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The primary methods for preventing employee exposure to hazardous materials are elimination, engineering, and administrative controls. Personal protective equipment will often be required in addition to where these control methods are not appropriate or sufficient to control the hazard. The process for identifying work processes/tasks where specific PPE is required is called a PPE Hazard Assessment. It involves evaluating each work process/task and identify uncontrolled hazards where PPE is necessary to protect the worker. Next, select the appropriate PPE, and document the assessment. Keep in mind, you can simplify the process by grouping processes/tasks together if they have the same PPE requirements. Lastly, train employees on the hazards identified in the PPE Hazard Assessment and PPE selection determinations.

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Protective helmets (i.e. hard hats) reduce the amount of force to the head from impact, but cannot provide complete head protection from severe impact and penetration. Hard hats are intended to provide limited protection against small objects.

Hard hats must be marked to indicate the manufacturer, the date of manufacture, the applicable type and class designations, and the head size range. When purchasing hard hats, ensure that they comply with the most recent standards. Hard hats already in use must be inspected carefully prior to use for signs of deterioration and defects.

Replacing hard hats every 5 years regardless of outward appearance is a good rule of thumb. Hard hats used in environments which have temperature extremes, sunlight, or chemicals should be replaced more frequently, such as every 2 years.

Hard hats should be free from signs of impact (i.e. dents, cracks, or penetration) and rough treatment (i.e. abrasions, gouges, or excessive wear). Check the suspension system on a periodic basis. The main purpose of the suspension system is to absorb the shock of a blow. Excessive wear, defects, or damage can weaken the protection it should be providing. Look for excessive wear, cracks, tears, frayed or cut straps, loose or damaged stitching, and loss of pliability. The attachment points to the shell should fit tightly and securely into their respective key slots.

Types of Head Protection

Type 1 Hard Hat
Type I Hard Hats are intended to reduce the force of impact resulting from a blow only to the top of the head and have a partial or a full brim around the entire hat.

Type 2 Hard Hats
Type II Hard Hats are intended to reduce the force of lateral impact resulting from a blow which may be received off-center, from the side, or to the top of the head. This form of impact, for example, may result from contact with the sharp corner of a side beam, or a flying object.

Bump caps
Bump caps be used when head impact protection is not required, but where personnel may be exposed to minor bumps to the head or laceration hazards. Bump caps are not approved for use where impact protection is required.

Electrical Classes of Hard Hats

Class G helmets are proof-tested at 2,200 volts. Protection is against impact, penetration, and low-voltage electrical conductors.

Class E helmets are proof-tested at 20,000 volts. Protection is provided against impact, penetration and high voltage electrical conductors.

Class C (Conductive) Helmets - this class provides no electrical insulation. Protection against impact and penetration only.  Usually made of aluminum, which is an electrical conductor, and therefore should not be used in situations involving electrical hazards.

Potential hazards to the body include chemical and biological, cuts and abrasion, electrical (Shock, Arc and Blast), extreme heat or cold, low visibility, radiation, airborne particulates (ex. dust, dirt, soot, smoke, liquid droplets), etc.

Types of Clothing and Body Protection
The protective clothing provided must be constructed of material that will protect against the specific hazards in the workplace. The degree of body protection should be carefully considered since this category covers aprons to gastight suits. Materials used in protective clothing include paper-like fiber, treated wool and cotton, duck, leather, rubber/plastics, etc.

Designed to protect personal clothing while on the job.

Lab Coats
Protect clothing and skin from dirt, inks, and chemicals. The effects of skin contact can range from relatively minor diseases such as dermatitis, to systemic poisoning, to risk of cancer, and death.

Barrier Gowns
Provide protection from bloodborne pathogen splashes.

Chemical Resistant Disposable Suits
Such as Tyvek® or PVC-coated, protect against harmful particulates, some liquid chemicals and pathogens.

They come in a variety of materials to protect against a variety of hazards, such as chemicals, heat, sparks/slag, etc.

