Three Potentially Dangerous Myths About Personal Protection Equipment

Personal protection equipment (PPE) is an essential part of many jobs across countless industries all around the world.  

The range of PPE is only limited by the need to have protection and this extends to everything from a simple hard hat all the way up to a full body hazard suit.  

The sheer scope of PPE to protect every aspect of our bodies means that there is a vast array of different types available, and this can lead to confusion and misunderstandings.  

Given that PPE is so commonplace in our lives and the public consciousness, it should be no surprise that some of these misunderstandings have become accepted as truths simply because of how widespread they have become.  

It is important that these fallacies are identified and understood as there are a few that can actually lead to genuine harm if they are actually followed.

1 – There are acceptable time limits for PPE usage

It is surprisingly common to hear people claim that it isn’t worth putting PPE on for a quick and simple task.  

This is definitely incorrect as if PPE is required for a task then it is always required for a task, no matter how long it takes.  

Imagine that you have been working with a table saw and have cut all of the pieces of wood that you need for your current task, but in the middle of assembly you realise that you have miscut a single piece.  

By this time you will have most likely removed your goggles, gloves, dust mask and ear defenders, but you realise that cutting the faulty piece again will take less time than putting everything back on.  

This logic is understandable, but you need to remember that you are just as likely, if not even more so, to slip and injure your hand on the saw due to rushing and loose debris is equally as likely to fly around regardless of how fast you will be.

2 – Gloves are more of a hindrance than they are useful

People who are used to working with their hands will quite often moan that gloves inhibit their ability to work effectively.  

They are used to the exact tactile response from their fingers and having the fabric between them and the task can cause frustration.  

However, if gloves are a concern for you, then there is a very good chance that you have simply not found the correct ones.  

There is a vast array of different kinds of gloves from highly respected retailers, which can include grip finishes to allow grip that is superior to your fingers, knife blade resistance, protection from heat and chemicals as well as plenty of other features.  

Finding the ones that work best for you and your needs can take a bit of trial and error, but it is worth experimenting.

3 – PPE is my decision

A simple one to end on, but you find that people can become indignant about wearing PPE and claim that it is their choice if they wish to wear it or not.  

This simply is not true as if your employer is supplying PPE, then you will be contractually obliged to use it and if you do not, not only could you receive disciplinary action, but if you do have an accident then you are entirely liable, not your employer.  

Don’t risk it, use PPE correctly whenever it is needed.

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