Complete Industry PPE Guide (Personal Protective Equipment)

PPE, or Personal Protective Equipment, is an often glossed-over topic. However, most businesses must abide by providing said equipment. This equipment keeps workers safe when dealing with potential environmental and workplace harm.

As a responsible manager, you must balance budgetary costs with the cost of operations and the safety of your team. That’s no easy feat, especially with upper management consistently trying to cut costs. 

To ease the burden and help you streamline your PPE understanding, we’ve created this guide to help you manage your team’s PPE. We’ll outline the different types, inspection frequencies, tips and tricks for easier management, and more, so stick around so you don’t miss any suggestions (or free downloads). Let’s jump into the action and open with some basic principles for managing PPE.

An Introduction To PPE Management

Two core issues come to mind when I think of managing PPE at work. First is controlling the cost and frequency of replacement (especially when you have field crews). Second, the protective value and quality of the PPE versus the cost. These two concerns always seemed to present problems.

Many smaller companies struggle to balance a team’s use of PPE with the budget. More significant operations have usually solved this problem with various dispensing management methods.

Many facilities that utilize PPE in-house will find that PPE equipment control is necessary, lest they find half their PPE worn for a moment and tossed in the bin along with the PPE budget.

There are a few means to control the loss of PPE by over-eager team members, and that is by setting firm rules for PPE use and responsibility. Maintaining that team members must sign out PPE in a log will quickly reduce unnecessary PPE loss. Similar controls such as automated dispensing machines (PPE vending equipment) also help stop PPE bleeding.

An essential aspect of managing PPE is understanding the use of PPE equipment and when it needs inspection and replacement. You can’t always trust your team to provide truthful and accurate information about PPE replacement, so knowing the basics is fundamental to any successful management role. 

Let’s talk about those different types of PPE and shed some insight into their proper management.

Types of Personal Protective Equipment

Classification of PPE can reveal some areas that one might consider grey. For example, do you consider a disposable substance such as hand sanitizer as PPE? If it is, do we also classify hand soap in washrooms as PPE? How about if paper towels are used to dry one’s hands, are those considered PPE?

For this article, we will classify PPE as any item worn by a person for personal protection. We will not include items used for cleaning or disinfection, nor will we include testing equipment. Although ‘sniffers’ (tech that checks the air for chemicals) can technically be worn, we’ll classify those as additional PPE tools and equipment after the information on wearable PPE. Speaking of wearable Personal Protective Equipment, let’s dive in.

General PPE Wearable Types

Wearable PPE will include any personal protective equipment worn, such as clothing, gloves, or body coverings like masks, goggles, and similar items. Also, we will consist of harnesses. We’re also going to include lanyards with the harnesses, even though you don’t wear a lanyard. However, they go hand-in-hand with fall protection PPE, so it’s necessary to get that information simultaneously. We’ll go in alphabetical order of PPE type, so if you have one in mind you want to learn about, feel free to find it via the name.

Body Protection

Body protective PPE will cover any sort of PPE utilized for the various purposes of protecting the body. We’ll include those less common examples in the specialty-use sections below.

Visibility

Fluorescent and reflective vests are the most commonly used PPE. Generally, they consist of polyester and other synthetic fibers. The woven fabric is often coated to make it resistant to tearing, abrasion, and moisture.

There are different classes of vests that offer different degrees of reflectivity and protection. Class 1 vests provide the least amount of reflectivity, while Class 3 vests offer the most. 

According to OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration), “Class 2 and 3 garments are intended for workers who have frequent vehicular traffic exposure in excess of 25 mph and work in close proximity to traffic whereas Class 1 garments are intended for workers with occasional vehicular traffic exposures at or below 25 mph or who work near traffic under conditions wherein wearing a garment with greater visibility is not necessary for safety.”

Further, the OSHA has this to say about managerial responsibility:

“all workers exposed to the risks of moving roadway traffic or construction equipment should wear high-visibility safety apparel meeting the requirements of ISEA “American National Standard for High-Visibility Safety Apparel” and labeled as ANSI 107 standard performance for Class 1, 2, or 3 risk exposures. A competent person designated by the employer to be responsible for the worker safety plan within the job site’s activity area should select the appropriate garment class. “

If you have workers frequently exposed to traffic or working near it, consider outfitting them with PPE that offers the greatest reflectivity (Class 3). For other employees who don’t have as much exposure, a Class 1 or 2 PPE should suffice.

