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Types of personal protective equipment you may need at work

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has several safety checklists that must be followed in different areas of construction and industry. Personal Protective Equipment may be required, and there are several reasons why.

According to OSHA, eye and face protection is mandatory when work operations could result in foreign objects getting into the eyes. You must also wear safety glasses or face shields if concrete or harmful chemicals are being used. If you're working with electrics, you must also wear these protective items.

What about your hands? You need to wear snugly fitting gloves. Your company should tell you the types of gloves you need to wear on the job, or you can find out from OSHA. For instance, if you're working with electricity, you should have insulated gloves and sleeves to prevent electrocution.

Did you know that a list of hazardous substances used in the workplace should be maintained and readily available in your workplace? This information can tell you exactly the issues you may come into contact with. Additionally, the Material Safety Data Sheets are used for the labeling of hazardous materials. Those sheets need to be available at all times for each and every hazardous substance being used in the workplace. Your company should also offer an effective employee training program for hazardous substances, so you are aware of the dangers in your workplace.

Of course, there are also PPEs required for your head and body. For instance, you may have to wear steel-toed boots if you're working with heavy or dangerous equipment, or you may need to wear a hard hat on a construction site. By looking at OSHA's regulations, you can help prevent workplace accidents and know when you've been put at risk.

OSHA, "Personal Protective Equipment," accessed Aug. 6, 2014

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