In accordance with the Health and Safety at Work Act of 1974, you are legally required to take reasonable steps to ensure that your workers are protected while performing their jobs by giving them the proper instructions, protocols, coaching, and supervision. Providing your employees with enough PPE to minimize the chances of danger or injury is critical to establishing a productive and secure organization. Healthcare professionals must focus on safeguarding their well-being and coworkers to continue helping others. When working closely with patients and handling blood, saliva, and aerosols, dentists and their assistants have a higher chance of acquiring the virus (Hamid Abbaszadeh et al., 2021). Dentists must pay focus on implementing PPE in their practice. So, without any further ado, let’s go into the depth of Personal protective equipment (PPE) assessment & checklists.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) assessments & checklists
There is no denying PPE’s critical contribution to reducing viral transmission and preserving lives (Nibras H. Chasib et al., 2021). Personal protective equipment should be made available and employed when engineering controls, work procedures, and administrative controls are problematic or insufficient to avoid occupational illnesses, injuries, and deaths. PPE must be utilized in collaboration with engineering controls and administrative controls to give security against risks.
Examples of PPE
Eyes: Safety goggles
Faces: Face shields
Heads: Hard hats
Feet: Safety shoes, rubber boots, toe guards
Hands and arms: Safety gloves
Bodies: Vests, gowns, aprons, bibs
Ears: Ear muffs, Earplugs
Assessing the need for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
- Workers must evaluate the worksite following OSHA standard 29 CFR 1910.132 to see if any risks demand the installation of personal protective equipment (PPE).
- Despite not being focused on activities in the construction industry, this conversation would assist you in adhering to OSHA’s general PPE regulations for the sector.
- For details about the selection and application of PPE, see the OSHA rules.
Checklist for establishing a PPE program
- List the measures taken to evaluate possible risks in each worker’s workspaces and operational procedures.
- Choose the most suitable PPE by using the standard specifications.
- Determine the strategies you’ll take to instruct staff members to use PPE, such as:
- Which PPE is required
- When PPE is required
- How to put on and modify the size of PPE accurately
- How to thoroughly examine PPE for damage or wear
- The PPE restrictions
- How to take good care of and store PPE
- Determine your method for evaluating the employees’ understanding of PPE instruction.
- Decide how you will ensure the correct PPE usage.
- Determine how you will pay for any necessary clinical examination.
- Determine the best method and timing for PPE program evaluation.
Checklist on need for PPE
Some essential questions are listed below to check if your practice/workplace needs PPE. If you can relate to any of the questions, you must employ protective equipment for the safety of your coworkers.
- Does any of your staff members work near or monitor dangerous chemical products?
- Are the faces of your staff members susceptible to intense heat?
- Are additional possible allergens evident on your workers’ faces?
- Does your staff comes into contact with blood splatters or manage dangerous liquid chemicals?
- Does any of your staff members conduct duties that might lead to flying debris or air pollutants, or do they work close to people who do?
- Is your staff around harsh lights or lasers?
- Are there other potential chemical or physical allergens that might harm your workers’ eyes?
- Could your staff be hit in the head by falling equipment or other objects?
- Does your personnel come in contact with or operate close to bare electrical wires or other components?
- Are your workers’ bodies in contact with anything sharp or harsh?
- Are aggravating dust or chemical droplets coming into contact with your workers’ skin?
- Are acids or other dangerous compounds coming into contact with your personnel’s bodies?
- Is the body of your employees susceptible to extreme heat?
- Do the people who work with you deal with substances that might cause skin irritation or come into touch with blood?
- Are your staff members’ arms and hands positioned close to vulnerable electronic systems or wiring?
- Do your workers have to put their hands and arms close to a lot of heat as part of their jobs?
- Do your staff members use any materials or equipment that has the potential to cut, scratch, or bruise them?
- Do your workers frequently encounter loud noises from equipment, utensils, audio equipment, etc.?
- Does your staff come into contact with electrical wires or other exposed equipment while at work?
- Can heavy machinery, instruments, or other items slide, fall, or hit your colleagues’ feet?
- Does your staff operate around explosives or in potentially explosive environments?
Personal Protective Equipment hazard assessment checklist
Misuse, inappropriate selection, and poor maintenance of personal protective equipment are all significant causes of occupational hazards (PPE). Most of these situations are frequently caused by a lack of knowledge, guidance, and education.
Eye and face protection:
Train your staff to understand:
- The job risks endanger their eyes, which is why eye protection is required
- How their eye protection will keep them safe.
- The eye protection constraints.
- When they have to use eye protection.
- The appropriate way to put on safety glasses.
- The correct way to tuck in straps and other components for a secure fit.
- How the safety eyewear covers / holds the contact lenses of a worker.
- How to detect abrasive factors like:
- Losing of flexibility or tearing of headbands
- Scratched, scraped, or chipped lenses
- How to wash and decontaminate protective goggles.
Are safety glasses or goggles offered and used in situations with a risk of flying debris or toxic components?
Head, foot, and hand protection:
Educate your staff to understand the following:
- The hazards that may pose risks to their hand, foot, or head
- How the headgear, gloves, and boots will safeguard them
- The restrictions to using the protective gear
- When it is required that they wear protection
- How to appropriately use the safety helmet or other protective items
- How to make the fitting of buckles and other components ergonomic and suitable.
- How to determine wear signals like:
- Suspension systems that are chipped, broken, twisted, or otherwise degraded
- Brims or shells with defects, cracks, or holes
- Cracks or holes in the heels or soles (for foot)
- How to make them infection-free and clean?
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