Personal Protection and Safety Supplies in Facilities

Part
01
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Part
01

Personal Protection and Safety Supplies in Facilities

This report provides an overview of personal protective equipment and safety equipment used in facilities. Part (A) includes safety equipment used by cleaning staff and warehouse workers in different situations such as biohazard risks. Hand protection, eye protection, and foot protection are leading concerns. Part (B) provides personal protective equipment used by general staff at healthcare facilities, including masks, gowns, and aprons.

Part (A): This section identifies safety equipment used by cleaning staff and warehouse workers.

Safety Equipment Used by Cleaning Staff

  • Custodial employees should always be provided with gloves, and they should particularly be used when cleaning restrooms. Depending on the types of potential exposure that an employee is at risk for, the gloves should protect the skin from absorbing harmful substances, severe cuts or lacerations, severe abrasions, punctures, chemical burns, thermal burns, and harmful temperature extremes, according to OSHA.
  • When a custodial employee is cleaning a bathroom with a biohazard risk inside it, the employee should wear disposable gloves, protective gowns or uniforms, and protective eyewear and masks or face shields, according to OSHA guidelines.
  • Custodial employees are required to wear protective footwear whenever working in areas where there is a risk of falling objects or objects piercing the sole. While not a requirement, slip-resistant shoes are recommended and cut slip and fall rates in half.
  • Eye protection that provides additional protection from the sides (such as googles) is required by OSHA when custodial employees are dealing with situations in which objects (such as dust) or liquids are airborne.
  • Rubber aprons are recommended equipment for custodial staff who are using chemicals to prevent splashing through clothing.
  • Custodial staff should wear safety glasses in particular when changing light bulbs, dusting ceiling vents, or manually diluting any chemical with water.
  • Employees operating heavy floor equipment like buffers, scrubbers, or carpet machines should wear anti-vibration gloves to reduce the risk of carpal tunnel.

Safety Equipment Used by Warehouse Workers

  • When a warehouse employee is exposed to loud environments, disposable earplugs are recommended by OSHA. The recommended levels of protection depending on exposure are available here.
  • Employees who experience continuous exposure to loud environments are advised to wear earmuffs.
  • Employees in a warehouse should always wear hardhats when they are at risk of objects falling onto their heads, according to OSHA. Employees driving a forklift, for example, should wear a hardhat due to small objects that could fall through the equipment's roof and strike them. Any employee walking down an aisle is vulnerable to head injury and should wear a hardhat.
  • Employees in a warehouse should wear high visibility jackets to ensure their safety as a best practice (not required by OSHA).
  • In areas where falls are potentially risky (stairs, ledges, and inclines), anti-slip tape should be installed to prevent falls.
  • Warehouse workers who kneel frequently should be equipped with kneepads.
  • In warehouses where employees do frequent heavy lifting, industrial floor mats with impact-absorbing features are recommended to reduce strain on knees, ankles, and shins.
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Part (B): This section identifies safety equipment utilized by the general staff of healthcare facilities.

Safety Equipment Used by General Staff at Healthcare Facilities

  • All hospital staff should wear gloves when there is a high risk of contact with blood or other bodily fluids.
  • All hospital staff should wear masks when there is a high danger of exposure to or transmission of germs. These masks should cover the nose and mouth to stop germs from spreading.
  • Healthcare facility staff should wear respiratory masks that form a tight seal around the nose and mouth to prevent the spread of contagious small germs such as tuberculosis.
  • Staff that handle certain drugs, such as cancer drugs, should wear a gown with long sleeves and elastic cuffs, shoe covers, goggles, and special gloves to prevent the liquid from touching skin. This is referred to as cytotoxic personal protective equipment.
  • Employees who handle radiation equipment should wear lead aprons, lead gloves, opaque goggles, a pocket dosimeter, and a film badge.
  • If an employee is at risk for splashed fluids, they should wear either a gown or an apron to protect their clothing and skin. Gowns can be fluid resistant or fluid proof depending on the risk involved with the fluid in question.
Sources
Sources

Quotes
  • "General requirements. Employers shall select and require employees to use appropriate hand protection when employees' hands are exposed to hazards such as those from skin absorption of harmful substances; severe cuts or lacerations; severe abrasions; punctures; chemical burns; thermal burns; and harmful temperature extremes."
Quotes
  • "Disposable gloves Protective gowns or uniforms (there is a preference, although no mandatory requirement, that this type of protective gear be disposable) Protective eyewear and masks or face shields"
Quotes
  • "The employer shall ensure that each affected employee uses protective footwear when working in areas where there is a danger of foot injuries due to falling or rolling objects, or objects piercing the sole, or when the use of protective footwear will protect the affected employee from an electrical hazard, such as a static-discharge or electric-shock hazard, that remains after the employer takes other necessary protective measures."
Quotes
  • "Slip-resistant shoes are an important component of a comprehensive slip, trip, and fall prevention program, and janitors who work on walking surfaces that are continually wet, greasy or slippery may benefit from slip-resistant shoes."
Quotes
  • "The employer shall ensure that each affected employee uses eye protection that provides side protection when there is a hazard from flying objects. Detachable side protectors (e.g. clip-on or slide-on side shields) meeting the pertinent requirements of this section are acceptable."
Quotes
  • "You should have a policy in place, regular training, and incentive for using PPE. It’s so easy for your cleaning team to get out of the habit of using it when necessary. If they have to handle cleaning chemicals, safety glasses (with side shields), splash goggles, a face shield, nonslip shoes, gloves, and a rubber apron should be worn."
Quotes
  • "Personal protective equipment, or PPE, refers to any type of clothing or equipment designed to increase personal safety by protecting employees from workplace injuries or illnesses. Examples include goggles, gloves and earplugs. "
Quotes
  • "Earplugs are one of the oldest forms of hearing protection, but they are still very effective. Earplugs are accepted by OSHA as a form of hearing protection and are sufficient for environments on the low level of the scale where hearing protection is needed."
Quotes
  • "It's vital that you use appropriate safety equipment as and when needed. Hardhats and safety goggles are an important part of any safe warehouse environment, but extra equipment such as high visibility jackets are also useful."
Quotes
  • "In considering the use of hard hats in a warehouse, it is recommended that the employees be provided with such head protection. Those employees engaged in driving fork lift trucks are reasonably protected from large bundles falling down from overhead by the rack of a fork lift truck, but they do not have any protection against small heavy objects which might fall. "
Quotes
  • "The ability to be seen is critical for worker safety, especially for those working around moving vehicles and equipment—from construction sites to roadways, and in warehouses."
Quotes
  • "Falls are relatively common in a warehouse. Employees can fall from lifting equipment or from high storage ledges. With so much open space and elevated storage, workers must be protected against falls of all kinds. A warehouse should be thoroughly inspected for potentially dangerous areas that put employees at risk so those areas can be properly labeled."
Quotes
  • "Provide order selectors the option of using knee pads when kneeling is required. Knee pads should be available in small, medium, or large size."
Quotes
  • "All hospital staff, patients, and visitors should use PPE when there will be contact with blood or other bodily fluids."
Quotes
  • "For example, employees who handle radiation equipment should wear specialized protective gear such as lead aprons, lead gloves, opaque goggles, a pocket dosimeter, and a film badge. Use OSHA's PPE guide to determine which items you should always have available, depending on the type of services your facility provides."