Inspection – Inspection should occur before use, and if it is badly damaged or loses reflectivity, you should replace it.

Head Protection

Hard hats are the most common type of PPE worn to protect the head. Made of rigid materials such as plastics and metals, the protection is there to stop injury from things like falling objects. Hard hats come in various colors, but the most common are white, red, and yellow.

There are three different classes of hard hats: 

Class A: These protect against impact and penetration from falling objects. They have a full brim and offer the most significant level of protection.

Class B: These also protect against impact and penetration from falling objects. However, they don’t have a brim and are less effective than Class A PPE.

Class C: These only protect against electrical shock, not impact or penetration. They don’t have a brim and consist of dielectric materials. When selecting a hard hat, choose one appropriate for the job site and conditions. Class A PPE is generally only necessary in construction or other industrial settings. You can wear Class B PPE in many different settings, including offices, warehouses, and manufacturing plants. You should only wear Class C PPE in settings with a risk of electrical shock.

Inspection – Inspect your hard hat before each use. Look for cracks, dents, or other damage. If you find any damage, replace the PPE immediately.

Knee Pads

Knee pads are PPE worn to protect the knees from impact, abrasion, and penetration. Foam or fabric usually comprise their construction. Some knee pads also have metal plates or plastic shells to protect the knees further.

There are two main types of knee pads:

Rigid knee pads offer the highest level of protection against impact, abrasion, and penetration. They’re often made of metal or plastic and can be uncomfortable to wear for long periods of time.

Soft knee pads offer moderate protection against impact, abrasion, and penetration. They’re often made of foam or other cushioning materials and are more comfortable to wear for long periods of time.

When selecting knee pads, consider the type of work your team will do and the level of protection needed. For example, if you’ll be working on a construction site, you’ll need PPE that offers the best level of protection. If you work in an office or warehouse, PPE that offers moderate protection should suffice.

Inspection – Inspect your knee pads before each use. Look for cracks, holes, or other damage. If you find any damage, replace the PPE immediately.

Elbow Pads

Elbow pads are PPE worn to protect the elbows from impact, abrasion, and penetration. They’re often made of foam or other cushioning materials. Some elbow pads also have metal plates or plastic shells to protect the elbows further. This armor is mounted to the outside of the elbow, allowing padding to comfort the elbow’s skin from the hard shell-like armoring of the rigid elbow pad.

There are two main types of elbow pads:

Rigid elbow pads offer the most outstanding level of protection against impact, abrasion, and penetration. They’re often made of metal or plastic and can be uncomfortable to wear for long periods of time.

Soft elbow pads offer moderate protection against impact, abrasion, and penetration. They’re often made of foam or other cushioning materials and are more comfortable to wear for long periods of time.

If you work in an office or warehouse, PPE that offers moderate protection should suffice.

Inspection – Inspect your elbow pads before each use. Look for cracks, holes, or other damage. If you find any damage, replace the PPE immediately.

Foot Protection

Your team can wear many types of PPE on the feet, including boots, shoes, and sandals. PPE for the feet should protect against impact, abrasion, and penetration.

Boots

Boots are PPE worn to protect the feet from impact, abrasion, and penetration. They’re often made of leather or other durable materials. Some boots also have metal plates or plastic shells to protect the feet further.

When selecting boots, consider the type and conditions of work your team will do and the level of protection needed. For example, if working on a construction site, your team will need boots covering the ankle ball completely. Similarly, cold conditions will require boots with insulation, and warmer climates will demand boots with ventilation.

Inspection – Inspect your boots before each use. Look for cracks, holes, or other damage. If you find any damage, replace the PPE immediately.

Shoes

Shoes are PPE worn to protect the feet from impact, abrasion, and penetration. They’re often made of leather or other durable materials. Some shoes also have metal plates or plastic shells to protect the feet further.

