Essential Personal Protective Equipment to
Keep Employees Safe at Work
Every business should have adequate personal protective equipment for its employees. Whether they are dealing with hazardous waste or health contaminants, specific supplies will need to be in place to keep everyone safe while they do their job. Having the right equipment is one part of this. However, there is a range of other areas to consider including:
- Staff should have adequate training with personal protective equipment
- Employees should understand their job role and potential hazards
- Everyone should have access to safe and adequate personal protective equipment and clothing
- Individuals should also take responsibility for their actions according to their role
Training is an essential area of ensuring everyone is safe in the workplace. With the current pandemic situation, it is also crucial that there are protocols in place to protect clients and employees.
There is specific personal protective equipment that all companies should potentially be using, including:
Face masks and coverings
In most situations where people are in close proximity, it now may be necessary to wear face coverings. This type of PPE is useful to reduce the transfer of droplets in the air that main contain bacteria or virus particles. Although they may be uncomfortable to wear all day, there are a number of options to ensure staff are protected during work hours. A medical supply company will be the best way to get advice on the most suitable products for your teams.
In some jobs, employees will require face shields. This shield covers a large proportion of the face, including the eyes. Eyes can be an entry point for some bacteria and viruses. Plus, the shield protects the nose from breathing in airborne contaminants. You will find a range of guards available for staff depending on what type of job they do.
While handwashing is one of the main things that individuals can do to stop the spread of many germs, if washing facilities are not directly available, hand sanitiser is a must. You may already stock up on this in your company. However, it will be used more frequently in the coming months, so having a reliable and high-quality product supplier is recommended. Hand sanitiser should also be available around your organisation, and ensuring advice is given to staff about its importance will encourage regular use.
You will find that more cleaning is required throughout the day, so supplies will need to be stocked up regularly. There are several affordable suppliers that can provide bulk-buying discounts for general cleaning equipment and specialist products. In some areas, having handy disinfectant wipes or cleaners to hand will ensure that surfaces can be wiped down after use.
Specialist medical equipment
If your organisation is in the medical sector, then you will need to provide a range of specialist personal protective equipment that can be used safely. Everything from gowns, protective sleeves and overshoes, to gloves and hand towels may be needed. As these will be required in higher quantities, you will find a range of suppliers that can provide discounts on large orders to help you keep costs down.
Over the next few months, you may require thermometers to help you identify any potential illnesses in your staff members. This can be a standard part of the day when employees start work, and it will ensure that everyone is protected from possible infection and employees return to regular work duties.
Depending on the job your employees carry out, there could be a need for extra disposable gloves onsite. Gloves can help prevent the spread of infection via hands and skin. However, it is essential to dispose of them after use. To avoid cross-contamination, using separate waste bags is also advisable.
Assessing your PPE requirements
There is extensive government guidance on how to keep customers and employees safe in your workplace. Completing a risk assessment is also crucial to ensure you cover all bases and prepare for changing situations. Where you have fewer employees, you may not have to meet the same stringent PPE requirements compared to larger firms where social distancing cannot take place.
Some areas to consider include:
- What sector is your business in
- How much contact do you have with other individuals
- How much PPE is required
- Do staff have relevant training for equipment and protocols
- How can employees raise issues effectively?
Most importantly, every business is different, so ensuring each employee feels safe and comfortable is vital for a happy and productive workforce. With the above equipment, your employees will not only feel safe, but they will be protected against the virus. This ensures that work can continue to take place without the risk of employees becoming seriously ill. Ensure that everyone is abiding by the proper practices, wearing the equipment properly, and disposing of one-use items correctly.