Covid pandemic has given new importance to personal protection equipment

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The Coronavirus pandemic has ushered the era of new normal. Over the past year-and-a-half we have been introduced to a slew of measures which we were not familiar with. However, whether we like them or not they have become a reality of our present-day life. Among the new measures, personal protection has been of paramount interest. Safety or precautionary measures were always there in the industrial and corporate sectors but lately the emphasis on them have become far stronger. In this article we will take a look at various aspects of personal protection equipment and find out more about their critical role in our daily lives.

Masks alone will not protect you. In order to combat Covid-19, one has to further ensure physical distancing and frequent handwashing. Market Research Future (MRFR), a global research firm, has released a report “Global PPE Market information by Product, by Industry, by Hazard and Region – forecast to 2027” which says the market valuation would go beyond USD 63,109.7 million by 2025, registering a 6.32 per cent CAGR. The Coronavirus troubles affected the global personal protective equipment market positively.

While on one hand, the Covid-19 brought forth several impediments to industry players such as broken supply chains, logistic issues in delivering end products, and attracting workers from quarantines, wreaking havoc on the demand-supply dynamics. However, on the other hand, it remarkably increased the demand for PPEs across the private and commercial sectors. Positive news is that the market is rapidly getting back to normalcy post the lockdown mandates getting relaxed.

If one goes by trends, it is apparent that the global personal protective equipment market will witness a steady growth. Factors such as rapid industrialisation, urbanisation, and population growth worldwide, act as major driving forces behind the personal protection market. Furthermore, strict industrial safety regulations and the increasing adoption of industrial safety products expand the PPE market size further. Moreover, the earlier growth of the global economy spurred the growth in the automotive industries and construction sectors which led to boosting the PPE industry.

Increasing product developments and adapting to the stringent OSHA requirements and ANSI fall protection standards drive the demand in the market. Additionally, increasing insecurity and safety concerns across the industrial landscape are mostly responsible for market growth. The PPE market has witnessed multiple developments over the past decade, such as the adoption of industrial safety solutions in various verticals, Industry 4.0, and the proliferation of industrial IoT (IIoT) solutions favouring the market growth.

Under the current circumstances it is imperative that employers always create a written policy that supports a comprehensive PPE programme and conduct regular trainings focused on the safety equipment used in their workplaces.

To select the appropriate PPE it is important that proper identification of all hazards in a workplace that may cause harm or injury to an employee should be identified. This is so because all PPE are listed to protect employees from very specific hazards. It is advisable that the differences between classes of PPE are researched and a selection is made based on their rated capacities. For instance; an employee works near a furnace operation. It is unlikely that you would want to just buy shaded safety glasses. But if you analyse further, you will find that the employee needs safety glasses with class 7, 8, or 9 protectors. Hence, it is always better to research all kinds of PPE before purchasing and employing them for service.

The employing organisation has to provide the protective equipment including eyes, face, head, extremities, protective clothing, respiratory devices, and protective shields and barriers to the workers. The employers should also provide, use, and maintain in a sanitary and reliable condition wherever it is necessary by reasons of hazards of processes or environment, chemical hazards, radiological emissions, or mechanical impediments encountered in a manner capable of causing injury or impairment in the function of any part of the body through absorption, inhalation, or physical contact.

Foot Protection Equipment there are safety-toe footwear for employees shall meet the requirements and specifications in ANSI (American National Standards Institute) Z41.1-1967.

There is an array of gloves available today to protect against a wide range of hazards. The type of the complication and the process involved will determine the selection of gloves.  The multitude of potential occupational hand injuries proves selecting the suitable pair of gloves a challenging proposition.

Usually, gloves fall into the following four categories:

  1. Leather, Canvas and Metal Mesh Gloves: Primarily, these types of gloves protect against cuts, burns and punctures.
  2. Cloth and Coated Fabric Gloves: Basically, these kinds of gloves are made of cotton or other fabric. Usually, these gloves protect against dirt, chafing and abrasions.
  3. Insulating rubber gloves: These gloves are used for protection against electrical hazards.
  4. Chemical and liquid resistant gloves: When working with chemicals with a high acute toxicity, working with corrosive materials in high concentrations, handling chemicals for extended periods of time or submerging all or part of a hand into a chemical, the worker should choose the appropriate glove material, based on chemical compatibility.

Among the possible complications which may lead to foot and leg injuries include falling or rolling objects, crushing or penetrating materials, hot, corrosive or poisonous substances, electrical hazards, static electricity, or slippery surfaces.

It should be noted that different footwear protects in different ways. It’s imperative that a buyer verifies the product’s branding or checks with the manufacturer to make sure the footwear will protect the user from the hazards they face.

Article by Arijit Nag
Arijit Nag is a freelance journalist who writes on various aspects of the economy and current affairs.
Read more article of Arijit Nag

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