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How to Choose the Right PPE for Your Employees


How a business chooses the personal protective equipment (PPE) for their workers has a stronger and more long reaching impact than is often realised. For example, poor PPE selection can lead to personal injuries, deaths, project halts, investigations, expensive lawsuits, crippling fines, and more. The process of PPE selection can be tricky though, and even the best intentions may not mean much if you don’t know what you should be looking for. On that note, here are a few veteran tips for making better investments and selections while buying personal protective equipment.

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Be Specific

Even though two protective eye shields may look the same, that does not mean they are actually the same in their design and function. Different eye shields have different protection ratings that certify their respective abilities to protect the wearer from those specific types of damage. If you buy the wrong eye shields with the wrong ratings in respect to what your employees really need to protect their eyes from, that is an instant and hefty loss. The same rule applies everywhere when it comes to industrial PPE.

For example, eye shields rated to protect against heat and chemical damage may not be able to protect workers against projectile damage. Eye shields certified to protect against softer projectiles will not be sufficient to protect metal workers against shrapnel projectiles. Know exactly what kind of PPE your employees need and be specific about it while looking through your options. If you are not familiar with all the different protection and certification codes for PPE, consult with someone who is before buying anything.

Rely On Reputation

Reputed PPE suppliers who have been in the business long enough have nothing to gain by providing you with false information. Cheaper PPE suppliers without any reputation or a reliable background, on the other hand, have no such obligations. Even if you are an industry veteran and an expert in your sector, there is no way that you will be able to quality check each piece of PPE you buy in bulk.

This creates the opportunity for less reputable PPE suppliers to mix in poor quality units alongside units of standard quality. Never risk the future and wellbeing of your employees, as well as that of your company, by choosing a PPE supplier without a reliable history in the industry. Quality manufacturers and resellers may at times try to sell more, but they are highly unlikely to misguide you into buying something that’s ineffective.

Consult with Your Employees

Your employees are going to be the ones wearing what you buy, so it only makes sense for you to consult with them before making heavy investments into PPE. Hold a meeting with some of your most experienced workers and field managers to make sure that you are not missing out on anything.

It is also advisable that you visit the official HSE page and read a bit about the several PPE requirements, as would be applicable for your specific line of work. Legal compliance for PPE in some areas is mandatory and it’s a good idea to know what you can be held liable for not providing to your workers.