Posted on Tuesday, July 10th, 2018 at 8:58 pm
If you work in a risky industry, like construction or medicine, your employer is required to provide you with certain protective equipment. These things not only protect you and your health, but also serve to shield your employer from catastrophic workers compensation suits. However, accidents still happen, and many people are seriously injured on the job each year, costing millions in lost wages, medical bills, and other side effects. This type of equipment, often called “personal protective equipment” or PPE, is distributed to workers, to keep them safe from general risks on the jobsite.
There are many different types of PPE, and you will receive the gear that is most relevant to your industry and unique job environment. Things that fall under the PPE umbrella include:
- Safety goggles or glasses
- Face shields
- Boots and other footwear
- Suits, coats, overalls, and aprons
- Face masks
If you notice that your work puts you in contact with things like noxious fumes, caustic chemicals, loud noises, flying debris, or any other hazard, it’s critical that you receive the proper equipment. Although employers are required to provide this equipment, unfortunately, some do not. Or they provide damaged or inadequate gear, which puts you at risk for injury. You should not have to explicitly ask for your PPE, but make sure that you do if you aren’t automatically offered some. And if you notice missing or damaged gear, it’s important to alert a supervisor; you will likely be put in charge of looking after your PPE and doing what you can to maintain it, store it, and make sure it fits you properly- after thorough instruction and education, of course.
PPE is assigned based on a few different factors that your employer should be aware of, namely: what you are being exposed to, in what quantity, and for how long? They should never allow exceptions to wearing your PPE, even if you’ll only be exposed “for a few minutes.” This applies to everyone in every industry! Whether you work in a science laboratory or in a shipyard, it only takes a second for a catastrophic accident to dramatically change your life. One spark in the eye, one chemical spill, one machine that was accidentally activated- these things can cause severe injury, or even death.
Personal protective equipment is essential to maintaining a safe workplace, but it isn’t always provided or used properly. If you have suffered injury on the job due to faulty PPE or lack of adequate PPE, you deserve help. Reach out to us at the law office of Jonathan R. Brockman today for your free consultation.