Personal Protective Equipment Saves Lives and Prevents Injuries
By Neil Kalra
Since construction sites have so many potential hazards, the right Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is essential to worker safety. All PPE’s are designed to minimize most injury risks.
A 2015 survey by the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) revealed that all workers at some point fail to wear the necessary safety equipment on the job. As many as 98 percent of these ASSE professionals say they have seen workers not wearing safety equipment when they should have been. Even worse, around a third (30 percent) say this has occurred multiple times.
A couple of examples: according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics: nearly three out of five workers who experience eye injuries were not wearing eye protection or were wearing the wrong eye protection for the job when the accident occurred. And employee hand injuries comprise at least a million medical emergencies in the U.S. per year, of which around 70 percent are due to lack of effective safety gear.
In order to protect against hazards, PPE must fit properly. For example, because variance in eye size, bridge size, and temple length, safety glasses should be assigned and fitted to each individual employee. PPE must also be used for the hazard for which it was designed. For example, when working with electrical wires, safety boots and shoes should be metal-free and non-conductive, but in static-free environments shoes should be conductive. To maintain good condition, equipment should be sanitized and cleaned daily. If equipment is damaged, it should immediately be repaired or replaced.
In some cases PPE may seem awkward or unnecessary. But it’s still critical that employees use it. PPE protects workers from injury: but it won’t work if they fail to use it properly. Below is a quick look at some basic personal protective equipment.
PPE for Construction Crews
Personal protective equipment varies depending on the hazard. Some examples of different types of equipment include the following:
Eye protection: safety glasses, goggles, face shields, welding helmets, full hoods.
Ear protection: ear plugs, ear muffs.
Head protection: helmets, hard hats, protection shells.
Foot protection: steel-toed, metal-free, non-conductive, (or conductive if appropriate) rubber, or synthetic boots and shoes; foot guards, heel and ankle shields.
Hand protection:n vinyl, neoprene, leather, or cotton-knitted gloves.
Body protection: vests, coveralls, full body suits.
Work pants and work shirts: Protection of full legs, arms, and torso.
Reflective/high-visibility garments: Brightly colored and/or reflective jackets, vests, or other upper-body garment: especially along active roadways, in low lighting, or for dusk and nighttime work.
Personal fall protection: This encompasses an entire and unique class of PPE’s. There are numerous varieties or harnesses for all types of elevated construction work.
Respiratory protection: Includes respirators, breathing apparatus’ for workers who are exposed to airborne hazards.
Every individual construction site and job duty has its own specific and unique dangers which require its own set of personal protective equipment. Just a few of the common hazards at construction sites with injury risks that can be reduced with the proper PPE include: electrical, all types of falls, chemicals, harmful dust, “struck-by” injuries, penetration, and caught-in/caught-between mishaps.
This is why it is so necessary to construction site safety that every worker have the proper – and properly-fitting – PPE; and uses it every moment they are on a job site.
If you were, or a family member was, injured due to a construction, car, commercial vehicle, or semi-truck accident; you may be entitled to full benefits and compensation. Know your rights and get the answers you deserve.
The attorneys at Kalra Law Firm are dedicated to getting construction accident victims the compensation they deserve. Call our office now to speak with one of our experienced construction accident lawyers to represent you in your case. We offer a free initial consultation and will not charge unless we win your case. If you have any questions about your construction accident, call our New York City and Queens Construction accident lawyers today at (718) 897-2211. www.unionlawyer.com