In order to create and maintain a safe workplace, employees in manufacturing and other businesses that produce or use chemicals, need to wear high-end protective gear. The type of protective gear that employees are required to wear will depend on the overall work environment as well as the tasks being performed. There are a variety of chemical protective garments available. These include, but aren’t limited to, bibs, gloves, jackets, overalls, and eye and face protective gear.
In order to protect workers from a variety of hazardous job conditions, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that there are 20 million workers that use personal protective equipment. This is why it is essential to learn how to wear this gear properly in order to prevent accidents. Furthermore, it is essential to adhere to safety and health programs and protocols as outlined by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the CDC.
In the United States, there were roughly 2.9 million non-fatal workplace injuries and illnesses reported in 2015 by private industry employers. It is an unfortunate fact that thousands of workers become blind every year due to work-related injuries. Many of these injuries could have been prevented if these workers had been wearing their eye and face protection properly. Due to their employees sustaining eye injuries, United States’ companies lose more than $300 million a year. This includes production time losses, medical expenses, and compensation for workers.
Even though protection garments cannot provide absolute protection in hazardous work environments, they do make a significant impact when worn properly. Flame-resistant fabrics, for example, do ignite and burn at the point of ignition. These garments do, however, prevent flames from spreading from the ignition point. It’s important for employees to understand the process of breakthrough resistance. This relates to the material’s temperature, the environment, and the thickness of the barrier. Faster breakthroughs occur when the temperature is higher than normal, such as 25 degrees Celsius.
Employees working in hazardous conditions also need to understand the permeation process. Basically, this takes place when a chemical goes through a protective film, such as a glove. Two values are associated with permeation data. This is the time and rate at which a chemical will permeate protective clothing.
In order to be prepared to work in hazardous conditions, employees need to complete safety and health programs. A variety of procedures and protocols are covered in these safety and health programs. The proper use of machinery, tools, and protective gear are also covered. When employers and their employees follow these guidelines, there is a greater chance to reduce workplace injuries and illnesses.