If you work in an office or warehouse, PPE that offers moderate protection should suffice. In these circumstances, safety shoes are often adequate footwear. Ensure your team has shoes with the region’s inspection tag certifying their safe use.

Inspection – Inspect your shoes before each use. Look for cracks, holes, or other damage. If you find any damage, replace the PPE immediately.

Toe Guards

Toe guards are additional steel or hardened plastic shells that go over existing shoes to ensure proper safety. These guards often use straps to attach to the shoe and foot. Toe guards are impractical for day-to-day use, but they are fantastic to keep around to satisfy visitor needs.

Inspection – Much like safety shoes, You must inspect toe guards before each use. Look for problems with the strapping that holds the clamshell-like shield onto the top of the foot. Ensure the armor is free of dents and cracking, suggesting it has faced an impact or other incident.

Hand Protection

Many types of PPE are worn on the hands, including gloves, mittens, and sleeves. PPE for the hands is intended to protect against impact, abrasion, and penetration.

Gloves

Gloves often consist of leather or other durable materials. Some gloves also have metal plates or plastic shells to protect the hands. Furthermore, there are heavy-duty gloves for almost any occasion, and many include padding on the palm of the hand to protect against abrasion from tool use.

When selecting gloves, consider the type of work and the level of protection that is needed, based on the tools and materials handling requirements. Similarly, specialty jobs like battery replacement, oil changes, or even welding will require specific characteristics of the gloves for maximum safety. I’ll get into some of the more particular use cases later on.

Inspection – Similar to footwear, team members should inspect gloves before use and request replacements when damage is present that could diminish the safety characteristics of the gloves.

Breathing Protection

A man works with a respirator at a construction site. You can use 1st Reporting for documenting inspections at your worksite.
Construction is notorious for dusty conditions – perfect for respirator use.
Masks

Masks are PPE that is worn over the nose and mouth to protect against inhalation of harmful substances. Masks are often made of paper or cloth and have a metal strip that the wearer can mold to the bridge of the nose.

When selecting masks, consider what type of work and the level of respiratory protection required. For example, suppose you’ll be working with hazardous materials. In that case, you’ll need PPE that offers the best resistance level of protection, such as a full-face mask.

Inspection – Check for proper function before use. Ensure are no holes or tears in the material. If there is any damage, replace the PPE immediately.

Respirators

Respirators are PPE that is worn over the nose and mouth to protect against inhalation of harmful substances. Respirators are often made of rubber or plastic and are form-fit.

When selecting respirators, consider what type of work and the type of gases, as well as the level of protection that is needed. For example, suppose you’ll be working with hazardous materials. In that case, you’ll need PPE that offers the most significant level of security, such as a full-face mask.

Inspection – Check for proper function before use. Make sure there is no damage to the material. If there is any damage, replace the PPE immediately.

Full-face Masks

Full-face masks are PPE that is worn over the nose, mouth, and eyes to protect against inhalation and contact with harmful substances. Full-face masks are often made of rubber or plastic and have a metal strip that can be molded to the bridge of the nose.

Inspection – Check for proper function before use. Ensure the materials are in good order. If there is any damage, replace the PPE immediately.

Eye and Face Protection

Eye and face protection are required whenever there is the possibility that dust or other debris might come in contact with the eyes or face. Generally, there are two types of eye and face protection – goggles and face shields.

Goggles

Goggles are PPE that is worn over the eyes to protect against contact with harmful substances. Goggles are often made of plastic or glass and have earpiece arms like sunglasses to keep them in place.

When selecting goggles, consider what type of work and the level of protection required. Some types of goggles are not suitable for certain types of work. 

Inspection – Check for proper function before use. Ensure the goggles don’t have too many scratches. If there is any damage, replace the PPE immediately.

Face Shields

Face shields are PPE worn over the face to protect against contact with harmful substances. Face shields are often made of plastic and have a harness that fits around the head to keep them in place.

Inspection – Check for proper function before use. The shield must be in good condition. If there is any damage, replace the PPE immediately.

