Health and safety remain a highly important consideration in the modern workforce, especially when you consider that some 142 people were killed at work during 2020/21.

What’s more, 441,000 working people were thought to have sustained an injury at work during the reporting period, with 51,211 such injuries formally reported under the RIDDOR system.

But what role can PPE play in preventing workplace injuries, and just how important is personal protective equipment? We’ll explore this in the article below:

What Can PPE Protect You From?

The primary purpose of PPE is to protect you from injury in the workplace, while there are different types of equipment to safeguard different areas of the body. We’ve broken these categories down in greater detail below:

  • Head, Eye, and Face Protection: Including everything from eye goggles and face shields to hard hats, this category of PPE protects against chemical splashes and radiant energy sources from gas welding or soldering. Eye protection also safeguards against the risk of projectile objects.
  • Respiratory Protection: In certain cases, you may be required to wear high-grade masks. This can help to protect you against a broad range of potential contaminants, such as harmful gases, chemicals, and particles or droplets that may contain viruses and bacteria.
  • Body Protection: You’ll also find that PPE suppliers sell safety vests and suits, which can be used for tasks that expose the body to extreme temperatures, flames, or radiation. They may also safeguard you in instances where you’re exposed to the risk of dangerous insect bites.
  • Hands and Feet Protection: Gloves, knee pads, and safety boots also provide protection for your extremities when working on-site. The latter should be used for tasks that take place on slippery surfaces or when there’s an increased risk of electrical and tripping hazards.

Why Wearing PPE is So Important

As we can see, the different categories of PPE combine to protect against a wide range of overt physical injuries, from cuts, punctures, and chemical burns to head trauma and bodily collisions.

They also safeguard against a number of less obvious health risks, such as restricted breathing, electric shocks, and long-term exposure to excessive noise or vibrations.

The fact that PPE exists in multiple forms and can protect against such a broad range of workplace risks underlines its importance in the modern workplace, especially as employers look to safeguard their employees’ wellbeing and reduce the financial cost of absenteeism.

Of course, administering the correct PPE and ensuring that this is worn correctly directly minimizes the risk of workplace injury and fatalities.

This negates the threat of future compensation cases and payouts, which can threaten the very existence of businesses in the worst-case scenario.

By combining PPE with a detail-oriented H&S approach that includes comprehensive and frequent risk assessments, you can also ensure that you issue the right types of equipment and always provide the best possible protection.