Personal protective equipment, also known by their short form PPE, is essentially clothing and equipment usually worn by students, workers, employees, contractors, or even visitors to protect their bodies from various hazards posed by any kind of workspace.
While their use is not very common, they certainly hold much value, and using them should be amongst your topmost priority if you aren’t doing so already.
So, in this article, we are gonna list down 25 types of personal protective equipment, which are a must-have when one’s around any workspace.
For you ease, however, we have divided the categories into some sub-categories such as hand protection, body protection, and so on. So, without further ado, let’s dive PPE it.
1. Hand Protection
The following section lays out all the different types of PPE one might need for the protection of hands.
However, it should be noted that there are various gloves for dealing with various chemicals, and there is no single type of glove that could be used for everything.
Gloves also degrade over time, so be sure to get a new pair, or their effect would diminish by a lot.
2. Work Gloves
These gloves are perfect for light usage as they are totally liquid proof and work really well with small amounts of corrosive liquids.
However, they are not designed to deal with huge quantities of liquids, so this should be kept in mind. They are also used as work gloves for construction on a huge scale.
3. Heavy Chemical Resistant Gloves
There are various types of heavy chemical resistant gloves. However, the silver shielded ones are the most effective, and they offer mechanical protection as well as protection from hazardous materials spills.
The other ones also offer protection from spills and are good for usage with large amounts of organic solvents but do not offer mechanical protection.
4. Insulated Gloves
This category of gloves is called insulated because they are entirely heat resistant. They should be kept at hand whenever you are working with anything or any project which involves hot materials.
Moreover, they can also be used to handle cryogenic liquids.
5. Wire Mesh Gloves
Last but not least, these gloves are very effective whenever someone is dealing with cuts or anything involving blood like treating human or animal wounds.
They provide cut resistance, so shouldn’t be neglected unless you want to inflict yourself a serious cut on the skin.
6. Respiratory Protection
Respiratory equipment is rarely used, and people only tend to use them when they really need them.
As their usage is not as easy as other protective equipment and using them requires some kind of individual training and assessment by the respective authorities, so there’s no need to use them unless it’s the last resort.
Let’s look at some different types of respirators.
7. Surgical Masks
These are the most common types of masks used during the treatment of live humans or animals. They provide you protection against germs, droplets, and splashes.
8. Half Mask Respirators
These are the kind of respirators which purify the air reaching to you.
So, whatever the particles present in the air like mist or dust, you don’t need to worry about them as the mask won’t let them reach you if you’re wearing it.
Extremely useful when working in a chemically contaminated environment or treating someone with a virus.
9. Full Mask Respirators
They also follow the concept much similar to half mask ones; however, these are somewhat an upgraded version of them and provide additional protection like for eyes and mucous membranes in addition to the face alone.
10. Body Protection
These are the PPEs that help you protect your body against materials that could damage or hurt your skin in any way possible.
In most cases, these equipment protect you from liquids that you could get spilled over you easily. Let’s see different types of body protection equipment you could use.
11. Lab Coats
They are the most commonly used body protective equipment and are widely used to protect the body from any kind of liquid like ink, dirt, or any non-hazardous materials.
12. Flame Resistant Coats
Usually made out of Nomex, these are the more advanced category of what we know as lab coats.
You can use them in an environment where chemicals are present, which may be air reactive.
These are also very efficient around organic solvents and explosive chemicals.
13. Barrier Coats
While these do not really provide you with flame resistance, they certainly offer you a splash-resistant material and can prove to be really helpful if you are working with infectious materials.
14. Knee Pad
People often use knee pads for flooring. They are very useful if you often tend to bend down on your knees while working.
If your work concerns checking of some goods or inspecting some places, you would often need to sit down on your knees.
Doing so very often throughout the day can damage your knees. So these knee pads can prevent that easily.
15. Safety Vest
Safety vests are useful for a very diverse amount of works.
Whether it be workers or office staff, whoever needs some general upper body protection, safety vests provide a very good moderate level of protection from all kinds of dangerous things which could possibly damage or hurt your body.
Falling debris is also another example where safety vests could prove to be really useful.
16. Face Protection
Face protection covers the whole face, so obviously, it covers the spot for eyes as well.
These are the protective equipment that saves your face and eyes from a dangerous amount of exposure to materials that can damage or hurt them.
The materials could vary greatly; they could be a laser, debris, or simply dust. Let’s look at some different types of PPEs used to protect your face.
17. General Safety Glasses
These glasses are a must-have whenever you are in any kind of laboratory. Whether its a small scale or a large one, this should be considered as minimum equipment to protect your eyes.
However, they are not very much effective when it comes to splashes, and if that’s the case, you would have to use the more advanced ones.
18. Chemical Splash Goggles
These are very much recommended if you are working in an environment where there are damaging chemicals around, and there is a possibility of a splash.
These goggles will protect your eyes against almost every type of splash, so you don’t need to worry.
19. Laser Glasses
These are the specialized glasses and should only be bought according to the specific levels of wavelength and the power of certain lasers that are needed.
What they essentially do is stop the unneeded laser from reaching your eyes and hence damaging them.
So, they can be pretty useful when you are working in an environment where you don’t want all kinds of light entering and affecting your eyes.
20. Impact Goggles
As the name suggests, these are the goggles that are targeted to protect your eyes from certain impacts.
The most common type of impact is the falling debris, which could literally destroy your eyes in seconds.
So, whenever you are working in an environment where there is a danger of debris falling over you or your eyes, use these goggles to make sure that your eyes don’t get hurt.
21. Rechargeable Headlamp
When around some workspace where there is not much light around, headlamps really become necessary for the sake of your navigation.
They just wrap around your head and let you have a clear view of whatever is ahead of you.
They are usually used in low-lit places such as mines. Various models are available with different lighting options and varying light power.
22. Hearing Protection
Who wants to work in some environment which poses a threat to their hearing abilities.
Nobody, right? Well, this is the reason we should use protective equipment even for our hearing whenever necessary.
Examples include working in labs or industries where there is extreme noise pollution, or the dB levels are quite high.
23. Disposable Ear Plugs
Made usually out of PVC. These are the cheap earplugs that you can just throw away after using one time.
They protect your ears from all the extra noise that you don’t want to hear. They are pretty lightweight and fit every ear size.
24. Earplugs (Re-Usable)
Providing the same set of functionalities like reducing the noise in some environment or limiting the noise to some specific level of dB, this one is just kind of an upgraded version of the disposable ones.
Being lightweight, more durable, and uncorded are some of the perks they have over the disposable ones.
25. Hearing Band
These again are roughly providing the same protection as the previous two; however, the specialty here is that these earbuds are connected by a band, and this band can be easily worn around the neck, so when not in use, they are very easy to handle.
Although there are hundreds of personal protective equipment out there that you could get your hands onto.
These are really just the essential ones that you will need whenever you are working in some environment that could damage your body or health in one way or another.
So make sure you have these own, but always keep in mind to choose the most appropriate ones according to your environment as the same PPEs do not apply to all workspaces.