The Kansas City Construction Worker’s Guide to Personal Protective Equipment: What Equipment Should Your Employer Provide In Order To Prevent Injury
In most cases, personal protective equipment (PPE) is provided by the company to be worn by workers. The appropriate personal protective equipment depends on the hazards at the job site.
Common construction site hazards covered by PPE include:
• Flying or falling objects
• Electrical shock and electrical burns
• Hot surfaces
• Sharp objects , glass, nails
• Radioactive materials
• Flying particles and dust from grinding, sawing, drilling
• Hazardous chemicals
• Injurious light rays and bright light (from lasers or welding)
• Slippery surfaces
Heads are most often protected with hardhat. Hardhats should comply with American National Standards Institute (ANSI) standard Z 89.1 1981, Requirements for Protective Headwear for Industrial Workers. There are special helmets for workers who may be exposed to electricity.
Hard hats should be replaced every two to five years and if they show any signs of damage. Learn more about hard hats in our article, “Your Hard Hat: It Is Your Best Protection From Head Injury. How do you know if it needs replacing?”
EYE AND FACE PROTECTION
At many job sites, workers risk of eye injury due to flying particles, hazardous substances, projections, lasers, or bright lights. Goggles or impact resistant safety glasses with side shields offer protection from flying particles produced by chipping, grinding, sawing, or drilling.
Splash resistant goggles should be used when working with acids and other hazardous liquid chemicals.
Welders should use welding goggles with filter lenses or plates to screen out harmful light and ultraviolet rays. The rating will depend on the type of welding.
Employees who are exposed to laser beams should use laser safety goggles that are designed to protect against the specific wavelength and power of the laser.
Employees who use vision correcting glasses and need job site eye protection should be provided with one of the following:
1. Safety glasses or goggles with suitable corrective lenses
2. Safety goggles that fit over the employee’s own glasses
In general, contact lenses should not be worn on a construction site because of the high risk of eye injury.
When workers are exposed to sharp objects, hot surfaces, harmful physical or chemical agents, or radioactive material, they should be provided gloves that protect from cuts, burns or other hazards.
Gloves can also be used to protect from the injury producing vibrations of power tools. They must fit properly and provide enough grip for the worker to safely control the power tool.
Welders should use non-flammable gloves with gauntlets.
Rubber gloves protected by outer canvas or leather gloves are used for live high voltage electrical work.
Most construction workers wear steel-toed safety shoes and/or boots to protect the foot from cuts and falling objects. Workers using jackhammers should wear a steel covering over the whole foot, not just the toes.
Rubber boots are worn for protection when working with concrete or in water.
In some cases, body protection is needed. This protection might be an apron, or coveralls, or a full body suit that protects against toxic substances, steam, oil, water, or extreme heat or cold.
Employees working near asbestos lead, and other regulated carcinogens must wear protective clothing specified by OSHA standards.
Welders should wear leather aprons, and shirts with long sleeves and collars, as well as required head, face, eye, hand, foot, and respiratory protection.
Highway workers and construction workers who work near traffic wear bright orange warning garments or yellow rain gear. At night, they wear reflectorized clothing.
Other protection can include hearing protection and respirators.
What can you do if you were injured because of inadequate safety equipment? Call the Kansas City construction injury attorneys at Kansas City Accident Injury Attorneys at 1-888-348-2616. We can get you the worker’s compensation insurance claim that you are entitled to and help you determine if you have a claim for any additional damages. Contact our Kansas City law office to schedule a free initial consultation with a Missouri work injury attorney.
To learn more about Missouri construction accident injury claims, download our free book: “How to Avoid Becoming a Work Injury Horror Story.”