Personal Protective Equipment on Construction Sites

Analysis of accidents has proved to be essential for planning accidents measures for ensuring the personal safety of all personnel. The classification of accidents according to the nature of injury is as follows:

Superficial injuries, sprains and strains, fractures, dislocations, concussions and other internal injuries. A positive culture of use of personal protective equipment following should be done:-

Head Protection

The following points of head protection:

1. To protect the head from impact of falling objects and bumping into stationary ones.

2. To contain unruly hair and preventing it from becoming entangled with moving machinery.

3. Headgear designed for the first function usually fulfills the second also, but the converse does not apply.

4. Protective headgear is also sometimes required and designed to provide a means of support for things, i.e., shields to protect the eyes  and face of the wearers from radiation and flying objects.

5. Hoods that cover the head, face and neck and protective suits designed for fire fighting or protection against substances that cause injury to the skin must incorporate suitable protective headgear in their design.

6. For high voltage sources, protective headgear must have suitable insulation.

Eye Protection

Eye protection are of following points:

1. Spectacles (with or without shields), goggles, face screen.

2. When injurious dust, gases or chemicals are present that could endanger the eyes, dust goggles, gas tight goggles or chemical goggles must be used.

3. Special type of goggles must be used by wielders.

4. For high heat zones, like areas near boilers and heaters, heat resistant eye protection must be used.

Face Protection

Face protection is usually three types:

1. A clear face screen.

2. A mesh shield.

3. A radiation shield.

Face shields must offer protection against impacts. They must be chemical resistant and offer protection against heat.

Hearing Protection

Hearing protection comes in two main types. Defenders and Plugs.

1. Defenders are referred to as ear muffs. They are noise reduction cups fitting over the ears.

2. Ear plugs can be directly inserted into the ear canal.

If noise levels are above 85 dba, hearing protection must be used.

Hand Protection

Hand protection is an important part as most of the work relies on use of hands. Designs should be made based on but not limited to the following:

1. Hand protection of simple design that protects against minimal risk only.

2. Hand protection of intermediate design, which protects against risks that are greater than minimal but less than mortal injury.

3. Hand protection of complex design that protects against irreversible or mortal injury.

The group of hazards to be protected by hand protection are listed below:  

1. Chemical hazards protection against the permeation and penetration of chemicals.

2. Heat and fire hazards protection for flammability, contact heat and radiant heat.

3. Cold hazards protection against convective cold, contact cold and water.

4. Mechanical hazards-Abrasion, cut and puncture resistant.

5. Impact cut hazards blade cut resistance.

6. Electrical hazards resistant to be electrical shocks and electrostatic discharge resistance.

7. Microorganisms hazards resistance to penetration by microorganisms.

Foot Protection

The main consideration for safety foot wear should but not be limited to the following:

1. Toe impact steel protection.

2. Heat resistant soles.

3. Acid and alkali resistant soles.

4. Anti static standards.

5. Anti slip extra grip.

6. Steel performed mid soles.

7. Oil resistant sole.

8. Single, double, and triple density soles.

9. Water repellent treatment.

10. Shock absorbent heels and air cushion soles.

11. Quick release fasteners.

12. Additional upper foot steel protection.

13. Electrical shock resistant.

Cloth Protection

Protective clothing and devices need to be carefully selected to meet the following requirements:

1. They must give specific protection against the specific hazards to which a person will be exposed.

2. Clothing should be of minimum weight and cause minimum discomfort compatible with protection efficiency.

3. Attachment to the body should be flexible but effective.

4. The wearer should not be restricted in movement or sensory perception essential to the job.

5. Clothing should not look ugly. They should be durable.

6. Manufacture should be in accordance with the accepted standards for the duty required.

7. They should not introduce additional hazards through their form or material of manufacture.

Fire Suits

For protection against fire and radiation impacts while fire fighting is carried out from close proximity, suits manufactured in accordance with the best possible standards must be used. For protection against radiation effects, proximity suits must be used. Entry suits must be used for entering into fire.

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