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The personal protective equipment (PPE)

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The essay would only dwell on the protective devices which are meant to protect employees from industrial electrical accidents within the electrical production industries. I will define the PPE then go ahead to list the PPE types which are required for various tasks in the industry; how to inspect and maintain the PPE; the rating carried out on each PPE for the various tasks; the injuries which may occur as a result of not wearing the PPE including cases in real life; finally, the training requirements for the PPE worn by the employees. The personal protective equipment (PPE) refers to any equipment which is worn by workers with an aim of protecting themselves and hence minimizing the risks of getting exposed to the various hazard types which they encounter in their work places. The PPE includes a number of devices, for example, the devices which offer protection to the eyes, foot, earplugs and muffs which protect the ears, gloves, full body suits and respiratory suites and the hard hats for protecting the head (Mcgoldrick, 115).

It calls for the efforts of both the employees and the employer to make sure that they develop a strategy for protection by establishing and maintaining safe and healthy work environments. As the employers provide the appropriate PPE to their employees, they have the following roles; they should first carry out a case study and assessments on the possible hazards which would in turn be vital in the identification of both physical and health hazards; it is the mandate of the employers to provide the employees with the necessary PPE which they require in the work places; the employers should also make sure that the employee awareness of the personal protective equipment is boosted through organized training, the training, which should be on the use and maintenance of these equipment; the employer should make sure that they bear the initial costs of purchasing the personal protective equipment and the cost for maintaining and replacing them; lastly, the employers should make it a routine to do reviews on the success of the personal protective equipment being used in their industries. On the other hand, the employees should also play a role in providing protection for themselves and other people around them in a work place; they should ensure that they put the personal protective equipment into proper use by wearing them according to the requirements of the manufacturer; the employees should make sure that they avail themselves for training on various concepts with the PPE; for the personal protective equipment to last longer, the employees need to take care of them through cleaning and proper maintenance. In cases where they are realized not to be in good condition, the employees should inform the right authority about their condition and whether they need to be replaced or just repaired. It is the call of OSHA that the personal protective equipment be provided by the employers without having to charge them; in fact it is almost compulsory that they are provided in every work place (Stroz, 308).

As the workers plan to use the personal protective equipment in their work environment, it is vital that they first come up with a comprehensive safety and health programs; a thorough assessment is needed so as to be able to identify the physical and health dangers expected in the electrical industry so as to ascertain the hazards which exist within the electrical industry. For instance, some of the hazards I identify to be potential in an electrical industry include; objects which are moving at higher speed, sparks and pieces of metal, electrical shocks, light of higher intensity, rise and fall of temperatures which may not be consistent and electric connections; on the other hand, there are other health hazards in addition to the physical hazards such as poisonous dusts and radiations (Stroz, 304). After carrying out the assessment on the hazards, they need to be listed into categories such as the impact they cause on individuals, biological effects on the employees, chemical components of these hazards and many others; this data compiled can now be applied to select the right PPE for the industry. It is also important that the employers get a clear understanding of the markets to know the personal protective equipment which are available and the extent of protection which they can offer to their users; they should settle on the PPE which are able to provide the best protection depending on the lowest requirements of protection the employees require. It is also worth noting that hazard assessment is not just a one-time event, but is a continuous process as the work procedures may be also changing as well as the conditions of the personal protective equipment which are already available; during this process, it should be checked whether the PPE which are already in use are effective (Mcgoldrick, 114).

The personal protective equipment should be those that have been designed and constructed such that they protect the users from possible hazards; their standards should be fashionably kept clean and also very reliable. It should be checked that the personal protective equipment which are selected for the employees should be able to provide the employees with comfort and must also be well fitting; employees would always be motivated to war those PPE that fit them well and are also comfortable. Proper size should be given a priority when selecting the PPE because those which are not well fitting may not offer adequate protection to the employees as they don’t cover them well and hence exposing to danger. In instances where more than one PPE is worn, it should be ensured that they are compatible (Stroz, 309).

The face and the eyes can get affected by various hazards within an electrical industry, such as, sparks which fly in the working environment, high intensity light and radiations. Injuries of the eye always occur in instances when the workers don’t put on their protective equipment completely or those who put on protective equipment but are not properly worn or they may have the protective devices on but they may not be fitting them well. After providing this equipment, the employers should ensure that the workers use the correct equipment properly as it is an OSHA requirement that use of protective equipment be made a routine of every work environment. The eye protection equipment needed in the electrical industry includes; safety spectacles- these are simply eye glasses which are fitted with a strong frame which are made from metals, they are resistant to impacts and tightly fixed onto the eyes with the side shields; when goggles are tightly fitting onto the eyes then they would provide maximum protection to the sockets of the eye and at the same time protecting the face regions around the eye; the welding shields may also be a requirement in the electrical industry as it offers protection to the eyes from burns which may be caused by the sparks; face shields are also put on the face to assist in protecting the face, they are sheets which are transparent and are worn from the chin to the eyebrows and may extend to the entire heads of the employees-they are majorly aimed at offering protection to the face from some dangerous spark particles, which may be metallic (Mcgoldrick, 113).

