It is known that construction sites often have significantly more safety hazards than most workplaces. It is detrimental to their safety that your workers are equipped with the necessary Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to keep them safe on the job. This blog will discuss 10 PPE must-haves for construction workers so you can double-check that your inventory has everything your employees need.
Why Is PPE Important?
Having adequate PPE on a work site is essential because of the risks and hazards on any construction worksite. PPE is there to reduce any workers’ exposure to these hazards where structural or administrative controls are impractical or cannot reduce these risks to an acceptable level.
PPE Must-Haves for a Construction Worksite
Here are 10 types of personal protective equipment every construction worker should have at their worksite:
1 – Work Boots
Work boots with slip-resistant soles minimize the risk of slips and falls. The sole should also be in good working order to avoid the risk of puncture. A steel cap toe is highly recommended to protect your feet from any dropped or falling items.
2 – Gloves
Hands are at risk of cuts, burns, fractures, and exposure to chemical substances while on the worksite. The gloves your workers should use should be snug and free of damage that could compromise their protective qualities. Always replace them if they are damaged. Remember to use rubber gloves for tasks involving heat or electricity.
3 – Earplugs
Damage to your hearing is a significant risk in construction because of the loud tools and machinery that need to be operated. Always ensure the earplugs are clean before insertion and fit comfortably into the ear canal. Shapeable earplugs are recommended to ensure a perfect fit for differently shaped ear canals.
4 – Hard Hats
Hard hats are essential for protection from falling objects and even act as an insulator from electric shock. They should always be a firm fit and free of any deformities or dents. A hard hat that has sustained any impact should be replaced immediately. Only use the recommended cleaning agent for hard hats, so you don’t reduce their effectiveness, and never store them in direct sunlight.
5 – Goggles
On a worksite, eyes risk injury from chemical elements, material shards, smoke, and flying objects. Cutting, welding, and concreting are common tasks that present a risk of eye or face damage and should be performed with goggles or a face shield. Ensure the goggles have no defects and meet the ANSI Z87.1 eye protection standard before use. Always clean and disinfect your goggles after every use.
6 – High Visibility Clothing
When working on sites such as bridges or roads, there is the risk of being hit by passing motorists. Because of this, PPE made with bright colors and reflecting accents maximizes visibility. This clothing can include vests, jackets, trousers, or jumpsuits. The articles should fit appropriately to avoid tripping or getting caught on anything that could lead to a hazard. Clean these articles regularly to ensure the worker can always be seen from a distance.
7 – Masks
Surgical or face masks are important when working on tasks where you can inhale harmful materials into the body. Understanding the task helps you to pick the mask that is best suited and designed to protect the worker during that specific task. You want the masks to have a tight fit and should be thrown away after each use if disposable. Never share masks, and always replace them immediately when they are damaged.
8 – Respirators
A respirator is a protective mask or hood that allows the wearer to breathe clean air. Some tasks require using a respirator when a mask is not adequate. Again, you want to ensure you have a task-appropriate respirator for the job at hand. You must train the workers using the respirator to operate the equipment adequately. Filters must be changed frequently, and never continue using the respirator if it malfunctions. Ensure the respirator fits the wearers with a tight seal to the face.
9 – Fall Protection Equipment
Fall protection equipment includes safety harnesses and lanyards used to complete tasks that are high up. Closely inspect the equipment before use to ensure the buckles and straps are free from damage. Also, test your connection to your anchor point before undertaking any task. If a fall occurs, the equipment should be disposed of immediately.
10 – Sunscreen
Often overlooked as PPE, sunscreen is also important on California job sites. Encourage workers to apply it when they arrive on site each day and to re-apply throughout the day.
What Does PPE Mean in Construction?
PPE in construction refers to any items worn or used by workers to minimize risk to their health and safety. These items can be broadly classified into the following categories:
- Eye and face protection
- Hand protection
- Body protection
- Respiratory protection
- Hearing protection
Secure Your PPE Through Extreme Safety!
Having updated and effective PPE on your worksites is detrimental to ensuring that every one of your employees is safe throughout every work day. At Extreme Safety, we supply all the PPE on this list to ensure that you and your employees work in a safe environment. Give us a call at (310) 856-0166 or visit our website to browse our safety products.