In many work situations, professionals must often make protective and safety clothing available to guarantee the safety and health of workers against one or more risks identified at a workstation. This equipment ranges from surgical masks to single-use gowns and disposable gloves. This article discusses the different devices that we can use and how to choose the right one.
Protective safety clothing covers or replaces personal clothing and should protect against one or more risks. If it does not offer protection, only for work clothing and it is not PPE. It can offer full-body protection (arms, legs, and torso) by means of a single piece or several pieces that have to be worn together or only cover some parts of the body and therefore offer partial protection of the body. Protective clothing may include a hood and other items such as shoe covers or gloves attached to it. Protective clothing can be reusable or disposable depending on its material and design.
In the workplace, protective and safety clothing belongs to personal protective equipment (PPE) and is intended to be worn. This may involve reducing the risk of work accidents, but also limiting the spread of viruses and bacteria especially in the commercial cleaning sector and service provider.
What are the different types of professional protective clothing?
Personal protective and safety clothing is a device that complements all the collective means of protection put in place and includes various equipment that aims to cover all types of risks: cuts, burns, noise, biological or chemical agents; exposure to viruses, etc. Some also make it possible to guarantee the protection of visitors in certain sectors of activity, such as the agri-food industry, the medical environment or the catering industry. They can be classified as follows:
- Face, head and eye protection, which covers risks of different natures and which includes:
- single-use masks including hygiene masks (against inert dust and small pollution present in the air) and respiratory protection masks (surgical mask, FFP2 mask),
- branch glasses, face shield glasses, helmets, caps, etc.
- Hearing protection against noise pollution (ear plugs, helmets, etc.).
- Body protectors that are present on clothing to protect the upper limbs, the lower limbs or the entire body.
- Sterile polypropylene gown impermeable to splashes and bacteria for acts of care,
- non-woven disposable gowns for use by medical personnel to protect the patient’s environment; chemical coveralls against hazardous substances; cuffs against splashes.
- safety footwear against foot injuries including single-use boots, moccasins, clogs or overshoes.
- Protective gloves against all forms of aggression specially in the hazardous waste management. They are specific to each type of task we need to accomplish and bring together a wide range of equipment designed from different materials such as leather, neoprene, latex, vinyl, nitrile, etc.: household gloves, handling gloves, anti-cut gloves food gloves, disposable gloves.
Example of disposable individual protections in the cleaning companies
How to choose your PPE?
Only a prior risk analysis allows employers to identify the necessary PPE that must be implemented to protect people against any risk likely to threaten their safety or health. To be sure of making the right choice, it is important to take into account different criteria:
- the nature and extent of the risk that we can avoid,
- the frequency of exposure,
- the environment and the conditions of comfort for the user,
- the performance of the equipment and their compatibility with each other.
By consulting users, it will be easier for you to provide equipment adapted to their activity. It is also possible to consult occupational medicine.
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