Chemical Suits
Used in hazardous material spills for example, are categorized by levels. Level A suits provide protection against vapors and include a gastight zipper. Level B splash suits, such as Tychem®, provide chemical and biological protection.

Arc-Rated Clothing 
ARC clothing is treated to self-extinguish when removed from flame or ignition sources. Clothing includes undergarments, coveralls, lab coats, overalls, shirts, and pants.  Electrical-arc hazard protection consists of jackets, overalls, coats, leggings, and hoods with arc-protective face shields for full body protection.

Shock Protective Clothing 
This is designed to isolate the wearer from the electrical current.  All equipment should be non-conductive materials and rated for the voltage.

Welding Clothing
Available in aprons or suits, and is typically made of leather to resist cuts, sparks, and slag.

Heat-reflective clothing 
Includes aluminized coats, pants, leggings, aprons, sleeves, gloves, and hoods. This type of clothing is designed to repel molten metal splash and reflect 90% of radiant heat.

Cooling Vests 
They have bladder inserts for ice packs, or are water-soak activated. They are beneficial in heat stress situations.

High-Visibility Clothing 
Comes in neon colors with reflective strips for work around traffic or other situations where the worker needs to be seen. Available in vests, jackets, bib overalls, insulated, waterproof, or lightweight. 

Steel Mesh Aprons
Provide protection against cuts, slashes, and lacerations to the torso. They are typically worn in the meat-cutting industry.

Floatation Vests 
Worn when working around water.

Eye and Face Hazards

Common hazards that employees may be exposed to when protecting the eyes and face include chemical and biological, dust or mist, splashes of liquids, extreme heat and cold, flying objects, impact or explosion, and radiation.

Types of Eye and Face Protection
Safety Glasses 

Standard safety glasses are designed to protect against light to moderate impact and flying particles and are constructed of metal or plastic with impact-resistant glass or plastic lenses. Safety glasses must have shatter-proof lenses, impact resistant frames and provide side protection. Metal frame safety glasses shall not be used when performing electrical work.

Safety Goggles

Safety goggles are tight-fitting eye protection that completely cover the eyes, eye sockets and the facial area around the eyes and provide protection from impact, dust,, mists, and splashes. Safety goggles can be worn over prescription lenses. Safety goggles are available with perforated, port-vented, or non-vented frames. Safety goggles should be worn when working with liquids that may splash or if vapor or airborne particulate protection is required.

Face Shields

Face shields provide general protection to the entire face for a variety of hazards, such as flying debris, chemical splash, arc flash, UV radiation, and extreme heat. Impact rated face shields can be worn or face shields must be worn over primary eye protection (safety glasses or goggles) when there is a potential exposure to flying fragments or objects, hot sparks from furnace operations, potential splash from molten metal, or extreme temperatures.

Welding Shields

Welding shields are constructed of vulcanized fiber or fiberglass and fitted with a filtered lens.  The shield assemblies consist of vulcanized fiber or glass-fiber body, a ratchet or button type adjustable headgear or cap attachment, and a filter and cover plate holder. Welding shields protect eyes from burns caused by infrared or intense radiant energy.  Welding shields protect both the eyes and face from flying sparks, metal spatter and slag chips produced during welding, brazing, and soldering.

Welding Helmets

Welding helmets protect the eyes and face from infrared or radiant light burns, flying sparks, metal splatter, and slag chips encountered during welding, torch brazing, torch soldering, resistance welding, bare or shielded electrical arc welding, and oxy-acetylene work. Welding helmets should only be used over primary eye protection (i.e. safety glasses or safety goggles). Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

Laser Safety Glasses/Goggles

Laser safety glasses/goggles protect against intense concentrations of light produced by lasers. Laser safety glasses/goggles selection is dependent upon the laser equipment and operating conditions.

Hazards in this category are injuries from falls, including impact with a lower surface or object, effects of arrested falls, and suspension trauma from being suspended in a harness after a fall. All employees who use fall protection equipment are required to have training. Training includes selection, use, and limitations of the components of the system, proper donning and fit of the harness, inspection criteria, and recognition of fall hazards. 

