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SAFETY EQUIPMENT

njuries and illnesses continue affecting the construction industry each year. With one in five worker deaths in the United States last year attributed to the industry, the right personal protective equipment (PPE) is a line of defense that is required and crucial to protect workers. For more information about PPE, you can visit OSHA website.

 WHY IS PPE SO IMPORTANT?

 Making the workplace safe includes providing instructions, procedures, training, and supervision to encourage people to work safely and responsibly.
Even with engineering controls and safe systems of work put into place, some hazards might remain.

HEAD PROTECTION

​Hard hats are common on construction sites. They are designed to protect against flying or falling objects that would otherwise impact or penetrate a worker. Hard hats should be well-fitted; those that are too large or too small are inappropriate for use. According to the Department of Labor, Head protection violations came in 7th place in 2017.
Hazard 
Impact of falling or flying objects, the risk of head bumping, hair getting tangled in machinery, chemical drips or splash, climate or temperature
Equipment
Industrial safety helmets, bump caps, hard hats, and firefighters' helmets

EYE & FACE PROTECTION

Safety goggles, spectacles, and full-face shields can give you the protection needed for the eyes and face. Metalwork, wood-work, hot-work and air-tool operations all require this type of protection. Eye and face protectors should be selected based on anticipated hazards. According to the Department of Labor, eye protection violations came in 5th place in 2017. For more information about eye and face protection violations, you can visit DOL website:
Hazard
Chemical or metal splash, dust, projectiles, gas and vapor, radiation
 Equipment
Safety spectacles, goggles, face screens, face shields, visors

HAND PROTECTION

Construction jobs are by nature mostly manual. Each year, around 150,000 hand injuries are reported. Because a lot of work is done with the hands, gloves are an essential item in providing protection.
Hazard
Abrasion, temperature extremes, cuts and punctures, impact, chemicals, electric shock, radiation, vibration, biological agents, and prolonged immersion in water
Equipment
Gloves, gloves with a cuff, gauntlets, and sleeves that covers part or all of the arm

FOOT PROTECTION

​Construction workers should wear work shoes or boots with slip-resistant and puncture-resistant soles. Safety-toed footwear is worn to prevent crushed toes when working around heavy equipment or falling objects.
 Hazard
Wet, hot and cold conditions, electrostatic build-up, slipping, cuts and punctures, falling objects, heavy loads, metal and chemical splash, vehicles
 Equipment
Safety boots and shoes with protective toecaps and penetration-resistant, mid-sole wellington boots, and specific footwear, foundry boots, and chainsaw boots

RESPIRATORY PROTECTION

Respiratory protection is vital on sites where toxic substances are present. Respiratory protections, like respirators, are designed to protect you from dust, fumes, paint spray, pesticides, and other dangerous substances that could cause permanent damage.
Hazard
Oxygen-deficient atmospheres, dusts, gases, and vapors
 Equipment
Respiratory protective equipment (RPE)
Read more about OSHA Respirable Crystalline Silica Standard for construction here.