Hearing Protection

Hearing protection is PPE worn over the ears to protect against exposure to loud noise. Hearing protection is often made of foam or plastic and has a strap around the head to keep them in place.

Inspection – Make sure the foam is in good condition and that the hearing protection isn’t damaged.

Earplugs

Earplugs are PPE worn in the ear to protect against exposure to loud noise. Earplugs are often made of foam or plastic and 

are usually disposable.

Earmuffs

Earmuffs are PPE worn over the ears to protect against exposure to loud noise. Earmuffs are often made of foam or plastic and have a strap around the head to keep them in place.

When selecting earmuffs, consider what type of work will be done and the level of protection that is needed. 

Inspection – Check for proper function before use. If there is any damage, replace the PPE immediately.

Specialty Case PPE

Specialty PPE explained at 1stReporting.com.
Specialty conditions call for specialty PPE.

Exceptional circumstances require special PPE. Although you may not think your organization has many special use cases, there are more than one might think. Let’s start by looking at replacing batteries for forklifts and other equipment.

Battery Replacement

Aprons and Gloves

Batteries can release hazardous chemicals when being replaced. PPE that can withstand the dangerous acidic compounds in many batteries is required. You’ll find Neoprene gloves and aprons the most common and effective. Face shields are also a prerequisite to replacing batteries, but we’ve discussed face shields earlier in the article.

Inspection – Check for proper function and fit before use. Ensure you don’t find holes or significant tears in the apron. If there is any damage, replace the PPE immediately.

Bending and Lifting

Back Support

Back injuries are one of the hardest to heal properly. They can be painful and tedious injuries and dearly cost an employer and team member. In fact, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, back injuries are musculoskeletal disorders that account for the highest amount of days away from work for nearly, if not all, occupations.

PPE designed for these activities will help your team stay safe and productive. You’ll find belts with back supports the most common type of PPE for this activity.

Inspection – Check for proper function and fit before use. The materials should be in good order. If there is any damage, replace the PPE immediately.

Climate/Environmental

Extreme environmental conditions require specialized PPE to maintain team member safety and comfort. These conditions might include:

  • Cold Weather Environments like commercial freezers.
  • Wet Weather Environments like car washes.
  • Hot Environments like bakeries.

In these conditions, PPE is necessary to protect team members from exposure to the elements. PPE for extreme cold might include thermal gloves and face masks. PPE for extreme heat might consist of cooling vests and hats. PPE for wet weather environments might include rain suits and boots.

Inspection – Always have team members check PPE for proper function before use. Make sure there are no holes or tears in the materials. If there is any damage, replace the PPE immediately.

When selecting PPE, always consider the work environment, the task at hand, and the level of protection needed. You can keep your team safe and productive with a bit of thought.

Electrical Arc Flash

Arc flash is a severe hazard. Temperatures can reach 35,000 degrees Fahrenheit and produce enough pressure to blow a person across a room. PPE for this hazard must be flame resistant and provide the highest level of protection possible. PPE for arc flash might include aluminized clothing, gloves, hoods, and face shields. Arc flash equipment must have proper inspection and certification to adhere to regulations in most countries.

Inspection – Check PPE for proper function before use. Make sure there are no holes or tears in the material. If there is any damage, replace the PPE immediately. Check the PPE for signs of burns or scarring due to use. If there are any signs that the equipment has faced an arc flash, you must replace it with certified replacements. Only certified electricians should do work that would require arc flash PPE.

When working with electrical hazards, always follow these basic safety rules:

-Never work on energized equipment.

-Always wear PPE.

-Always follow Lockout/Tagout procedures.

As you can see, there is a wide variety of PPE available. PPE is an essential part of any safety program. PPE must be appropriately selected, fitted, used, and maintained to be effective. PPE is not a substitute for proper engineering controls or safe work practices. 

When in doubt, always err on the side of caution and select PPE that will provide the highest level of protection possible for the task at hand.

Arc flash PPE includes:

  • Arc Flash Gloves
  • Arc Flash Jacket/Apron
  • Arc Flash Face Mask

Food Preparation and PPE

In a food preparation facility, it is essential to protect team members from the many dangers of the job. Similarly, we must protect the customers who will ingest the food we prepare.

