18 mayo, 2024

Personal protective equipment can be categorized by the area of the body protected, by the types of hazard, and by the type of garment or accessory. A single item, for example boots, may provide multiple forms of protection: a steel toe cap and steel insoles for protection of the feet from crushing or puncture injuries, impervious rubber and lining for protection from water and chemicals, high reflectivity and heat resistance for protection from radiant heat, and high electrical resistivity for protection from electric shock. The protective attributes of each piece of equipment must be compared with the hazards expected to be found in the workplace. More breathable types of personal protective equipment may not lead to more contamination but do result in greater user satisfaction


Respirators serve to protect the user from breathing in contaminants in the air, thus preserving the health of ones respiratory tract. There are two main types of respirators. One type functions by filtering out chemicals and gases, or airborne particles, from the air breathed by the user. The filtration may be either passive or active (powered). Gas masks and particulate respirators are examples of this type of respirator. A second type protects users by providing clean, respirable air from another source. This type includes airline respirators and self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA). In work environments, respirators are relied upon when adequate ventilation is not available or other engineering control systems are not feasible or inadequate.

Skin protection

Locker containing personal protective equipment

Occupational skin diseases such as contact dermatitis, skin cancers, and other skin injuries and infections are the second-most common type of occupational disease and can be very costly.Skin hazards, which lead to occupational skin disease, can be classified into four groups. Chemical agents can come into contact with the skin through direct contact with contaminated surfaces, deposition of aerosols, immersion or splashes.Physical agents such as extreme temperatures and ultraviolet or solar radiation can be damaging to the skin over prolonged exposure. Mechanical trauma occurs in the form of friction, pressure, abrasions, lacerations and contusions.Biological agents such as parasites, microorganisms, plants and animals can have varied effects when exposed to the skin.

Eye protection

Each day, about 2000 US workers have a job-related eye injury that requires medical attention.Eye injuries can happen through a variety of means. Most eye injuries occur when solid particles such as metal slivers, wood chips, sand or cement chips get into the eye. Smaller particles in smokes and larger particles such as broken glass also account for particulate matter-causing eye injuries. Blunt force trauma can occur to the eye when excessive force comes into contact with the eye. Chemical burns, biological agents, and thermal agents, from sources such as welding torches and UV light, also contribute to occupational eye injury.

While the required eye protection varies by occupation, the safety provided can be generalized. Safety glasses provide protection from external debris, and should provide side protection via a wrap-around design or side shields.

  • Goggles provide better protection than safety glasses, and are effective in preventing eye injury from chemical splashes, impact, dusty environments and welding. Goggles with high air flow should be used to prevent fogging.
  • Face shields provide additional protection and are worn over the standard eyewear; they also provide protection from impact, chemical, and blood-borne hazards.
  • Full-facepiece respirators are considered the best form of eye protection when respiratory protection is needed as well, but may be less effective against potential impact hazards to the eye.
  • Eye protection for welding is shaded to different degrees, depending on the specific operation.

Protective clothing and ensembles

his form of PPE is all-encompassing and refers to the various suits and uniforms worn to protect the user from harm. Lab coats worn by scientists and ballistic vests worn by law enforcement officials, which are worn on a regular basis, would fall into this category. Entire sets of PPE, worn together in a combined suit, are also in this category.


Below are some examples of ensembles of personal protective equipment, worn together for a specific occupation or task, to provide maximum protection for the user.

  • Chainsaw protection (especially a helmet with face guard, hearing protection, kevlar chaps, anti-vibration gloves, and chainsaw safety boots). Specific information about chainsaw protection appears in the chainsaw safety clothing article.
  • Bee-keepers wear various levels of protection depending on the temperament of their bees and the reaction of the bees to nectar availability. At minimum most bee keepers wear a brimmed hat and a veil made of hardware cloth similar to window-screen material. The next level of protection involves leather gloves with long gauntlets and some way of keeping bees from crawling up ones trouser legs. In extreme cases, specially fabricated shirts and trousers can serve as barriers to the bees stingers.
  • Diving equipment, for underwater diving, constitute of equipment such as a diving mask, an underwater breathing apparatus, a diving suit or wetsuit, and flippers.
  • Firefighters wear PPE designed to provide protection against fires and various fumes and gases. PPE worn by firefighters include bunker gear, self-contained breathing apparatus, a helmet, safety boots, and a PASS device.

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