The Importance of Personal Protective Equipment

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The Importance of Personal Protective Equipment

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If your job involves any kind of hazard, your employer is required by law to provide you with health and safety equipment. This personal protective equipment, often called PPE, is vital to maintaining a safe work environment and preventing injury. During your training, your employer is supposed to give safety demonstrations, explain how and when to use your PPE, and make you aware of the dangers of not using this equipment. They are required to have enough equipment for every employee, and to have it stored and labeled in an accessible location. Often, you as an employee, will be responsible for wearing your PPE, but your supervisors may also remind you at the beginning of your shift.

PPE, when used correctly, can prevent serious injuries like burns, eye damage, and respiratory damage. This equipment is vital to your health, and also works in the employers favor, by reducing work stoppage, preventing costly claims, and keeping a steady crew/staff. Despite the absolute value of PPE, many jobsites are lacking in thorough protective gear, and many employers slack when it comes to providing PPE that is in good working order. If you are not given PPE, or do not see any, you have the right to request it.

PPE is sometimes thought of as the last line of defense against workplace hazards; it is not designed to make up for lack of proper engineering, safe work systems, or thorough training. However, even with the right controls and innovative safety systems in place, some dangers may still remain. Your PPE can help you avoid injuries, such as:

  • Lung/respiratory injury- typically caused by breathing in dust, fumes, or other vapors
  • Skin injury- from contact with caustic or corrosive materials
  • Eye injury- from splashing of hazardous liquids, or flying particles
  • Head and foot injury- from falling debris
  • Whole body injury- from exposure to hot and cold extremes

Keep in mind that, even if you are diligent about wearing your PPE, accidents may still occur, and you may still be injured. It’s always a good idea to make sure your PPE is properly fitted to your body, and adjusted to your needs while on the job, as well as ensuring the gear is in good shape and in compliance with regulatory agencies. If you are injured despite of your PPE, you have the right to file a workers compensation claim, and to speak with a qualified workers compensation attorney in Southern California.

The attorneys at Jackson & Jackson are here to help. Reach out to us to schedule your free consultation today.

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