Although Personal Protection Equipment kit (PPE kit) was used in the industrial and biohazard lab settings before COVID-19, the pandemic crisis has majorly leveled up the importance of PPE for workers in healthcare and several other frontline domains. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), PPE should be used or worn by employees in the workplace for the safety and protection from serious injury or hazards such as chemical, radiological, biological, and physical.
What should employers provide?
The Occupational Safety and Health Act requires the employers to provide their employees with PPE kits if their work demands exposure to workplace hazards in order to keep them safe. But along with providing PPE kits to the employees against biohazard or chemical hazard, every employee should be given suitable training regarding:
- Why should one use PPE?
- Which fabric or PPE material is suited for their work?
- How to wear, adjust, and take off PPE?
- Limitations and issues of PPE kits?
- Disposal guidelines for PPE kits after use?
Advantages of PPE
There are five main types of PPE equipment based on the body region protection: respiratory, eye protection, hearing protection, hand and foot protection. These parts are generally sorted into coveralls, shoe covers, aprons, surgical/medical gowns, N95 respirator masks, face shields, and nitrile gloves.
The basic advantages of PPE kits are:
- If you’re working as a caregiver or healthcare worker on the frontlines, or if you are working in any medical-related factories, it is important to wear full PPE, starting from coveralls to gloves. PPE acts as a barrier between the skin and harmful chemical and biological substances in the form of protective clothing.
- Respirators and masks are essential and N95 masks help in protecting the lungs from both long-term and short-term respiratory illnesses.
- Foot covers and face shields along with coveralls help the workers prevent injuries by slipping off or while entering dangerous risky places. Aside from COVID-19 risk prevention, proper headgear and foot gears also provides safety and protection to workers in factories or underground sites.
PPE is Essential in in Healthcare
The requirement of PPE kits in the healthcare industry has increased manifold owing to the coronavirus situation and PPE kits in India have been a widely discussed success story all around the world. For people working in the healthcare domain, PPE needs and quality may be specific to medical needs. Furthermore, different safety guidelines and protocols might be applicable at a clinic, doctor’s office or hospital. Nevertheless, learning proper PPE protocols is essential to limit the transfer of germs, viruses and body fluids. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) oversees the regulation and use of PPE in the healthcare setting.
Right to workplace safety and protection under OSHA
The health and safety of an employee are the most important factors and according to OSHA, it is the responsible of the employer to take care of that. Employees can go ahead and file a complaint with OSHA anonymously if they feel that the workplace is unsafe or OSHA’s rules are not being followed.
Visit www.osha.gov for more information regarding complaints and guidelines.