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PPE in the Workplace

PPE in the Workplace

Safety at work is something that you have probably heard about time and time again. In your employment contract, workplace or school training, policies, or procedures– and even in standard staff meetings– you may often hear managers and supervisors seeming to preach about the importance of safety. They are not wrong, though. Many accidents that occur, not just in the workplace, could be avoided if people had been that little bit more careful and vigilant.

As standard procedure, you can use PPE (or Personal Protective Equipment) to keep yourself safe at work, as well as to check that your employer has taken out wrap-up liability insurance. It is good to have insurance in place, but it would be better if you are able to use your PPE to prevent said injuries from occurring in the first place.

Work Boots

Uniform boots often have steel toe caps or other reinforced toe protection to help prevent injury. This toe section can stop any crushing or removal of the toes from a dropped item. The boot itself can also keep the foot both comfortable and protected from harm, more than a normal boot or shoe. These boots are versatile in use, and you might see them on worksites, other building sites, or even on farms to help prevent a worker’s feet from being crushed or bitten by the animals they are looking after.


Dust inhalation can do a lot of damage to your lungs. Due to this, companies might provide you with a respirator. Unlike old dust masks, respirators will filter the air you breathe in, stopping any dust or bacteria from entering. This can be particularly useful when working in potentially hazardous sites, or with toxic materials, such as asbestos.

Damage to the lungs may not be immediate, which is possibly why some people think they are safe to not wear one, but reports of lung damage many years or decades after working in dusty or toxic environments show how important respirator usage is to the ongoing health of the lungs.

Hard Hats

You may be in a workplace where falling items, debris, and general danger are the norm. If so, the hard hat is your new best friend. These can protect your head from severe damage, and while something falling on you may still hurt, a damaged hard hat is a far better outcome than a concussion, brain damage, or even death.

Looking after your protective equipment is your responsibility, and it needs to be kept in the best condition and treated with care and respect. While, most days, you will think you have no need for it, there might come a day where it saves your life. Damaged equipment might not be able to function properly and prevent injury, so any damages or lost PPE should be reported immediately so that you may gain a replacement.

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by Harvey Carr // Harvey Carr is a contributor to Businessing Magazine.

Opinions expressed by contributors are their own.