Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), or what is better known a PPE, can be found in most workplaces especially in the industrial and health sector. While the point of PPE equipment is obvious, it effectively provides solutions to risk prevention and management in the worksite and avoid untoward accidents to immediately protect the welfare of employees which ultimately protects the interests of the employer.
In definition, personal protective equipment are specialized clothing or any other equipment utilized by a person engaged in a hazardous undertaking for protection against injury from a majority of dangerous elements. It is designed to protect a person’s body such as limbs, head, face, eyes, nose, ears and some internal organs. Since it is mainly designed to protect the integrity of worker’s body, a number of regulations and statutes have been passed imposing the use of such protective equipment.
Recent technological advancements and newly emerging industries increased the number of possible risks that can befall workers. At the same time, the manufacturing of PPE has also grown to a larger scale. It is continually being developed to provide the protection for the specific functions required. It is important for manufacturers of protective equipment to be up to date with the technology because these equipments can become obsolete really fast due to the fast pacing nature of technological advancements.
Employers are primary responsible for providing for a healthful and safe workplace of the employees and the supply of personal protective equipment as well. This does not end there, certain laws also require employers to provide maintenance, monitoring and training for such equipment. However, employees themselves are also responsible to some extent. They should not be negligent about their own safety. They must follow strict guidelines imposed by their respective employers. They are also expected to act upon their own judgment about their safety which a reasonably prudent man would do.
While a substantial decrease in worksite accidents has been prevailing in many services because of the utilization of PPE equipment, there are still a significant number of injuries sustained by employees even in worksites that are compliant with PPE regulations. In recent studies, it has been discovered that the problem is not due to the cost of the equipment, its availability, technology or the quality of personal protective equipment. The main problem here is training and communication.
The problem here is about communicating to consumers the proper protective equipment for the demands of the job where it is used. PPE suppliers are remotely responsible when untoward incidents occur because of using inappropriate equipment. This problem exists because suppliers are only concerned about making profit. Thus, they will only market or suggest products that are easier to shift or which can provide the most profit to employer-buyers that are not knowledgeable on the subject.
In the workplace environment, employers are also liable to communicate to the employees and visitors the correct usage of PPE equipment. Merely providing such equipment is not sufficient. There are numerous training courses for the use of personal protective equipment conducted by both public and private welfare and safety agencies. There should be someone knowledgeable about such equipment in order to properly inform the users so that the purpose of what this equipment are made may at least be achieved.
In conclusion, having the right equipment and also being equipped with adequate information on their usage will definitely yield better results as to promote the safety of the people in the workplace.