The combination of old PPE and dirty working conditions can lead to severe health risks!

Ashley Churchyard, Fsp Business, 22 Jul. 2014

Tags: ppe, personal protective equipment, safety wear, protective clothing, health hazard

Your employees’ health is of paramount importance. The OHS Act clearly states that it’s your responsibility to protect them from injuries and illnesses.

Because this is a legal requirement that can take time and money to fulfil, some employers try to cut corners.

For example they may give their employees personal protective equipment (PPE) once and then never think about replacing it. This can actually be even more dangerous than not having PPE at all, especially when you combine it with dirty working conditions. Here’s why...

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Old PPE can be a health hazard 

When your employees’ PPE gets old, it can break. This applies to everything, even hard hats. PPE is made from material that can tear, crack and wear with age. 
This means it can cause possible injuries. An old hard hat, for example, can have broken pieces of plastic shell that can scratch your employee’s head.
This seems like an insignificant injury until you combine it with dirty working conditions...

When you combine old, broken PPE with dirty working conditions it becomes a serious health hazard

Even the smallest cut or scratch can get infected. If your employees work in dirty working conditions every day, this risk increases because of all the bacteria and germs that surround them.
This means that small cut that damaged hard hat caused can become an infected wound. 
This is why you must:
1. Inspect your employees’ protective clothing every six months and replace anything that’s damaged or broken. You must also wash their safety wear regularly. This will prevent the PPE from causing and aggravating any injuries; and
2. You have to keep your workplace clean! Any injury is susceptible to infection if your employees work in unhygienic conditions.
So ensure you do these two things to avoid serious health problems caused by your PPE.
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