Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is not limited to protection against viral outbreaks but is required by workers in many different industries for a wide variety of health and safety purposes.
For example, hard hats are necessary for construction workers to safeguard against falling objects, while kitchen staff needs aprons to protect themselves and the food they prepare.
Workers exposed to brick dust require ventilation equipment, dust masks, and nose clips, while divers need breathing apparatus, and cooks need hair nets.
Employers have a legal obligation to provide PPE to their staff – if they fail to do this, they could face lawsuits should anything go wrong.
PPE encompasses different types of protective gear, depending on the nature of the job. For instance, high-visibility clothing, hazmat suits, and aprons are part of body PPE.
Limb PPE includes elbow and knee pads, and protective wrist, arm, ankle, or leg PPE for workers at risk of amputation. Hands and feet PPE includes latex gloves, heat-resistant gloves, leather gloves, and steel-toed boots.
Head and face PPE cover earplugs and muffs, hard hats and bump caps, eye protection such as safety goggles, face shields, and spectacles, as well as mouth, nose, throat, and lung PPE, such as surgical masks, ventilation equipment, dust masks, and nose clips.