In an electrical industry there may be heavy machines which are in quick motion and at the same time falling objects. Any safety program should always be one that gives a keen attention on the protection of the head, because injuries to the head are very destructive as they may interfere with the brain leading to possible deaths. The most rampantly used equipment of the head is the head helmets and hats; they have some special features which are very important in protecting the head. They can protect the head from electric shocks, falling objects and also resist hot water (Stroz, 309).

In addition, the employees should be offered protection on both the legs and the foot; this help in protecting the employees from electric shocks which may cause injury to the employees; such equipment include the leggings which assist in protecting the legs lower parts. It can help in protecting the legs from the possible shocks which may arise as a result of one stepping on necked electrical wires or electrocuted fluid such as spilt water. Toe guards are worn to protect the toes from the similar effects of shock and injuries due to falling objects. The lower legs can also be protected by a combination of foot and chin guards. It is also a necessity to wear safety shoes so as to protect the foot from high temperatures, and at the same time protecting the region of the toes from possible injuries (Mikulic, 170).

The hands of the workers should be protected from shock and excessive heat. There should be proper hand protection any time one gets into contact with electric cables or any spilt fluid. Different types of hand gloves are the most commonly used equipment for protecting the palm and the fingers. In summary, it now clear that if workers fail to use the personal protective equipment, then a number of body injuries may occur, for example; in an electrical industry, the first and fore most hazard to think of is the electric shocks. This means that in case of an electric shock, there would be injuries to the hands, feet and possibly the head (Mcgoldrick, 112).

The employees or any other individual intending to use the Training requirements for PPE for employees need to be taken through a rigorous training on the type of equipment they need, the manner in which they should use the equipment and finally on the maintenance of the various equipment. At the same time the employees also need to be trained on a number of areas in case they want to implement the use of the personal protective equipment. The PPE training is aimed at ensuring that; every employee is trained so as to get a clear understanding of the following concepts; they should be made to understand when the use of PPE is a necessity, which type of PPE is important in the departments in which they are serving, how to wear and adjust the PPE so as to provide them with maximum protection, the shortfalls of the PPE which they choose to use and finally, the correct care, useful life, maintenance and how to dispose the used PPE. In addition, it is a requirement of the OSHA that every employee demonstrates that they know how to correctly use the PPE. In some instances there may be calls for retraining, this one may be necessary in situations where there are some changes which have taken place in the work or occupation of the user, hence rendering the previous one not to be very adequate; there may also be change in the PPE type which may there make the training on the previous PPE to be very inadequate. Finally, retraining can be opted for in the instances when the employee still doesn’t understand some concepts even after the first training. Every employee or individual who has undergone the personal protective equipment training should be issued with a document which contains the following information; the name of the trained employee, the dates when the training took place and the types of training received by the employees. The document is of great importance because it provides the employee status as per the training is concerned (Stroz, 304).

The evidence that there have been injuries in real life due to neglect or poor use of the PPE can be derived from the data by the Bureau of Labor; it indicates that out of all the accident recorded in work places. It indicates clearly that a small percentage of those who use this equipment get injured. There are other registered cases such as the worker who was suffocated in a silo just because there was no alternative source of oxygen provided within the silo by the employer. Another worker was also trapped in a mortar mixer, the 18 year old worker did not undergo the correct training on the use of this machine, and at the same time the workers around him were never well equipped with the necessary knowledge in first aid. Fortunate enough, OSHA has now set standards that would help avoid such accidents in future (Mcgoldrick, 112).

As indicated earlier in this essay, protection in work environment is a combined effort of both the employees and the employers in making sure that they are safe. However, it is sad that a good number of organizations still operate without putting the employee safety into consideration because they are not informed just mare negligence (Mikulic, 170).

References

  • Mcgoldrick, Mary. "Personal Protective Equipment." Home healthcare now 33.2 (2015): 112-113.
  • Mikulic, Dinko. "Personal Protective Equipment." Design of Demining Machines. Springer London, 2013. 169-178.
  • Stroz, Christopher M. "Personal Protective Equipment." Handbook of Loss Prevention Engineering, Volume 1&2: 303-326.

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