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What is PPE?

Personal protective equipment, more commonly referred to as PPE, is any barrier worn to reduce exposure to hazards and injuries. There are various types of PPE, categorized by the part of the body they are meant to protect. These include:

  • Head protection
  • Hearing protection
  • Eye and face protection
  • Hand protection
  • Foot protection
  • Protective garments
  • Personal flotation devices

PPE should only be worn on the parts of the body for which they are intended. Overuse, improper use, or wearing damaged PPE will create unnecessary hazards. PPE does not actually remove hazards when worn properly, but helps reduce exposure and potential for injury.

PPE is a last resort, and should only be worn when a hazard cannot be engineered out or reduced to an acceptable level by administrative controls. PPE is the final step in the hierarchy of hazard control.

See our Personal Protective Equipment - PPE Safety Video

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