Fall protection is most effective when it is used to prevent a fall or eliminate exposure to a fall hazard. Types of PPE for fall prevention include travel restraint and positioning systems. For work where exposure to a fall hazard cannot be eliminated or a fall cannot be prevented, personal fall arrest systems that allow a fall but prevent the employee from striking the ground or a lower object.

Types of Fall Protection

Type I Fall Protection
Can be used for fall protection as well as positioning. If the working weight (the person and tools) exceeds 310 pounds, a heavy-duty harness and connecting device must be used. Type I harnesses are available with various D-ring configurations. All harnesses must have a back D-ring for attaching the connecting device for fall arrest. Shoulder D-rings are optional for confined space (vertical) retrieval. Hip D-rings are optional for positioning where hands must be free to perform work. Chest D-ring is optional for ladder climbing device connection.

Type II Fall Protection (ex. body belt)
This is for positioning only. Body belts are not permitted for fall arrest.

Types of Foot Protection

Steel/Composite Safety Toe
Provides protection to the toes where personnel are exposed to a crushing or impact injury. Slip-on toe caps are available when toe protection is needed for short or temporary use.

Metatarsal Guard
Provides protection to the top of the foot (metatarsal bones) as well as the toes. Guards are available and built into the boot or as a temporary accessory where protection is only needed for a short period of time.

Static Dissipative – Electrostatic Discharge – ESD – Conductive
Static dissipative shoes minimize the buildup of electrical charge between a person in motion and the surfaces and environment around them, by conducting the charge through the shoes to the ground. Commonly used in manufacturing of electronic components, flammable liquids, explosives, and plastics.

Electrical Hazard (EH) – Non-Conductive
EH rated shoes are electrical insulators and prevent or reduce the flow of electrical current from the feet to the ground. EH rated shoes can also prevent electric shock from contact with a live conductor.

Dielectric Electric Overshoes
The soles of these shoes provide a barrier to protect personnel from open electrical sources up to 600 volts. Protection is provided against the touch or stepping on an energized conductor.  These are typically used for working on live power or in the area of live power where the current can jump large distances, especially in wet or damp conditions.  Typically used when performing equipment grounding near power lines.

Thermal Insulated Shoes
Constructed to resist high heat and cold situations. Provides insulation against hot and cold temperatures and are intended for tough outdoor environments. Constructed to resist high heat and cold situations

Waterproof Shoes
Constructed to keep the feet dry and comfortable in wet conditions.

Chemical-Resistant Shoes
Chemical-resistant shoes are constructed of various materials to provide protection against chemical and biological hazards. Ensure the protective material is compatible with the chemical being used. Slip-on overshoes or booties can also be used for chemical or biological protection.

Puncture-Resistant Shoes
Designed to protect the midsole of the foot where sharp objects can pierce or penetrate the sole of the shoe.

Slip-Resistant Shoes
Provides slip-resistant tread for wet, oily, and/or greasy floors. Shoe chains, cleats, or spikes are available to fit over existing boots to prevent falls on ice, snow, or other slick surfaces. Never wear ice or snow cleats when walking on hard surfaces other than snow or ice.

Types of Protective Leg Wear

Leg Guards
Leg guards are designed to cover the knee, shin, and top of the foot from impact or abrasions.

Provide water-proof protection for the feet, legs, and/or lower torso.

Chaps provide protection to upper and lower legs and are usually hazard and/or task-specific. Chainsaw chaps are made of multiple layers of cut-resistant fabric, which is designed to jam the chain saw chain and stop the cutting action before it reaches the skin.
Welding chaps are typically made of leather and provide heat/burn protection from sparks and slag.

Potential hazards to hands and arms include skin absorption of chemical or biological hazards, chemical or thermal burns, electric shock, bruises, abrasions, cuts, punctures, fractures or amputations.  Protective equipment includes gloves, finger guards and arm coverings.

