How to Use Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Effectively

As changing times have modernized the workplace, government and advocacy groups have brought more safety standards to all sorts of work environments. One of the critical core standards for worker safety is the use of personal protective equipment, a category of gear that helps protect workers from a wide variety of common workplace dangers, including chemical exposure, poor indoor air quality and extreme temperatures. But not all workers understand how to use PPE to their benefit, and without proper training and other safety standards from the top of a business or company, all of the provided PPE equipment might not really protect some workers. Here are some ways to ensure workplace safety and use personal protective equipment (PPE) effectively.


  1. Image titled Use Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Effectively Step 1
    Access all state and federal guidelines for your industry and work environment. Workers can get up-to-date safety information from the regulatory agencies that oversee workplace safety in their specific locale.
    • Research the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) work safety requirements. OSHA provides guidelines for workers in all 50 states.
    • Get familiar with your state's department of industrial safety or a similar state level agency. Most states have their own groups providing policy on PPE and other work safety particles.
  2. Image titled Use Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Effectively Step 2
    Take advantage of all available training materials in your workplace.
    • Look for safety training videos for your specific work processes. Human resource departments might keep these video resources on file, so ask an appropriate department for anything that will help you figure out how to use the PPE that is issued to your job role.
    • Use all available text resources that may be in your work area. Look around for applicable safety information on how to use PPE best.
  3. Image titled Use Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Effectively Step 3
    Wear PPE consistently. When it comes to the most common types of personal protective equipment, like goggles, gloves or bodysuits, these items are much less effective if they are not worn at all times, or whenever a specific danger exists in a work process. Using PPE consistently will help you to avoid some common kinds of industrial accidents.
  4. Image titled Use Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Effectively Step 4
    Ask experienced operators. Some of the people who have the most experience doing the same jobs that you do can provide useful tips on using PPE.
    • Be sure that your local sources are not contradicting proven safety standards. In more than a few cases, experienced operators have trained themselves away from best safety practices, and they may tell you to avoid using PPE. This kind of advice is hardly ever good. Prioritize well-proven safety standards above whatever you hear in your immediate department.
  5. Image titled Use Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Effectively Step 5
    Supplement PPE with other additional safeguards and precautions. Personal protective gear is not always enough to protect workers against workplace dangers. Knowing more about the overall context of your work activity can help you to fully protect yourself from anything that might threaten your health and safety on the job.
  6. Image titled Use Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Effectively Step 6
    Check PPE for quality standards. Some employers may be tempted to cut corners and purchase protective gear that does not conform to the standard recommended by appropriate safety agencies. Inspect your issued gear thoroughly to make sure that it has the standard of quality that you need to be adequately protected.
    • Understand best practices for your industry. For example, in the medical industry, frequent hand washing is becoming a very actionable part of supplementing the use of PPE for helping workers and patients alike to avoid illness.

Article Info

Categories: Health Hygiene