PPE is essential for protecting team members from injuries while working. PPE helps to prevent cuts, burns, and other injuries. It also prevents the team from exposing food products to things like hair.

The most common types of PPE for food preparation facilities include hairnets, beard nets, gloves, aprons, and safety goggles. All PPE must be properly inspected and maintained to ensure team member safety.

Inspection – Hairnets and beard nets are single-use, and team members should use fresh beard and hair nets whenever removed. Hair and beard nets must maintain sanitary conditions due to their placement on the face. This PPE should not be reused.

Pharmaceutical & Medical Facilities

Pharmaceutical and medical facilities will encounter slightly different PPE in the form of gowns, surgical face masks, face shields, hair nets and caps, beard nets, and even surgical non-latex gloves.

You can see similar PPE in other industries, such as laboratory settings or when working with hazardous biologicals or chemicals. PPE helps to protect team members from exposure to these dangerous materials. Similarly, PPE in these conditions helps protect patients from spreading viruses and other pathogens as much as it helps the healthcare workers and other team members working at the site.

Inspection – You should adequately inspect PPE before each use. PPE should be free of holes or tears and show no wear. Similarly, PPE in these circumstances should be form-fitting and allow the workers to maximize movement, health, and safety.

Welding

Welding PPE explained at 1stReporting.com
Welding requires specialized PPE.

Welding requires specialty equipment to prevent severe burns and eye damage from team members and others. Similarly, welding gives off certain forms of radiation that can be pretty damaging.

“Welding arcs give off radiation over a broad range of wavelengths – from 200 nm (nanometres) to 1,400 nm (or 0.2 to 1.4 µm, micrometres). These ranges include ultraviolet (UV) radiation (200 to 400 nm), visible light (400 to 700 nm), and infrared (IR) radiation (700 to 1,400 nm).” (source: CCOHS)

Some of the typical forms of PPE and safety equipment include:

  • Welding Helmets
  • Welding Gloves, Jackets, and Body Coverings
  • Welding Screens
  • Welding Respirators
  • Smoke Extractors
  • Fire Extinguishers

Inspection Fire extinguisher inspection is critical to complete at least annually. Welders should test their helmet’s capabilities before each use. Many welding helmets use a battery to aid in visibility and protection. Many won’t work correctly if the battery is dead, so it’s a good idea to test before team members get their welders running and ready to go.

Standard inspection of welding clothing like gloves, jackets, neck guards, and other protective items is essential. The best welding clothing consists of genuine leather, so keeping it dry and in good condition is good. Do not use oils or other leather protectants that are not specifically for use on welding clothing. Some types of leather protectants could actually act as fire accelerants, so it’s vital to read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

When inspecting, look for holes and burns where hot metal fragments could enter and burn. The clothing needs replacement if these burns and holes are prevalent.

Working At Heights

Working at heights is one of the most dangerous situations in any workplace. In fact, 805 workers in the US died from falls alone in 2020, according to the NSC. These sorts of hazards are severe, and the PPE needs to be more than adequate to protect team members. These PPE items may include:

  • Fall Protection Harnesses
  • Fall Protection Belts
  • Fall Protection Lanyards
Fall Protection Vs. Fall Arrest

Defining fall protection can be difficult as the term is used interchangeably with fall arrest. However, there is a significant distinction between the two.

Fall protection is any system or device that prevents a worker from falling off a height. This equipment could be something as simple as a guardrail or warning sign.

On the other hand, fall arrest is a system that catches a worker who has already fallen. This PPE typically consists of a body harness and an anchoring system.

When it comes to working at heights, always err on the side of caution and use both fall protection and fall arrest systems. PPE requirements are constantly changing, so make sure you stay up to date on the latest industry standards. We’ve included a list of regulatory contacts at the end of this guide, so be sure you check your country and region for the regulations and standards that pertain to your work.

