Personal protective equipment (PPE) is widely used in hazardous industries for protecting the wearer mainly from chemical and biological contaminants.
They are being used by healthcare professionals globally for dealing with COVID-19 infection and cases.
PPE kits contain some basic equipment and materials that keep you protected. The following are some of the materials generally included in a PPE kit:
Gloves are commonly used PPE in patientcare. There are different types of gloves that you can choose from. Latex gloves are the most commonly used by healthcare workers.
They are made from natural rubber and are very thin. Latex gloves fit perfectly on your hands and feel like a second skin. They provide you complete freedom of hand movements and dexterity while wearing them. Nitrile gloves are becoming the preferred choice these days over latex gloves.
They are made from synthetic rubber and have high puncture-resistance and durability compared to latex gloves. Nitrile gloves are ideal for people who have latex allergies that can occur due to using latex gloves for long periods.
However, nitrile gloves are costlier than latex gloves. Vinyl gloves provide a good alternative as they are durable and cost-effective. They also provide reasonable protection and tactile sensitivity.
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Gloves should be clean and sterilized before use. Disposable gloves should be disposed of immediately after use. You should also check for any punctures or cracks in the gloves before using it in a hazardous environment. You may also consider double layering of gloves for added protection.
You should never touch your face, eyes, nose, etc. while wearing these gloves as it can cause infection.
Aprons and Gowns
Aprons and gowns are used by healthcare professionals for performing surgeries and other medical procedures.
They cover the total body and protect you from chemicals and biological pathogens. If the risk and magnitude of infection are severe, then isolation gowns are better than aprons. They have a comfortable fit, cover the entire body, and have long sleeves that fit tightly at the wrists.
A fluid-resistant gown is recommended if you will be working in an environment with likely fluid penetration.
Masks cover your mouth and nose.
They prevent microbes from entering inside your mouth and nose. Using masks also ensures the safety of others around you by preventing the transmission of bacteria and other pathogens released from your breath.
There are different types of masks available based on the applications. Surgical masks are loose-fitting and prevent you and others from microbes and infections.
They also protect you from body fluids and potential infection resulting from them. Surgical masks are disposable and should be disposed of after use. They are generally used by frontline health workers while working in infectious environments.
If you are working in a severely contagious environment, then respirators may be needed. Respirators are specially designed masks that form a tight facial seal with your mouth and nose.
They should be fit tested before using them, to ensure complete protection. Some respirators come with an exhalation valve to make it easier for you to breathe.
This makes them comfortable to wear while using them for long periods. Respirators are more efficient than normal surgical masks in blocking out contaminants when compared to regular surgical masks. N95 respirator masks can filter out contaminants with 95% efficiency.
Respirators are widely being used by healthcare professionals for being safe in the current COVID-19 pandemic.
Face shields are needed when the workplace is highly contagious. They are used when the entire face and throat need to be shielded from contaminants.
Face shields are widely being used to protect healthcare workers from COVID-19 infection. They are also used in chemical industries where volatile chemicals are used.
If you work for long hours in a potentially hazardous environment, then eye protection is important for your well-being.
Your eyes can get easily damaged from chemicals and biological hazards. Using safety glasses protects your eyes from coming in contact with such dangerous contaminants. Safety glasses come in different shapes and sizes.
You should test them for the perfect fit before using them in hazardous situations. Safety glasses should comply with the standards prescribed by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) to provide you optimal protection.
All safety glasses compliant with this standard are labeled accordingly. If you observe any cracks or damage in the glasses, you must immediately get it checked and replaced if needed.
Splash goggles provide better protection to your eyes. Prescription lenses do not provide complete protection from contaminants and microbes.
You should use goggles for protecting your eyes. Goggles also provide better protection and resistance from hazardous chemical and biological contaminants.
These goggles can comfortably fit over prescription glasses. They provide a snug and tight fit and prevent any harmful chemicals and pathogens from entering your eyes.