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“How to Choose PPE in 3 Steps” is an excerpt from Superior Glove’s PPE Bible “The Complete Guide to Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) [+ Checklist Download].” Read the full guide for more information, including answers to industry workers’ 15 most Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about PPE.
Unfortunately, due to variation among equipment types and how heavily they’re used across worksites, there isn’t a consistent answer to this question.
First, look into the manufacturer’s warranty and other information sources. Many manufacturers will offer a warranty period of at least one year, covering any sort of product failure. Their products may also include information tags, detailing life expectancy. For example, most hard hats come with these tags, stating the product lasts between three and five years.
Second, talk to colleagues who have used the kind of PPE you need. Word-of-mouth can lead you towards trusted brands, helping you find equipment designed to be effective for long periods.
Remember that the longevity of PPE plays a key role in your purchasing decision, ensuring you don’t have to buy equipment at a faster-than-expected rate.
Take these factors and scenarios into account when deciding if it’s time to replace a piece of PPE:
To ensure employees can comfortably wear equipment, run fitting sessions and use information from PPE manufacturers.
Schedule timeslots for each worker who will wear PPE, taking their measurements and keeping a file with this information. Note any factors that may influence sizing. For example, if an employee wears prescription glasses, protective eyewear should fit over them.
Cross-reference your data with sizing charts, which your manufacturer of choice should provide.
Doing so will allow you to buy or distribute PPE that properly fits workers, effectively mitigating relevant risks.
As well as the three above questions, each kind of PPE has qualities you should factor into your purchasing decision.
When choosing PPE, you should have an understanding of this specific information.
To supplement it, it’s never a bad idea to consult manufacturers and your region or country’s occupational health and safety resources.
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Hand Injury Rates are Reduced by 60% when using the right gloves.