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What Does PPE Stand For in Construction?

by Katerina Grigorenko on November 26, 2022

PPE is one of the most important things that you can have on a construction site. It helps protect workers from injury, illness, and other hazards so they can get the job done safely. But what exactly does PPE stand for? And how do you know which piece of equipment to choose? In this article, we'll cover everything you need to know about personal protective equipment in the construction industry.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

PPE is any equipment used to protect workers from hazards. For example, safety glasses and ear protection would be considered PPE. While it can consist of a hard hat or hi vis jacket, for the sake of this article we're focusing on personal protective equipment (PPE).

The term "PPE" refers to any type of gear that protects people from hazards like dirt or dust, chemicals or other hazardous materials, machines working with dangerous parts, extreme temperatures, and more.

It's important to remember that PPE isn't required for every job site—but it is required by OSHA and other agencies in many cases. In addition to this though there are instances when employers do not have to provide any PPE at all such as shoveling snow off sidewalks during winter months when temperatures drop below 32 degrees Fahrenheit (0 degrees Celsius).

What Does PPE Stand For in Construction?

Why PPE is a Must-Have in Construction

You’ve probably heard it before: safety first! But what does that mean in the context of construction? It means making sure you are wearing all of the proper PPE.

In many workplaces, PPE is required by law and can help prevent injuries, diseases, infections, and contamination. For example, if you get a splinter while working with wood or metal then you could end up with tetanus which is a serious illness that can cause death if untreated. If your clothes were contaminated with harmful substances then they could also spread to others who come into contact with them so it's important that everyone wears appropriate clothing when working on site (ie: not jeans).

Head and Face PPE

  • Hard hat. This is one of the most common forms of head protection, and it's usually made out of steel or plastic. The hard hat may have a suspension band that attaches to a worker’s belt for support.
  • PPE gloves. These are designed to protect workers from harmful particles in the air and can be worn over prescription glasses if needed.
  • Face shield/respirator mask/dust mask (and ear plugs)/ffp3 masks. These are all used when there is a risk that dust or other contaminants could come into contact with your eyes, nose, mouth, etc., and cause irritation or injury.
Head and Face PPE

Hand and Arm Protection

Hand and arm protection include work gloves, gauntlets, mitts, and glove liners. The most commonly used hand protection is the glove. One or two pairs of disposable or reusable latex or nitrile gloves can be worn under the sleeve of your PPE suit to protect your hands when working with hazardous materials or harmful substances.

Gauntlets are long gloves that cover your forearms completely. They provide extra protection but may hinder dexterity while operating tools so they should not be used for tasks that require a lot of fine motor control like driving screws into the woodwork. Gauntlets are often designed with an anti-slip coating on the palm for extra grip when holding things such as ladders and pipes.

Eye and Face Protection

Eye protection is a must-have for any construction site. There are many different types of eye protection available, including:

  • Goggles

  • Safety glasses

  • Face shields

You should always wear eye protection when operating power tools and when working with chemicals or metals on a construction site.

Safety Footwear

Safety wellington boots has to be comfortable and well-fitting. The most important aspect of safety footwear is that it must be sturdy and durable. Your feet need to be protected from the elements, such as rain and snow, so waterproof boots are a must-have for construction workers in all kinds of weather.

Fire resistance is also an important feature of safety boots; you don’t want your shoes catching on fire while you’re working on scaffolding or at a construction site that’s still under construction!

Slip resistance is another good reason why having slip-resistant boots is so important: they help prevent accidents due to falling off ladders or slipping on wet surfaces like floors or roofs in bad weather conditions such as rain or snowfall during winter time when there isn't much sunlight around due to shorter days length being experienced during these months which makes it harder for people who work outdoors all day long without any breaks between shifts due too much darkness throughout their shift length (example: someone working 10-hour shifts would have only one 15 minute break every hour).

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Fall Arrest Systems

When working at height, it’s important to use fall arrest systems and harnesses. Fall arrest systems should be used when working on scaffolding or ladders, or in other situations where an employee is at risk of falling from a high surface.

Fall arrest is especially important for roofers who need to install handrails on top of buildings. These rails are designed to catch workers if they slip or fall off the roof while installing them, so they must be installed correctly according to OSHA requirements.

There are a ton of different options of PPE out there. Be sure you research what will work best for your job site, but be sure it's at a minimum.