Types of Hand & Arm Protection

Disposable gloves
Best for one-time use situations. Provides wearer minimal protection against materials, or protects the material from the handler. Available in a variety of materials and for a variety of tasks. Disposable gloves are typically very thin and provide improved sensitivity and dexterity. However, they may tear or puncture easily and are less chemical resistant than standard chemical resistant gloves. Avoid using disposable gloves for processes involving intentional direct chemical contact.

Critical-environment gloves
Used in applications that require extreme cleanliness, such as in the electronic, nuclear, and pharmaceutical industries

Chemical-resistant gloves – Protects against specific chemicals and liquids. Also usually thick enough to minimally protect against abrasion, cuts, punctures, and snags. Generally, any “chemical-resistant” glove can be used for dry powders.

General-purpose gloves 
Intended to help reduce hand injuries from snags, punctures, abrasions, and cuts.

Coated gloves
Nitrile and natural rubber coated gloves are often used as substitutes for leather gloves. Coated gloves offer superior hand protection from wet environments where dexterity is important. However, coated gloves provide minimal protection from physical hazards such as cuts, abrasions or punctures

Cut-resistant gloves
Available in a wide variety of materials, including metal-mesh, Kevlar®, and aluminized and other cut-resistant materials. Protects against cuts and scrapes caused by knives and other sharp tools and equipment. Cut-resistant gloves are rated according to the level of force required to cut the material.

Puncture-resistant gloves
Available in a wide variety of materials. Puncture-resistant gloves protect against most sharp objects, including glass, metal, and needle sticks. No glove is completely puncture-proof. Puncture-resistant gloves are rated according to the level of force required to puncture the material.

Anti-vibration/impact gloves
Protection from vibration or impact from tools and equipment. Helps prevent hand, finger, and arm fatigue.

Leather gloves
Qualities of leather include comfort, durability, dexterity, mild heat resistance, and abrasion resistance. Good all-purpose glove.

Temperature-resistant gloves
Provides protection from high or from low temperatures. Leather, Kevlar®, cotton, terrycloth, cryogenic gloves, rubber, Nomex®, Zetex®, and Flextra® are some common materials used in this type of glove. Welding gloves are considered temperature resistant. Select gloves based on the type of heat or cold source (fire, radiant heat, hot or cold object, hot or cold liquids, etc. Some temperature resistant gloves may protect against hot or cold objects but not against hot or cold gases or liquids.

Voltage-rated gloves provided protection against shock hazards.

Hazards in this category  include airborne gases, vapors and particulate hazards, chemical, and biological, or inert ones. There are two primary types of respiratory protective devices which are air purifying respirators and air supplied respirators. We provide recommendations for appropriate respiratory protection based on hazard evaluation, monitoring, and anticipated levels of exposure.

Types of Hearing Protection Devices (HPD)

To prevent noise-induced hearing loss, hearing protection devices must reduce noise exposure to time-weighted average (TWA) levels of 90 dbA or below, or to 85 dbA or below for those workers who have suffered a standard threshold shift (STS). HPDs reduce the amount of noise; however, they cannot eliminate all of the noise reaching the ear since noise can take many routes into the ear. The two most commonly used are:

Ear Plugs 
They are inserted into the ear canal to reduce the amount of noise that reaches the ear via that route. Ear plugs when placed in the ear correctly, will expand to fill the ear canal and seal against the walls of the ear.  This allows foam ear plugs to fit ear canals of different sizes.  There are two types of ear plugs i.e., disposable and reusable.

Ear Muffs 
They are devices that fit against the head and enclose the entire external ears. The inside of the muff cup is lined with an acoustic foam which can reduce noise by as much as 15 to 30 decibels. Ear muffs are often used in conjunction with ear plugs to protect the employee from extremely loud noises, usually at or above 105 decibels.


Plot #111, Magambo Road, Ntinda, Kampala (U)


+256 703 063183