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What is PPE?

“Ok, I started a new job in a new industry, and all they talk about is PPE. What is it and how does it help me?“

PPE stands for personal protective equipment. Generally speaking it is something that you wear to protect you from certain types of hazards. You may also need to wear more than one type of PPE to stay as protected as possible. Some forms of PPE may cover one or more protections- for example safety glasses that are also sunglasses or boots that protect your toes, are warm and waterproof. So let’s go through the most common types of PPE that you could use to protect yourself.



Eye and face protection:

Protects against splashes and flying particulate: face shields and safety glasses

protects against light and flashes: sunglasses and welding shields


Hand protection:

protects against abrasions: leather or work gloves

protects against temperatures: insulated gloves for the cold or heat

protects against body fluids: medical or nitrile gloves



Respiratory protection:

protects against odors and other airborne substances: respirators

protects against particulate in the air such as dust, etc: N95

protects against airborne virus and bacteria: medical masks or multi layer cloth masks



Foot protection:

protection against liquids: waterproof boots

protection for your toes and bottom of your feet: steel or composite toe and shank

protection against thermal: insulted boots



Thermal protection:

protection against the cold: insulated clothing including coats, vests, insulated pants, gloves, head coverings, balaclava,

prevention from the heat



Hearing protection:

Noise dampening: can reduce the amount of decibels that you hear



So, there you have it, folks. PPE might seem like a hassle, but trust me, it's worth it. Protecting yourself on the job ensures that you can continue to work safely and productively. And who knows, you might even start to enjoy looking like a construction worker or astronaut (depending on your PPE, of course). Stay safe out there!


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