If you work on a construction site, it is important to wear the correct personal protective equipment at all times. Having the wrong PPE or not wearing any could put you and others in grave danger and lead to workplace hazards. This article covers all the critical points you need to consider before stepping foot onto a construction site.

In addition, there is also a list of the top 5 PPE vendors in India at the end of this blog.

What is Personal Protective Equipment?

Personal Protective Equipment, which is commonly referred to as “PPE”, is worn to minimise exposure to hazards that cause serious workplace injuries. Such injuries and diseases may result from contact with physical, chemical, mechanical, radiological, electrical, or other workplace hazards. Furthermore, PPE may include items such as shoes, gloves, safety glasses, earplugs, respirators, hard hats, coveralls, vests and full body suits.

However, it is crucial to remember that personal protective equipment only minimises the risk to the workers’ health and safety. Threats will always be present, that is why the use of PPE is supplemented with control measures, particularly in hazardous workplaces. It is important that you consult a workwear and safety equipment specialist to ensure you are properly equipped.   

How To Choose the Correct PPE for the Workplace

All PPE must be safely designed and constructed and should be maintained properly. It must fit comfortably, encouraging worker use. In addition, employers must train each worker to know:

  • When it is necessary
  • What kind is essential
  • The limitations of the equipment
  • How to properly put the gear on, adjust, wear as well as take it off
  • Proper care, useful life, maintenance and disposal of the equipment

If workers use PPE, a PPE program should be implemented. This program should cover the risks present; the maintenance, selection and use of PPE and the training of workers.

Different Types of Workplace Hazards
Physical hazards

This includes vibration, noise, electricity, radiation, heights, high pressure, high vacuum, etc.

Psychosocial hazards

This includes fatigue, violence, workplace stress, bullying and any other stressors in the workplace.

Biological hazards

This includes disease-causing microorganisms such as viruses, bacteria, fungi and bio-active substances. Also, individuals who work in hospitals, farms, laboratories and food processing plants are continually exposed to biological hazards.

Chemical hazards

This includes any compound or material that can adversely affect the health of the employees when they are exposed to them. Workers who handle chemicals that are explosive, toxic, flammable and corrosive are particularly at risk. These dangerous chemicals can enter a body through inhalation, absorption or ingestion. Furthermore, these substances can irritate, burn, blister or even inflame the skin. Some chemicals can also cause cancer, respiratory diseases and infections, organ failure and sometimes even death.

Types of Personal Protective Equipment
Head protection

Safety helmets and hard hats can protect a worker from head injuries caused by fire, electrical shocks or falling objects. Electricians, welders, linemen, plumbers, construction workers and other individuals who work in hazardous workplaces are required to wear hard hats. This particular type of PPE should have a hard outer shell to block penetration by blunt or sharp objects. Furthermore, it should also be fire and water resistant and should be able to absorb the shock when struck. Helmets, in particular, should be adequately ventilated. This is one of the main types of PPE.

Protective clothing

Wearing protective clothes will save the body from cuts, radiation, dangerous chemicals, hot liquids, contamination etc. Further, lab coats, full body suits, jackets, surgical gowns and vests are some examples of protective clothing. In addition, the materials of protective clothing vary depending on the application and the working condition.

Face and eye protection

They protect the face and eyes from liquid chemicals, gases, UV light, flying debris and molten metal splashes. Further, floating or flying dust, sparks from welding, swinging ropes, chains and laser light could also injure operators. Thereby, making these equipments a necessity in any hazardous workplaces. Goggles, protective eyeglasses, welding shields, laser safety goggles as well as face shields are some examples of this type of PPE.

Respiratory protection

This type of equipment is designed to protect a worker from inhaling contaminated air or toxic compounds in the workplace. In some cases, PPE can also provide oxygen to the user when working in low oxygen areas. Breathing apparatus, chemical cartridge respirators, powered air purifying respirators and dust masks are a few examples of respiratory protection equipment.

Hand and arm protection

This personal protective gear is designed to protect the arms and hands from cuts, burns, bruises, abrasions and punctures. Some are even designed to protect the user from temperature extremes as well as prevent amputation and fractures. Examples of PPE designed for the arms and hands are gloves (hand or elbow length), arm coverings and finger guards. Furthermore, gloves and other such equipment can be made of metal mesh, leather and canvas. Others are designed to protect the arms and hands from harmful chemicals. These types of gloves are made of neoprene, latex, nitrile and butyl.

Hearing protection

It is designed to protect workers from deafening and prolonged noises in the workplace. Hearing protection gear includes earplugs and earmuffs.

Foot protection

Protective footwear must be worn on a construction site if there is a risk of objects falling on the feet. Furthermore, boots with steel toecaps and midsoles are a smart decision. There are several styles available, so it may be worth doing a bit of research before deciding on one particular type.

In addition, Wellington boots are also beneficial to have on site for laying concrete or cement. When cement mixes with water, it becomes highly corrosive and can easily cause infectious burns. Thus, wellington boots should help guard against this.

For people working at heights

They are made to protect a worker from falls in case they work at heights. Anchor points, lanyards and harnesses are some examples of personal protective equipment for window cleaners, construction workers, linemen etc.

Training Employees in the Correct Use of PPE

Workers are responsible for ensuring the safety of their staff by training and providing them with the proper protective gears. A qualified representative or the employers must:

  • Explain what personal protective equipment is, as well as when and why it is essential
  • Explain the limitations of the protective equipment
  • Illustrate how to wear, remove and adjust the equipment properly
  • Show workers how to clean, maintain and dispose of the gears
  • Ensure that the employees understand the significance of the PPE training
  • Retrain a worker who demonstrates the wrong usage of PPE. Also, additional retraining will be needed when there is a new PPE, or when the previous training has become outdated.
Top 5 PPE companies in India
1. Armstrong Products Pvt Ltd.

Located in Andheri East, Mumbai, Armstrong Products Pvt. Ltd is one of India’s most reputed supplier and manufacturer of uniforms, industrial garments and other types of safety gears. Customers can get products like safety shoes and helmets, uniforms, safety gloves, road safety products etc. delivered right to their doorsteps.

2. Karam

The wide range of PPE from KARAM, Delhi is known for its most exceptional quality and performance. These vendors specialise in the field of safety harness & body belts, lanyards and anchor points. In addition, they also sell tripods & winches, rescue & descent equipment, eye protection, hearing and welding protection, etc at reasonable prices. These products undergo rigorous quality checks and are certified as per IS & DGMS as well as other international norms.

3. Tobit Engineers

They are approved PPE distributors from Mumbai who specialise in selling gas detectors, safety vests, breathing apparatus, respirators, disposable coveralls, gas tight suits and other industrial safety equipment.

4. Udyogi

Situated in Kolkata, this company offers a qualitative range of industrial safety hooks, eyewash fountains, neck and hand PPE which is made of high graded raw materials by using sophisticated machines. In addition, they also have an extensive distribution network in India as well as abroad which enhances their reach to clients.

5. Mallcom

Mallcom is an ISO certified manufacturer and distributor of personal protective equipment located in Kolkata. It produces diverse product categories covering head to toe like garments, helmets, face masks, rainwear, leather and nitrile gloves, shoes etc. Furthermore, Mallcom also deals in ear protection, eyewear, disposable synthetic gloves and harnesses.