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Using A PPE Chart To Improve Safety

Written by Steve Hudgik

The first steps in protecting employees from workplace hazards are to eliminate the hazard, use engineering controls to protect against the hazard, or implement work practices or administrative controls to keep people away from the hazards. But, when these are not feasible, the last line of defense is to provide personal protective equipment (PPE). PPE is equipment worn by workers to protect them from injury resulting from exposure to hazards. PPE includes equipment such as hard hats, eye protection, gloves, steel toe boots, hearing protection, respirators and full body suits.

Graphic Products publishes a PPE Chart that shows the twelve hazard categories and provides the recommended PPE for each category:

For PPE to be used properly, both employers and employees need to:

  • Understand the various types of PPE.
  • Select the appropriate PPE for the situation.
  • Know what training is needed for the proper use and care of PPE.

A PPE chart is a useful tool for helping workers understand the various types of PPE and to help them select the right PPE for the hazard they will be working with.

For the purpose of PPE hazards can be divided in twelve categories and displayed on a PPE chart. The the required PPE for each category is listed on the chart. This provides a PPE chart that serves as a quick reference to required PPE.

A PPE chart should never be used to replace the evaluation of hazards and designation of the proper PPE for the hazard. A PPE Chart serves as a general guide to help people be familiar with PPE requirements. By becoming familiar with a PPE Chart, an employee will be better able to recognize the need for certain PPE when facing a new situation.

Good Work Practices And PPE

To ensure employees are protected in the workplace, OSHA as determined that both the employer and employee have a number responsibilities related to PPE.

In general, employers are responsible for:

  • Conducting a "hazard assessment" of the entire workplace to identify safety and health hazards.
  • Determining what PPE is required and providing that PPE.
  • Training anyone who will be exposed to the hazard in the proper use and care of the PPE.
  • Storing and maintaining the PPE.
  • Periodically reviewing, updating and evaluating the effectiveness of the PPE program.

Employee responsibility includes:

  • To wear and properly use required PPE
  • Attend PPE training sessions
  • Properly care for, clean and maintain the PPE they use
  • Inform a supervisor when PPE needs to be repaired or replaced

The information presented in this document was obtained from sources that we deem reliable; Graphic Products does not guarantee accuracy or completeness. Graphic Products, Inc. makes no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied. Users of this document should consult municipal, state, and federal code and/or verify all information with the appropriate regulatory agency.

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