The Coronavirus pandemic has forced every business to adopt PPE, which means more people than ever before have to wear some form of protective equipment.
However, with many precautions to bear in mind for different roles, it can be challenging to know which PPE to purchase. Luckily there are common things to look for in PPE that all industries share, making it easier to find the correct items for your staff members.
Here are five things for all workplaces to consider when purchasing PPE.
1. Temperature of the workplace
Before you reach the stage of looking at what PPE is available, you first need to consider the climate where it will be worn. Equipment that is too heavy for a hot environment will wear workers out, leading to mistakes. In contrast, too light items for a cold climate will leave the wearer too cold to concentrate.
Before committing to a purchase, speak to your PPE manufacturer about the conditions in which the products are designed to be used. If they’re not sure, consider buying one of each item and testing them yourself before committing to purchasing them for your entire team.
2. Threat level
How dangerous a task is to perform will have a significant bearing on the type of PPE you need to purchase, so you need to consider the roles you need to supply PPE for thoroughly.
For example, if you’re purchasing PPE simply for use in an office to help reduce the spread of Coronavirus, then you may only need to buy face masks and hand sanitiser. Whereas if you’re procuring PPE for a hospital, you’ll likely need many more items such as medical-grade masks, disposable gloves, disposable aprons and scrubs.
3. Comfort Vs. Safety
While the primary focus for PPE is safety, you also have to consider whether the items are comfortable to wear. If staff find the protective clothing uncomfortable, they might be less inclined to wear it, which puts them at risk.
Businesses should make every effort to insist only on the PPE that is strictly necessary for a given task or role. Equipment with a higher safety rating is often heavier or more cumbersome to wear, so making sure you purchase what is required for a role will significantly increase comfort.
Hand-in-hand with comfort is proper fitting PPE. If the item is too small, it could rub and be uncomfortable for staff members to wear. If it’s too large, it could get in the way and make the task riskier to perform.
Make sure you purchase PPE from manufacturers who correctly size their items, and be sure to buy a wide selection so your team can get the fit that suits them. Taking the time to buy correctly sized PPE can be the difference between your team remaining safe and taking unnecessary risks.
5. Industry Standards
The final consideration when purchasing PPE is whether the items you’re buying meet the standards required of your sector. Every role in every industry will have detailed uniform requirements that you must meet to keep your staff safe, and it’s up to you to ensure you do so.
The best way to meet the correct standards is to purchase PPE from manufacturers who design items to adhere to them. By purchasing from reputable suppliers, you can be sure the PPE your team wears is up to the job of keeping yourself and your team safe.
When you kit your team members out with the correct PPE, it means you’re doing everything you can to keep them safe. This is not only responsible in the current climate but also makes your team feel cared for and supported. By following the five tips above, any business can ensure the PPE it chooses is fit for its purpose.