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Getting your PPE Facts Right - 5 Facts and 5 Myths


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Ensure you're protecting yourself and your workers with 'Getting your PPE Facts Right - 5 Facts and 5 Myths'

Kristy Thornton of Thiess Services entry in the British Occupational Hygiene Society and 3M competition to attend the IOHA 2015 conference.

#IOHA2015 #3Mcompetition

Published in: Science

Getting your PPE Facts Right - 5 Facts and 5 Myths

  1. 1. If I’m wearing PPE, I’m protected. MYTH or FACT?
  2. 2. You need the right type of PPE for the task. Factors to consider include: • Are coveralls made of the right material? • Is it the right size for the worker? • Does it create a new hazard?
  3. 3. The type of PPE you need will change depending on the task. MYTH or FACT?
  4. 4. • Consider factors such as the duration of the task, material type, weight, chemical protective properties, seam strength, size and fit, and select PPE accordingly. • The type of PPE needed may change dependant on the task or the area where the task is being performed.
  5. 5. Removing hearing protection to talk is OK. MYTH or FACT?
  6. 6. • If you remove your hearing protection for just 2 minutes in a noisy environment you can be over exposed to noise. • Speech intelligibility improves when you wear the right hearing protection. • Noise Induced Hearing Loss is incurable yet it is 100% preventable.
  7. 7. Noise Induced Hearing Loss can be prevented by using the correct PPE. MYTH or FACT?
  8. 8. • The right type of hearing protection, when worn correctly, can prevent Noise Induced Hearing Loss. • There are lots of factors to consider such as the type and class of hearing protection, and the environment where the task is being performed. • The use of any PPE requires appropriate training and instruction.
  9. 9. I don’t need to be clean shaven to wear a respirator. MYTH or FACT?
  10. 10. • Having a beard or a moustache can obstruct the seal between the face and the respirator as well as obstructing the exhalation valve. • Anything that interferes with that seal can allow contaminated air to leak into the respirator.
  11. 11. It is important that all PPE fits correctly MYTH or FACT?
  12. 12. • In order for PPE to work correctly, it has to have a good fit for each individual. • Respirators need to be fit tested to make sure that the right model and size of respirator is used. • Inspect PPE prior to each use and always check that it fits correctly each time.
  13. 13. When it comes to PPE, overprotection is better. MYTH or FACT?
  14. 14. Overprotection can lead to more hazards • Larger cartridges can make a respirator heavier and harder for the worker to breathe. • Overprotection can lead to the development of heat stress illnesses. • Blocking out too much noise can prevent workers from hearing nearby hazards.
  15. 15. Selecting the right PPE is a comprehensive process. MYTH or FACT?
  16. 16. Conduct a Risk Assessment and consider chemical hazards, environmental factors, the task being performed, and always make sure that workers are consulted as part of the decision.
  17. 17. Respirator filters last forever. MYTH or FACT?
  18. 18. • Cartridges and filters stop being effective if they are not replaced regularly. • A respirator cartridge change out schedule should be developed and consider factors such as the type and concentration of airborne contaminants, breathing rates, and environmental factors. • Don’t rely on smell as an indicator to change cartridges or filters. Once you smell the chemical it can be too late. Remember that some chemicals are odourless!
  19. 19. If you wear a respirator, you need a Documented Program. MYTH or FACT?
  20. 20. • You need a Respiratory Protection Program so that you can document the process used for the selection and specification of the right PPE for the job. • The program should consider medical evaluation, the importance of fit through fit testing, contain procedures for the proper use, maintenance and storage, protocols for training and instruction, and contain procedures for evaluating the effectiveness of your program.
  21. 21. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS Thank you to the workers, staff, and management team at the Thiess Macdonaldtown Gasworks Remediation Project for their enthusiasm and cooperation in helping spread the word on the proper use of PPE. Thank you to the BOHS for launching this competition, and to 3M for sponsoring a terrific opportunity to give one lucky young professional the chance to attend IOHA 2015.