The importance of PPE in the management of occupational risks

The convulsive and tragic coronavirus epidemic has not only changed the way we interact socially and, as a result, our usual pace of life, both in our leisure time and in the workplace. If the COVID-19 pandemic has taught us anything, it is new terminologies and ways to improve increasingly diverse sectors, including occupational risks, especially in PPE and work clothing.

Before we delve deeper into the importance of having adequate work and protective clothing in our work, we will focus on explaining what we mean when we talk about PPE, a term unknown to most of society. before the virus appears. . By PPE, we mean personal protective equipment (PPE), and it should not only be associated with the purely medical field. There are other sectors where the worker must also be well equipped and protected, and not only because of the presence of a contagious virus; for example, in workers who handle hazardous liquids. PPE must ensure the maintenance of worker health and safety and is a vitally important element established in an Occupational Health and Safety Management System (OHSMS).

Why is PPE important?

After having explained this aspect, let’s answer the question asked by the owner of this content: what is the importance of PPE in the management of occupational risks? Besides continuing to read this article, the answers can be found in Law 31/1995 on the prevention of occupational hazards, which establishes the requirements to promote the health and safety of workers, especially those who have a close relationship with problematic elements. Or consult Novages. And this is the responsibility of the employer, who must provide his employees with the appropriate and necessary equipment to carry out the assigned tasks. The aim is always to minimize the risk of certain activities as much as possible.

Beyond the laws, this equipment covers the entire body of the worker: they protect the respiratory zone (either with a mask, filters or a mouthpiece); there is eye and face protection (glasses or eye protectors are often used; face shields and even face shields); the head is another area to be protected (usually with a helmet) and finally the clothes and gloves are responsible for preventing damage to the rest of the body, always well supplemented by protective shoes for professional use.

Depending on the work to be performed, other accessories such as hearing protectors against noise and height protectors, with anchors and other anti-fall devices can be used. Logically, the material and the robustness of all these protectors depend on the work to be done. But if protection is essential, it is the same when we talk about knowing how to use these means, or the training that workers must have on the use they must give to these accessories. To do this, they must not only be given some general notions, but also complete preparation sessions on the use of these PPE, which must also be taken care of optimally for greater durability. The slightest anomaly would deactivate these protection systems regardless of the professional work to be done.

Occupational risk prevention service

These recommendations are not only the responsibility of the employer and the worker, but the occupational risk prevention department of each company (in coordination with the human resources department) is responsible for coordinating the training, acquisition and review of equipment. protection and compliance with a law guaranteeing the health and safety of all. For this reason, those in charge of these tasks must gather a series of appropriate knowledge in order to implement all these safety instructions. Likewise, from time to time, they should check that there is no problem or that some resources need to be optimized, from the equipment to the physical condition of the worker. Likewise, they must check that workers respect their part and thus avoid coming into contact with the risk.

Depending on each department and each work activity, there is even a series of computer programs that help to cover all these tasks. In fact, these are tasks which, if performed correctly, not only ensure this safety, but also allow the company and workers to be more efficient and contribute to the improvement of other people, because many of these jobs trigger a series of benefits in the workplace. society, as we have seen in these pandemic months with doctors. The same goes for scientists, firefighters and other professions at risk.

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