Safety is a primary issue for anyone working in manufacturing and warehouse jobs. Falling debris, wet floors, flying metal chips, chemicals, sharp objects, and loud noises are just a few of the hazards that light industrial workers face each day.
Many workplace injuries are the result of inadequate use of personal protective equipment (PPE) that is provided. PPE is the equipment that protects workers against health or safety risks by reducing their exposure to hazards on the job.
PPE includes the following items:
- Hard hats
- Eye protection
- High-visibility clothing
- Safety shoes
- Respiratory equipment
Here’s a detailed look at some of the PPE that could protect you from workplace hazards:
Hard hats are often used in warehouses, where items placed on shelves could fall from a considerable height is a potential threat. Manufacturing facilities with overhead cranes will typically require workers to wear head protection against falling or flying objects.
Hard hats should be individually fitted since they won’t provide the proper protection if they are too large or too small.
Eye and Face Protection
Protecting your eyes and face is every bit as important as protecting your head. Anyone working with metal should be wearing safety goggles to protect against flying chips or using full-face shields to keep grinding grit from doing damage to the face and eyes. Those who work with wood, molten metal, welding equipment, and air tools are also especially susceptible to eye injuries, and thus, should take ample precaution.
Sometimes adequate ventilation is not possible, and you can’t always see the things that can hurt you. Respiratory protection is essential in industrial settings where toxic substances are found. Respirators can protect you from dust, fumes, paint spray, pesticides, and any other dangerous materials. Respiratory protection is critical anywhere that air contaminants are present.
Hand and Skin Protection
Approximately 150,000 hand injuries are reported every year—many of those are in light industrial jobs that require you to work with your hands. Along with the cuts that can happen when working with metals, there are burns and skin diseases such as skin cancer and contact dermatitis.
Gloves are essential for hand protection, some of which include rubber gloves, cut-resistant gloves, chainsaw gloves, and heat-resistant gloves. Workers can protect themselves against the hazards of working with glass, sheet metal, chemicals, electricity, and hot materials.
Industrial noise is another one of those occupational hazards that can’t be seen but does a lot of harm. According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, about 22 million workers in the country are exposed to potentially harmful noise levels each year. Around 82% of occupational hearing loss cases occurred to workers in the manufacturing sector.
Earplugs and earmuffs are used most often as hearing protection tools. Earplugs are more useful for reducing low-frequency noise, while earmuffs do better in reducing high-frequency noise.
Safety is essential. Understanding and properly using PPE is crucial to mitigating needless injuries in the workplace. If you are looking to be prepared, and grow your career, contact us today!