationstates that employers are responsible for providing and paying for PPE when used to complyOSHA-Standards.

Employers must ensure that each employee follows PPE guidelines and that equipment is appropriate to protect employees from hazards, even if an employee provides their own PPE.

PPE is the last level of defense accNIOSH. It is a false statement to believe that once an employee wears PPE, they are fully protected. PPE only minimizes the likelihood of exposure or can reduce the severity of injury. Do not use PPE if the risks are greater than anticipated.

no Never allow exceptions from wearing PPE, even if the job would only take a few minutes. An incident can occur at any time and wearing appropriate PPE can reduce the risk of an accident.

APPE safety checklistwould help identify the appropriate PPE required to perform tasks. It would help ensure the employee is using the correct equipment to reduce the overall risks and hazards.

(Video) PPE - Personal Protective Equipment || PPE Hazards || PPE Safety || HSE STUDY GUIDE

PPE safety checklist list


What is PPE include an example in your answer? ›

Personal protective equipment, commonly referred to as “PPE”, is equipment worn to minimize exposure to a variety of hazards. Examples of PPE include such items as gloves, foot and eye protection, protective hearing devices (earplugs, muffs) hard hats, respirators and full body suits.

What is PPE and give at least 5 importance of using PPE? ›

Personal protective equipment, commonly referred to as "PPE", is equipment worn to minimize exposure to hazards that cause serious workplace injuries and illnesses. These injuries and illnesses may result from contact with chemical, radiological, physical, electrical, mechanical, or other workplace hazards.

What are the components of PPE choose 5 answers below *? ›

Components of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
  • Gloves. Gloves help protect you when directly handling potentially infectious materials or contaminated surfaces.
  • Gowns. ...
  • Shoe and Head Covers. ...
  • Masks and Respirators. ...
  • Other Face and Eye Protection.
Oct 20, 2022

What is the proper use of PPE? ›

PPE Use in Healthcare Settings

The gown should be donned first. The mask or respirator should be put on next and properly adjusted to fit; remember to fit check the respirator. The goggles or face shield should be donned next and the gloves are donned last.

How do you explain PPE? ›

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is specialized clothing or equipment worn by an employee for protection against infectious materials.

What are the 7 types of protection provided by PPE? ›

What Are the Seven Types of PPE?
  • Head Protection. Typical Forms: Hard hats, bump caps, and headwear. ...
  • Eye Protection. Typical Forms: Safety glasses, welding helmets, face shields. ...
  • Hearing Protection. Typical Forms: Earmuffs, earplugs. ...
  • Hand Protection. ...
  • Respiratory Protection. ...
  • Foot and Leg Protection. ...
  • Body Protection.
Sep 9, 2020

What are the 3 key things to consider when wearing a PPE? ›

7 Most Important Factors for Selecting PPE
  • Climate. One of the first things you need to consider when selecting the right PPE is the climate that people will be working in. ...
  • Threat Level. ...
  • Balancing Comfort & Safety. ...
  • Presence of Vehicles & Forklifts. ...
  • Sizing & Proper Fit. ...
  • Industry. ...
  • Cost of PPE.
Nov 8, 2019

What are the 6 basic PPE's? ›

7 types of personal protective equipment (PPE) to guarantee your safety
  • Safety for the head. Wearing a helmet offers protection and can prevent head injuries. ...
  • Protect your eyes. ...
  • Hearing protection. ...
  • Maintain a good respiration. ...
  • Protect your hands with the right gloves. ...
  • Protection for the feet. ...
  • Wear the correct work clothing.

What are the benefits of using PPE in the workplace? ›

PPE, or Personal Protective Equipment, helps prevent staff emergencies on the job due to inhalation, absorption, irritants, or other prolonged contact with a cleaning chemical. This actively reduces accidents, improves the health of your employees, and makes for a safer, secure work environment.

Why is PPE important in your daily activities in the workplace? ›

PPE is equipment that protects workers against health or safety risks on the job and reduces employee exposure to hazards. The dangers can be anything from slippery wet floors to loose falling debris.

What is the most important item of PPE? ›

1. Protective Clothing. If a worker is working around hazardous substances like hot oil, hot water, welding sparks, etc. then protective clothing like a coverall is important to have on the list of must wear PPE.

What are the 4 basic elements of using and caring for PPE? ›

Someone in an A risk situation would require more equipment with a higher performance rating than someone in a D situation. Within each level, there are recommendations for the four categories of PPE, including eye protection, skin protection, lung protection, and hand protection.

What are the 4 levels of PPE? ›

Levels of PPE
  • Full-face or half-mask, air-purifying respirator (NIOSH approved).
  • Chemical resistant clothing (one piece coverall, hooded two piece chemical splash suit, chemical resistant hood and apron, disposable chemical resistant coveralls.)
  • Gloves, outer, chemical resistant.
  • Gloves, inner, chemical resistant.
Nov 16, 2022

What 4 items of PPE should you have? ›

4 - Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
  • Gloves.
  • Aprons.
  • Masks.
  • Eye Protection.

Why is personal safety important? ›

Personal safety goes beyond following the employer's safety program. It also means having a general awareness and prevention of possible harmful situations, whether off or on the clock! Giving proper attention to personal safety concerns can improve employee morale and reduce absences.

How many types of PPE are there? ›

For the purpose of this site, PPE will be classified into categories: eye and face protection, hand protection, body protection, respiratory protection, and hearing protection.

What are my safety and health responsibility? ›

You have responsibilities towards your employer and your co-workers. Your employer is responsible for making sure that the workplace is safe, and that your health and safety are not put at risk. You are responsible for looking after your own health and safety. You must also take care not to put other people at risk.

How does PPE protect us? ›

PPE such as gowns, gloves, masks, and goggles provide physical barriers that prevent the hands, skin, clothing, eyes, nose, and mouth from coming in contact with infectious agents.

What does PPE mean in health and safety? ›

Personal protective equipment (PPE) at work.

Who is responsible for PPE in the workplace? ›

Employers Must Pay for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

On May 15, 2008, a new OSHA rule about employer payment for PPE went into effect. With few exceptions, OSHA now requires employers to pay for personal protective equipment used to comply with OSHA standards.

What are examples of PPE quizlet? ›

-Personal protective equipment includes, but is not limited to, gloves, gowns, laboratory coats, face shields or masks, eye protection, mouthpieces, resuscitation bags, pocket masks, or other ventilation devices.

What is PPE quizlet? ›

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Specialized clothing or equipment, worn by an employee for protection against infectious materials (as defined by OSHA).


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