Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Personal Protective Equipment and OSHA

Every day, thousands of workers face potential death as they are not wearing or using personal protective equipment (PPE). To reduce the number of fatalities and to protect workers from injuries, the occupational safety and health administration (OSHA) has created a regulation that states that every worker should wear proper PPE whenever he/she is likely to be exposed to a hazard.

What is PPE?

Personal protective equipment can be clothing or any other equipment which is designed to protect workers from workplace hazards. Some of the most common exposed areas of a human body are: the head, eyes, hands, legs; lungs, and ears.

OSHA Regulation

According to OSHA's 29 CFR 1910.132 to .138, "Protective equipment, including personal protective equipment for eyes, face, head and extremities, protective clothing, respiratory devices and protective shields and barriers, shall be provided, used and maintained in a sanitary and reliable condition wherever it is necessary by reasons of hazards of processes or environment, chemical hazards, radiological hazards or mechanical irritants encountered in a manner capable of causing injury or impairment in the function of any part of the body through absorption, inhalation, or physical contact."

Employer's Responsibility

Employers are responsible for providing PPE to workers. In addition, proper training programs should be arranged to train the employees. If an employee is using his/her own equipment, t it is also the employer's responsibility to ensure its adequacy - its maintenance and sanitation is also an employer's responsibility.

Personal Protective Equipment Program - Training

If a workplace condition requires the use of PPE, then the implementation of a Personal Protective Equipment Program is essential, and the responsibility of the employer. Personal protective equipment training is vital to obtain the desired results. It is significant that employees must be aware of the intended use of the selected equipment. Further, all the PPE must be maintained, tested, and worn.

A truly safe work environment can only be obtained by the help of competent management and by taking safety measures specified by OSHA and other authorities.

Syed Rehan is associated with OshaCampus.com. Identify the uses for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and how to choose the correct PPE.

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