4 Reasons It’s Important You Use PPE in the Workplace

Personal Protective Equipment, or PPE, protects its user against any physical damage or hazards that the work environment may present. It is important because it exists as a preventative measure for industries that are known to be more dangerous, such as manufacturing and mining.

It is important to know that the safety equipment provided at work must comply with the Personal Protective Equipment Regulation and that it is most effective when it complies with the correct size, fit and height of its user.

You may be used to finding yourself in precarious situations at work, but you should never feel that your physical self is likely to be harmed. Here are 4 reasons why it is important to wear PPE in the workplace.

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1. Prevent yourself from being responsible for your own injuries.
A common obstacle that workers’ compensation attorneys regularly face is a person’s decision not to wear PPE, regardless of the fact that their employer provided it to them. This often makes liability for a workplace injury or illness more of a gray area.

It varies from case to case, but faithfully wearing all the PPE provided to you on the job is the best way to ensure that in the event of an injury or illness directly, your employer will take full responsibility. Even for jobs that “only take a few minutes”, you should never allow exemptions from wearing PPE.

Being found partially liable in a court of law for your own workplace illness or injury from not wearing PPE is the worst case scenario. As an employee, you must be fully informed about what equipment is required, what tasks, and what to protect. If this is not the case, you should not be afraid to contact a manager or your human resources department.

2. Long-term conditions can result from not protecting yourself.
Feeling good at the end of your shift is not due to the fact that you have adequately protected your body. Exposure to different chemicals and compounds at work can have long-term effects on your body, mesothelioma being a great example. In 2017, an estimated 3,000 Americans were diagnosed with this rare form of cancer each year.

Between 70 and 80% of these diagnoses were due to exposure to asbestos fibers used in building materials in many different industries. Current safety regulations require those who work with asbestos to wear specific personal protective equipment and to shower and change before leaving the workplace. But before modern regulation, there was no connection between asbestos exposure and cancer diagnosis.

Therefore, many of these daily cases of mesothelioma were caused before we knew so much about this disease. Workers must take advantage of medical knowledge about risk factors that we have today and use PPE to safeguard their health and well-being, both now and in the future.

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3. You only have one pair of eyes.
Safety glasses are probably one of the most common (and effective!) Forms of PPE. This is because any substance, whether corrosive or not, and any material, sharp or not, can be dangerous when it comes into contact with the eyes.

Each year, approximately 2.4 million eye injuries occur in the United States, both at work and during leisure activities. Of these injuries, some 50,000 victims lost their sight to some degree. According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO), 90% of these eye injuries could have been prevented with safety glasses.

Since 61% of eye injuries occur in manufacturing, construction, or trade jobs, it is important to recognize that there are different types of PPE glasses available for different situations. Don’t be afraid to ask about updating your glasses.

4. Increase the quality of your workday.
Think of PPE as a kind of support system for the work your job requires you to do. It may be more physically demanding or a little more dangerous than your average desk job, but the equipment is provided to make you feel that the physical risk is minimal.

Items of PPE, like weight belts, offer stability for tasks that require you to lift heavy objects, and these can be the difference between having to go to work with tense muscles the next day or not. Steps must be taken to prevent basic slip and fall injuries that, at the simplest level, simply ruin someone’s day.

All workers should feel safe to question the effectiveness of the PPE provided and feel informed about the standards that equipment must meet. Organizations like OSH

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