PPE Best Practices for Construction Sites
Personal protective equipment (PPE) is a must for workers in a wide variety of fields, but there are few employees who can benefit more from advanced health and safety protection at the job site than construction workers. Legally, employers must provide construction workers with the equipment they need and training on how to use it. However, workers are also allowed to use employee-owned equipment as long as it is in good working condition and meets ANSI standards. Construction site managers can read on to find out what they need to do to comply with OSHA standards regarding PPE and site safety.
Develop an Effective PPE Program
A good PPE program will define both potential hazards and the right types of equipment to mitigate them. It will explain how to select proper PPE for employees, how to ensure a proper fit, how to inspect the PPE, and how to provide maintenance for this essential gear. The PPE program should also cover what kinds of training workers will receive and what signage will be required on the job to inform them of PPE requirements.
Offer Head Protection
Head protection on construction sites usually comes in the form of hard hats. Most site managers require all workers on the job site to wear their hard hats at all times. Each hard hat should be inspected for cracks and dents before every use, and damaged PPE should be discarded.
Require Hearing Protection
Construction sites tend to be loud, which can place workers at risk of hearing loss. Providing workers who will be exposed to unacceptable noise levels with hearing protection such as earmuffs or earplugs is a must in loud environments. Keep in mind that earplugs must fit properly, and plain cotton is not a permitted alternative according to OSHA’s guidelines.
Know When to Use Eye and Face Protection
Sometimes, workers need to wear eye and face protection as well as hard hats. Construction workers should be fitted for safety glasses or goggles if they could be exposed to:
- Flying particles
- Liquid chemicals
- Acidic substances
- Caustic liquids
- Molten metal
- Chemical vapours
- Light radiation
Workers who wear corrective lenses will need to be provided with eyewear that can be worn over their glasses or PPE that incorporates their prescriptions into the eye protection. If employees will be welding or working with lasers, they will need more specialized forms of eye protection with appropriate filter lens shade numbers or optical density, depending on the application.
Select the Right Gloves
Hand injuries are very common on construction sites, but properly fitted and adequately protective gloves can help. Some gloves protect against lacerations and cuts, while others are designed for specific applications like welding, working with concrete, handling chemicals, or performing electrical work. Make sure to select the right ones based on the intended application.
Choose High-Quality Foot Protection
While many construction workers still wear steel-toed boots, composite-toed footwear is a better fit for many applications. These boots are lighter, non-conductive, non-slip, and comfortable. The right boots will also feature puncture-resistant soles to protect workers from sharp objects on the ground.
Pick the Right Vendor
When construction site managers start looking into PPE Gears for sale, they need to pay attention. Not all gear is created equal, so it’s important to check that the company adheres to OSHA and ASNI standards.