From the experts at CanGardCare.com, learn how to use your personal protective equipment correctly to ensure your safety.
Now more than ever, it is imperative that all workers utilize personal protective equipment properly, not only to protect themselves from job-related hazards but also to prevent the spread of COVID-19. While most Canadians are following government guidelines in terms of wearing PPE on the job, regardless of the industry they work in, not all have been informed of the proper protocols that have been announced in relation to putting their PPE on and off safely. Therefore, the purpose of this article is to ensure our readers are aware and fully understand how to use personal protective equipment.
What is Personal Protective Equipment?
To ensure everyone understands what the experts at CanGuradCare.com are referring to in terms of PPE, we are referring to the following:
- Goggles or other protective eyewear
- Face shields
- Gowns and aprons
- Masks and respirators
All of the PPE listed above is used to prevent contact with an infectious agent, chemicals, or body fluid that may comprise an infectious agent by creating a barrier between the worker and hazardous material. Gloves are, of course, used to protect the hands, gowns, or covers to shield the skin and clothing, masks and respirators to shield the mouth and nose, goggles, or other types of eyewear to protect the eyes, and lastly, face shields to protect the entire face.
What are the factors that affect the selection of PPE?
Now that we understand the entirety of PPE, let’s break down some of the factors that will determine which PPE should be used based on the work environment workers are likely exposed to every day:
You should first determine what types of exposures your workers are anticipated to experience, including what they may touch, breathe, and whether they will come in contact with any agents due to splashbacks or spills.
You will then need to determine the resilience and suitability of the personal protective equipment in relation to the tasks they may encounter.
Afterward, the employer should ensure all PPE equipment fits employees correctly by providing all sizing is accurate.
How to Put On PPE Properly
Now that we understand the factors that influence the choice of PPE, it is now vital that we indicate the proper procedures to put on your PPE while you are on the job:
Once you have determined which PPE you require before beginning to dress in the gear, it is essential to sanitize your hands to ensure you eliminate any possible contamination.
If you require a gown, you should put this on first and ensure that it is tightened.
Then you must then put on your NIOSH-approved facepiece, whether an N95 respiration or a mask. Ensure the mask fits against your face snuggly –there should be no gaps between the mask or your face.
Once you have gotten your mask on, you need to put on your protective eyewear, whether goggles or glasses (depending on your employment role). Adjust the eyewear so that it does not interfere with your mask and vice versa.
Lastly, you need to put on your gloves if required and ensure they go over your gown to protect the skin around your wrists.
How to Take Off PPE Properly
While putting your PPE on safety is essential, it is even more critical to take your gear off cautiously in the event that you have contaminants on you. Here is how you should safely remove all your gear:
You must first remove your gloves to ensure you do not accidentally expose yourself to hazardous or infectious agents. There are multiple techniques to remove your gloves safely. However, all removal techniques aim to trap any agents on the outside of the glove by turning the glove inside out.
Once your gloves are off, you can now ask another employee to untie your gown if you have one on and slowly remove it by pulling the gown down from the shoulders and away from your body, dispose of the gown accordingly.
Now, you must sanitize your hands thoroughly.
You can then remove the protective eyewear. However, you should avoid touching the lenses.
Lastly, you can remove your mask by grabbing the straps on either side and pulling it from your ears and away from the face. Again, ensure that you do not touch the mask or respirator’s front as it could contain hazardous particles and other harmful materials.
You should then sanitize your hands once again for hygienic and safety purposes.
Understanding how to correctly use, apply and remove your personal protective equipment is essential in protecting yourself from exposure to harmful chemicals and infectious germs. Therefore, it is vital to apply the step-by-step instructions that we have listed above to ensure your absolute protection. Employers must provide employees with the proper PPE gear and training on properly using the equipment to prevent cross-contamination and health consequences. It is always better to be safe rather than sorry –especially now amid the pandemic. Thus it is the employer’s responsibility to protect their employees at all costs.
If you are searching for PPE gear for your employees, here at CanGuardCare.com, we take pride in supplying a full range of approved personal protective equipment for your employment and personal needs at an affordable price. To find out more about the PPE selection we carry, please follow the link to our main page for more details and prices.