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Personal Protective Equipment - What’s it all about? Prepared for University Safety Council May 2002 Curt Speaker EHS.

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Presentation on theme: "Personal Protective Equipment - What’s it all about? Prepared for University Safety Council May 2002 Curt Speaker EHS."— Presentation transcript:

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2 Personal Protective Equipment - What’s it all about? Prepared for University Safety Council May 2002 Curt Speaker EHS

3 Personal Protective Equipment Definition: Devices used to protect an employees from injury or illness resulting from contact with chemical, radiological, physical, electrical, mechanical, or other workplace hazards (OSHA) The need for PPE and the type of PPE used is based on hazard present; each situation must be evaluated independently

4 Some Caveats PPE is used as a last resort The use of PPE signifies that the hazard could not be controlled by other methods, such as: –administrative controls (i.e., shift rotation) –engineering or industrial hygiene controls

5 Engineering & IH Controls Design (remove hazard from process) Substitution (of less hazardous materials) Process modification (how and where) Isolate the process or the worker Wet methods for dust reduction Local exhaust ventilation (at source) Dilution ventilation (area) Good housekeeping

6 Back to the caveats... The use of PPE signals that the hazard still exists in the workplace Unprotected individuals in the same area will be exposed Failure of PPE means that the worker will be exposed PPE can be combined with other controls

7 So, what is it???

8 PPE Head protection Eye and Face protection Hearing protection Respiratory protection Arm and Hand protection Foot and Leg protection Protective clothing

9 Head Protection

10 Hard Hats work by dissipating force

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12 Eye Protection

13 Common Uses: –Impact Protection –Chemical Hazards –Radiation Protection welder’s goggles laser goggles UV Infrared

14 Eye Protection - Selection Visitor specs are only appropriate for non- employees with no true exposure to hazards Safety glasses are used to protect the eyes from flying objects (no face protection) Chemical splash goggles protect against fluids by sealing tightly against the face Face shields provide highest level of protection

15 Face Shield - the highest level of face protection

16 Hearing Protection

17 Hearing Protection Basics Noise induced hearing loss can occur with exposures >90 dBA A hearing conservation program becomes a requirement at exposures >85dBA Higher levels of noise exposure have shorter allowable exposure times

18 Noise levels versus Duration Sound Level (dBA) 90 92 95 100 105 110 115 Exposure (hours) 8 6 4 2 1 0.5 0.25

19 Hearing Protection Rule of Thumb - if you cannot carry on a conversation in a normal tone of voice with someone at arm’s length, you are likely near 90dBA All hearing protection devices should have a Noise Reduction Rating (NRR) = # of decibels they will reduce noise levels Be conservative when using NRRs

20 A couple examples Example 1 –Ear plugs with NRR of 25 dBA –exposure = 105 dBA –105 minus 25 = 80 dB therefore okay Example 2 –same plugs –exposure = 125 dBA –125 minus 25 = 100 dB not acceptable; must be below 90 dB

21 Hearing Protection - Types Ear Plugs - less expensive, disposable, good ones have fairly high NRRs - sometimes difficult to tell if employees are wearing them Ear Muffs - more expensive, more durable, typically higher NRRs than plugs, more obvious Can be used together in very high noise areas

22 Arm and Hand Protection

23 Gloves - Typical Uses Chemical protection Biohazard protection Abrasion protection Friction protection Protection from extremes of heat and cold

24 Gloves - more caveats No glove is good against all hazards; consult laboratory safety link on EHS web page for glove selection chart Gloves have a finite lifespan and must be periodically replaced When donning gloves, examine them for signs of tears, cracks, holes and dry rot Hands should always be washed after removing gloves

25 Handwashing and gloves

26 Foot and Leg Protection

27 Protective Footwear Steel-toed footwear, preferably with metatarsal guards, is used to protect feet from crushing injuries caused by heavy objects Rubber boots are often used to protect feet from exposure to liquids Chaps or leggings are used in certain applications (i.e., using a chainsaw)

28 Other Protective Clothing

29 Used to protect street clothes from hazards in the workplace Often hazard specific To be considered effective, protective clothing must prevent the contaminant from reaching the clothing or skin of the wearer!

30 Respiratory Protection

31 Protects users by removing harmful materials that may enter the body via the lungs Inhalation is one of the quickest, most efficient ways to introduce lethal levels of hazardous materials into the body

32 Respiratory System

33 Respirators - types Air Purifying Respirators (APR) –Half-face –Full Face Powered Air Purifying Respirators (PAPR) Self Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA)

34 Respirators Does not include: –surgical masks –dust masks N-95 respirators are a special class of respiratory protection primarily used in the health care field

35 Respirators - A Big Caveat!!! Employees should not wear a respirator unless they have been medically cleared to do so! This clearance may take the form of a questionnaire, physical examination, pulmonary function testing, chest X-Ray, or a combination of the above

36 Why? Respirators put additional resistance against the respiratory system of the wearer Persons with undiagnosed respiratory system or cardiovascular problems could trigger a serious medical problem (respiratory distress, asthma, heart attack, etc.) by using a respirator

37 Respirators are incompatible with facial hair

38 Facial hair… The respirator cannot form a tight seal against the cheeks and chin, resulting in air leaks which can allow airborne contaminants to be inhaled Specially designed PAPR hoods can be used for employees with facial hair small amounts of facial hair that fit inside of the respirator facepiece are acceptable

39 PPE Usage PPE that is required to safely conduct University work should be purchased by the work unit Supervisors are responsible for ensuring that PPE is available and worn Employees are responsible for wearing & maintaining PPE, and reporting worn or defective PPE to their supervisor

40 Recap PPE is hazard specific; the hazards of each workplace and task must be evaluated PPE is used as a last resort when the hazard cannot be controlled by other methods Supervisors are responsible to ensure it is available and worn; Employees must wear and maintain their PPE

41 Recap PPE is only considered effective if it prevents the contaminant from reaching the wearer Respirators should not be worn by employees unless they have been medically cleared to do so

42 Dressed for Success!

43 For additional information on PPE... Check the EHS web site –http://www.ehs.psu.edu Or contact EHS directly


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