Inspection – Fall protection and arrest equipment must face strict inspection daily/before use. We recommend using a Fall Protection/Arrest Inspection Checklist like ours. Even better, equip your team with 1st Reporting and ensure they can perform their PPE inspections regardless of having paper or pen. As long as your team members have a working smartphone, using 1st, they can easily complete their safety inspections. Not only that, but you can get handy automated notifications customized to send to the supervisor of your choice upon team member inspection completion.

Ensure your team members have harnesses and lanyards with clearly visible labels so that you can track all the manufacturer’s recommendations and warnings. Remember, an illegible label will invalidate the safety of the equipment, so don’t let your team cover-up or write on their PPE, which could affect its use.

General PPE Equipment Types

Specialty PPE Equipment explained at 1stReporting.com.
A gas atmospheric sensor is a vital PPE equipment in many situations.

In terms of defining equipment PPE versus wearable (clothing-like) PPE, we’re going to define any piece of equipment that one uses to enhance or add safety to their environment.

Alarms and Monitors

PPE that monitors or senses chemicals, atmospheric changes, gases, or other such hazards is required for many industrial workplaces. For example, steel manufacturing often uses CO sensors near smelting equipment that burns fossil fuels to melt the steel.

All safety alarms, sensors, and monitors should be certified and inspected regularly. These equipment types often require professional recalibration to ensure optimum use. Don’t try to certify these in-house unless that’s what your company does professionally.

Barricades and Divider

Barricades, dividers, caution tape, and pylons are all great PPE items to have in your workplace or job site to keep team members safe.

Your team can use barricades to section off an area for workers to operate safely. For example, suppose you have a team working with tools at heights. In that case, you can use a barricade to section off that area and keep other workers and pedestrians away from falling object hazards.

Dividers can be used similarly to barricades but are better suited for smaller areas. They can help create a safe workspace while also preventing workers from coming into contact with dangerous materials or equipment. A standard divider used as PPE is the welding screen mentioned earlier – used to block arc flash from the eyes of passers-by.

Caution tape is a great way to alert team members and pedestrians of potential danger zones. It’s also perfect for marking off boundaries and hazards so that everyone on the team knows what they need to avoid.

Pylons are another great way to warn team members of potential danger zones. They’re perfect for guiding people through a workspace and can be used to direct traffic around dangerous areas.

These items are easy to inspect, and you should replace them if damaged beyond practical use.

Cleaning Equipment

Maintaining clean facilities is essential to any health and safety program. Equipment like mops, mop buckets, squeegees, and floor cleaning machines play an indispensable role in keeping floors clean and dry, which helps prevent slips and falls. PPE like gloves, aprons, and face masks help protect workers from exposure to cleaning chemicals.

Ensure team members always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for safe use when using any cleaning equipment. Be sure they wear the PPE recommended by the manufacturer when using their products.

Disinfectants

Given the last few years, I’m sure you have had more than enough exposure to disinfectants. The use of disinfectants is now vast, and these chemicals have earned a place on the PPE shelf.

Fiendishly effective at killing bacteria and viruses, disinfectants often find use in hospitals and food processing plants. Disinfectants are PPE because they can be toxic if not used properly.

When using disinfectants, ensure your team always follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Be sure they use the correct PPE recommended, including gloves, aprons, and face masks.

First Aid and Medical Emergency Equipment

Some common workplace examples of first aid and medical PPE equipment might include:

  • AEDs (Automated External Defibrillators)
  • First Aid Kits
  • Eyewash Stations

Managing first aid and medical PPE is critical to maintaining a safe workplace. PPE should be easily accessible and adequately stocked. Employees should know where to find PPE and how to use it properly.

Any time this PPE finds use, you must ensure your team completes an injury report or incident report. Suppose you need to keep your team up to speed at the moment. In that case, you may want to consider using a procedural injury reporting checklist or similar to ensure your team takes the proper steps in reaction to an incident where someone’s health is on the line.

AEDs (Automated External Defibrillators)

An AED is a device that provides an electrical shock to the heart to restore normal heart rhythm. The use of this equipment can be a lifesaving measure for someone who is experiencing cardiac arrest. AEDs should be easily accessible and visible in the workplace. You should train employees on how to use them in an emergency.

