Protective clothing and its categories | Harbor365
Protective clothing also known as personal protective equipment or PPE is a piece of special equipment that is designed to safeguard workers who come across different kinds of risks and hazards at their workplace. In workplaces where there is machinery, protective clothing acts as an individual defensive gear that keeps dangers and perils at bay.
There are different types of PPE for various positions and work sites. To be safe you should wear the right kind of protective clothing for your job. Basic PPE will protect parts of your body that can be injured in an accident. The protection that is ideal for you depends upon the job and what hazardous material you are working with.
Let’s understand Why each piece is important and how it should be used.
Protective clothing is classified into different levels
Now let's have a look at the highest level of protection - level 1.
Level 1: Incorporates skin, eye, and respiratory protection. This level provides maximum protection for all three of these areas. Level 1 consists of a suit that is specifically designed to protect against any chemical formulation. To eliminate the possibility of any new dangerous material penetrating the skin, the gloves and boots are chemical resistant and are attached directly to the suit. On the head, you will track down the independent breathing Apparatus or an air-supplied respirator.
Level 2: A bodysuit at this level could be either a one or two-piece cover all produced using a wide range of materials. All the seams should be leakproof, ought to be sealed and checked regularly. At this level, the gloves and the boots are connected with tape to ensure that the hazardous material doesn't splice on your skin.
Level 3 protection: Coveralls and uniforms make up the majority of protective clothing at this level. Additionally, respiratory protection is not required. This clothing is not designed to protect you against anything except incidental contact with non-hazardous material.
Now let's get a closer look at what you should check for when you first put on your protective coverall.
Prior to wearing your defensive suit, it is essential that you ensure it is in top condition and strong enough for your application. Check the material for any areas of discoloration that may flag the material has been debilitated. Hard zones on a suit may be signs of exposure to a substance that has made the material fragile and susceptible to cracks. Inspect all the seams for any areas that are no longer leakproof.
When you are done with your apron remove it prior to removing your gloves. Try not to let the external shell of the apron interact with your skin or unprotected clothing. Then place it in the appropriate bin for cleaning. A few aprons are dispensable. If it goes in the hazardous material's sack that is properly labeled, it will be disposed off appropriately.
Apart from the 3 levels of protective clothing, in some workplaces, you will have to shield your head, face, eyes, ears, hands, and legs.
Head protection is designed in such a way that even if a stationary object falls on it it will not harm you. Head protection incorporates a bump cap and a helmet. Let's find out which one should be used in your situation. A hard hat protects against impact and penetration from falling or flying objects, electrical shock, and burns. In order for your hard hat to be effective, the helmet suspension needs to be adjusted properly this distributes and absorbs any impact you may encounter.
Hard hats come in three classes of electrical conductivity.
● Level A is for a limited voltage protection
● Level B is for high voltage production
● And level C provides no voltage protection.
The class ID can be found inside the helmet shell.
A bump cap is utilized where laborers are subject to laceration or bumps to the head, however, not for injury from falling or flying particles. They are not substitutes for hard hats. Other examples of head protection include hair nets and firefighter’s helmets.
● Eye & Face protection: A face Shield, visor, or welding shield is a must for some jobs. You will be trained on how to use specialized PPE. Did you know that more than 600 workers suffer from eye injuries on a daily basis? Safety glasses/ goggles will protect your eyes from dust, wood chips, Chemical/metal splash, flying objects, Gas & vapor, radiation, etc.
● Respiratory protection is used when you come in contact with large amounts of gases, powder, dust &Vapors, or Oxygen-deficient atmospheres. Respiratory protection includes breathing apparatus, full face/half-mask respirators, powered respirators, protective hoods, etc.
● Ear protection will save you from hearing loss in loud worksites. It isn’t necessary that after wearing the ear protection, you’ll be able to work continuously in a noisy environment, You have to maintain your health and comfort zone too. Ear protection might be small foam plugs that go inside your ears or they might fit over your ears. When you are wearing ear protection it may be difficult to hear a co-worker. Move to a safe calm spot to remove your ear protection to listen.
● Arm/Hand protection: Gloves secure your hands. Some gloves make working easier while other kinds protect your hands from chemicals, cuts, abrasions, extreme temperatures, electric shocks, or skin infection. Wearing the right gloves for the right job is a must.
Disposable gloves should be discarded properly after usage. The defensive gloves are a fundamental piece of your safety wardrobe. A coated knit glove should be adequate to protect your hand from minor abrasion. For laceration protection, you are better off with a glove made of leather or with kevlar lining. Stainless steel mesh is the best protection because they offer little sense of touch. Insulated gloves or gloves with kevlar lining help to protect against extreme temperatures
● Foot protection: This equipment is designed in such a way that it can protect your foot & legs from various types of hazards like extreme temperatures, Slippery surfaces, Chemical/electricity hazards, or handling heavy objects. In all these situations, it is vital to wear appropriate footwear so you don't slip, fall or injure yourself. Work boots have a sole or bottom that won't allow sharp items to jab through. Steel-toed work boots can protect your foot if you drop something heavy on it. Other boots are made of rubber and keep your feet dry.
● Height & Access protection: Users of this gear have to attend a training program so that they can understand how & when can they utilize this protection properly. Some examples of this protection are fall-arrest systems, body harness, lowering harness, Rescue lifting, energy absorbers & others.
Lastly, let’s discuss some Do’s and don’ts of regular clothing at worksites:
● Do not wear baggy attire like long shirts or skirts to work.
● Wear long jeans and a long-sleeved shirt.
● Tie your hair back.
● Leave Jewelry at home.