A job in material handling can be dangerous. A report published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics stated that a total of 5147 fatal work injuries were recorded in the US in 2017. Additionally, transportation and material moving accounted for 47% of worker deaths in 2017. But on the bright side, most industry experts agree that a large percentage of material handling related accidents can be avoided by following stringent safety equipment including the use of proper safety gear.
Safety gear and PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) can significantly decrease the chances of workplace injuries related to material handling. There are clothing and accessories specially designed to protect workers from physical, chemical, and even biological dangers on the job. Let’s find out what they are.
Head – Head protection gear is some of the most important safety equipment as it protects the head from injuries that can be severe. Head gear consists of helmets, safety hats, service hats, and other hats. To ensure proper usage, ensure that the shell has no dents or breakage, and all the straps are functioning properly.
Face – Face protection gear comprises face shields, gas masks, safety goggles, respirators, face shields and eye protectors. For proper use, make sure the gear is comfortable when worn in the specific work conditions. It should fit properly without coming in the way of vision or movements of the user.
Body – For the body, safety gear includes vests, jackets, aprons and full body suits. These provide protection from impact of heavy material, among other hazards.
Arms and Legs – For arms, safety gloves, hand pads, wristlets and sleeves can be used depending on the task being performed.
For legs, knee and knuckle pads, footguards, safety shoes, boots and leggings are used to protect workers from physical or chemical injury.
For proper use, make use of slip-resistant gloves and boots to prevent slip-and-fall accidents.
Proper Use and Procurement
- When purchasing safety gear, choose the ones that comply with safety regulations pertaining to local, state, and federal levels.
- Ensure that the safety gear fits the workers and operators snugly. The workers can be asked to try their gear before purchasing it.
- Ensure that workers use gloves when lifting heavy material. Moreover, they should be trained on how to lift batteries. They should use gloves and other specified equipment to prevent damage to batteries.
- Give adequate training to the employees on the proper use of safety gear. Additionally, impart knowledge on the limitations of the safety equipment and procedures to be followed in case of emergencies.
- Store the safety equipment in dry and clean places to keep them in good condition and provide protection from environmental damage. Clean the equipment properly before the workers use it.
Although many organizations ignore proper safety equipment and take it casually, it can make a huge impact in case there’s an accident. Having proper knowledge of safety gear and their proper usage is key to making your workplace safe. Learn here