Compliance with set protocols is essential when dealing with the protection of your workers in the workplace. This, however, means more than walking into any shop touting as the best for your PPE needs and choosing whatever seems like the right fit for your company. You should ensure that the type of PPE you choose meets various protection levels in your work environment.
Suppliers of filling machines and equipment, as well as personal protective gear, will have various options for the levels of protection that a workplace might need. The four levels of PPE are meant to protect employees from multiple elements in different workplaces and in varying degrees according to set industry recommendations. They are your ideal guide when choosing the right PPE for your company.
Here are the levels of PPE and the guidelines on what they encompass to help you choose the right equipment.
Level A Protection
This level is ideal for instances when the highest level of the mucous membrane, eye, respiratory and skin protection is needed. A type-A PPE ensemble will include SCBA (self-contained breathing apparatus), positive pressure devices, or positive-pressure respirators with an escape SCBA.
Outer and inner chemical resistant gloves, fully encapsulating protective suits against chemical elements, and chemical-resistant boots are the other constituents of a level A protection ensemble. The boot shank used in this instance features a supportive structure between its outsole and insole, which should be made of steel.
Level B Protection
This is designed for employees who need the highest respiratory protection level but less eye and skin protection. A level B protective ensemble will comprise an emergency SCBA, double-layered chemical resistant gloves, and clothing that is made of a chemical-resistant material. The boots in the ensemble should also be chemical-resistant and have a steel shank between their insoles and outsoles.
Level C Protection
This closely resembles the level B ensemble. It is, however, used in cases where the concentration and type of the airborne substances in your workspace are known. A level C protection ensemble will comprise chemical-resistant clothing, a half-mask or full-face respirator, steel shank chemical-resistant boots, and chemical-resistant gloves. It also includes a hard hat, coveralls, and escape mask.
Level D Protection
This is primarily worn as a work uniform and used for protection against nuisance contaminants. Level D protection primarily comprises chemical-resistant steel shank boots, coveralls, and gloves. Hard hats, face shield, and escape masks are all optional components of this ensemble.
The above PPE levels comprise four basic types of protection. These include skin, respiratory, eye, and face protection. Though not included in these levels, noise protection is also an essential component in all environments with high noise levels, which can affect your employees’ hearing ability, orientation, and concentration. Earplugs and earmuffs are among the PPE types for the protection of your employees’ hearing.
Read also, Debunking the Myths About Air Respirators
The right PPE ensemble, along with the right hearing protection, is only a part of employee personal protection. You should also ensure that the PPE fits your workers comfortably so that they can be compliant. Moreover, you need to have employee training sessions on how to use the available PPE so that your workers will be efficient.