Get the Most Out of Personal Protective Equipment

Safe workerThe best way to prevent workplace accidents is to eliminate the hazards and behaviors that cause them. If that is not possible, use personal protective equipment (PPE). PPE includes gloves, hard hats, steel-toed boots and other equipment that puts a barrier between employees and workplace hazards.

For a business to get the most value out of PPE, employers and employees must do their part.

What can employers do?
• Provide the necessary PPE for each task.
• Make it clear which tasks and areas of the workplace require PPE.
• Enforce PPE use.
• Train workers how to use, maintain and store PPE.
• Retire damaged PPE immediately, and replace it as soon as possible.

What can employees do?
• Understand which tasks require PPE, and use it every time you do those tasks.
• Inspect PPE before each use, looking for cracks, tears, holes and other damage.
• Make sure PPE fits.
• If you find damaged PPE, tag it, remove it from use and report it to your supervisor.
• Store PPE in designated spots after use.
• Remember that you are responsible for wearing PPE when required.

For more information on PPE, visit the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and the
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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