First Aid Kits

First aid kits are an essential part of any PPE program. You should stock them with supplies that your team can use to treat common injuries and illnesses. First aid kits should be easily accessible, and employees should know how to use the supplies correctly.

To manage first aid kits, try maintaining a log of use. This log will help ensure that the first aid kit has adequate stock and that someone tracks the inventory.

Eyewash Stations

Eyewash stations find use flushing contaminants from the eyes. They should be easily accessible and visible in the workplace. You should train employees to use them correctly in an emergency.

Eyewash stations need regular inspections to ensure cleanliness. Eyewash stations are often disregarded in companies and should not be forgotten about when ensuring cleanliness and hygienic conditions.

Flashlights and Lighting

We don’t need to explain much here as emergency lighting, such as flashlights or even emergency exit lighting, is relatively straightforward. Ensure that you have your team inspect your exit signs and emergency lighting regularly for regulatory compliance with fire code regulations.

Lock-Out, Tag-Out

Like arc flash, electrical incidents are severe and can lead to deadly consequences. Team members use padlocks, clasps, tags, and other equipment for locking out electrical and potential energy from a system. This locking-out process finds use whenever a piece of equipment requires service, repair, or even inspection. All team members who work on or near equipment should receive proper training on using LOTO equipment.

Managing LOTO events is easy with the proper LOTO Event Checklist. You can make a custom LOTO checklist for your company using the 1st Reporting software.

Oxygen Equipment

Oxygen equipment PPE is used to provide a worker with extra oxygen when working in an environment with low oxygen levels. This PPE finds a home in underwater construction, tank interior repair, and some welding applications. Your team can also use PPE of this type in other situations where workers face potential exposure to hazardous gases or fumes.

Proper training is vital when using pressurized tanks with gases like oxygen. Whether an O2 tank for medical reasons or breathing, oxygen is a significant fire accelerant, and the utmost caution is required.

Use a pressurized tank log to maintain control of your supplies of O2. Ensure the tanks are stored in a certified cabinet or cage with the appropriate ventilation and guarding. A regular facility safety inspection is a wise choice when dealing with pressurized oxygen containment on site.

Rapid Tests and Pathogen Testing

Rapid pathogen tests are becoming the norm in many facilities, like any medical or first-aid PPE. These tests usually have particular care conditions, such as maintaining appropriate temperature and humidity. Similarly, most of these sorts of tests also have strict expiry dates.

You can use a visitor or team member screening checklist to ensure no one enters your facility that might be carrying a pathogen. However, a rapid test for a specific virus might be necessary, depending on your industry, facility type, and operations.

Temperature Testing

Temperature testing might be a requirement for safety in your facility. Some recycling facilities that melt the lead out of batteries might require temperature sensors in their melting facility. Other steel working and similar operations also may require wearable temperature alarms or automated thermometer alarm systems. Like gas sensors, these systems also require professional calibration and certification.

Proper PPE can make all the difference in a worker’s safety on the job site. Managers play a critical role in ensuring employees have the PPE they need to stay safe. Following the tips in this guide, you can create a robust plan for managing your PPE and your team member safety.

PPE Resources For Managers

When you need answers, we’ve got you covered. Or, at least, we’ll point you in the right direction. Here are some great resources to aid you in managing PPE at your organization, based on your location.

Australia

Safe Work Australia – Personal Protective Equipment Popular Topics and Answers

Canada

CCOHS – Personal Protective Equipment Popular Topics and Answers

The United States of America

OSHA – Personal Protective Equipment Popular Topics and Answers

The United Kingdom

The Health and Safety Executive – Personal Protective Equipment Popular Topics and Answers

A Reporting App To Rule Them All

The best resource you can use is the 1st Reporting app. This cloud-based application allows you to easily manage the reporting, analysis, follow-up, and all other aspects of data collection in the field. The app has a robust management dashboard with everything from report GPS tracking to report view filtering to stay on top of your teams and their inspections, reports, and other field-captured data.

Try the 1st Reporting app today with our free tier so you can see the power of the 1st Reporting app firsthand.

Start reporting today

Join the globally-recognized brands that trust 1st Reporting to safeguard their organizations.