Below is a list of common PPE items and things to look for to ensure proper usage.
- Hard hats – cannot be worn with a ball cap underneath. Ensure that the ratchet faces the back. No holes drilled in it, cracks or other damage.
- Glasses – safety glasses are needed at all times, choose the correct lens shade for your activity. Use safety bifocals if needed for reading. If you wear corrective lenses, the glasses must meet the standard (ANSI Z87)
- Boots – these are provided by the employee and should be made of substantial material, like leather. Boots need to come up over the ankle, no sneakers. Hard toe (steel or composite) boots are required by some owners, such as Gentry and Nordic PCL.
- High visibility vests – these are needed around heavy equipment and when working on roadways. Have your vest zipped to prevent snag hazards.
- Face shield – needed for activities such as chipping and grinding. Glasses are still required underneath. When cutting vegetation, a mesh face shield is appropriate.
- Ear plugs – use the 3 foot rule. If you are 3 feet away from someone and need to raise your voice to be heard, you need ear plugs.
- Gloves – choose the right gloves for the activity, heavy leather for welding and handling rebar, lighter rubber coated gloves for carpentry or masonry, chemical gloves during exposure or handling of corrosive or dangerous chemicals.
- Respirators – Dust masks are also respirators, with the same requirements. Workers need medical clearance, fit testing and training.
- Chaps – these are worn when leg protection is needed. Thick, padded chaps for chainsaws, leather chaps for welding, canvas chaps for weed whacking
- Metatarsal protection – these shoe covers are needed when workers are close to equipment such as jumping jacks or other compacters or tampers. Metatarsal guards protect the foot between the ankle and the hard toe of the shoes.
- Fall protection – to be worn at height when we cannot put up barriers or guardrails.
Do not improvise PPE out of other materials. Each type of PPE must meet safety standards established by the American National Standards Institute. Report damaged PPE to your supervisor for replacement.