Face Shields Proper Utilization
PPE Focus: Face Shields
Personal protective equipment (PPE) is a facet of safety where individuals are inclined to make many mistakes, and for a variety of reasons. Usually, we think that the mere wearing of PPE makes us proof against injury. With as much emphasis as we place on eye protection and head protection, do we lose sight (no pun supposed) of protecting our faces? Definitely, eye protection is essential, since eye accidents can lead to permanent blindness. Equally necessary is head protection, preventing deadly head injuries the best that we can. Face injuries may not appear as significant a priority. They don't have the quick, permanent, and doubtlessly deadly consequences of the others. With that said, although, an employer’s duty is to protect all parts of their staff, including their faces.
That responsibility consists of identifying tasks where face shields should be used, providing face shields for workers to make use of, training them to use face shields accurately, and to correct workers when face shields are used incorrectly or not used at all. The first parts are easy. Our workers will make mistakes. Correcting those errors and imposing your organization’s face shield necessities is an essential a part of an efficient PPE program. Unfortunately, too usually, this aspect of the PPE program shouldn't be enforced till after an worker is injured.
Conditions to Use Face Shields
Consider the next situations the place face shields ought to have been used, and the results for the injured workers and their employers.
An employee was filling ammonia nurse tanks from a bulk plant. The worker was distracted while closing the valves, and mistakenly turned the flawed valve, causing a pressure release within the line. The release of anhydrous ammonia splashed on the employee’s face. The employee was hospitalized for chemical burns on and around the face.
An employee was putting in a water pipe at a multifamily residential development project. The employee initially was operating an excavator, then climbed down from the excavator to chop a ten-inch water pipe with a lower-off saw. The saw kicked back and struck the employee’s face. Co-workers called emergency services, who transported the employee to the hospital. The worker was admitted to the hospital and handled for facial lacerations that prolonged from underneath the left eye to underneath the jaw.
In the first situation, the employee suffered serious chemical burns. A face shield would have significantly reduced the chemical publicity, the extent of the chemical burns, and possibly might have prevented any ammonia from splashing on the employee’s face. Yes, the worker turned the improper valve, however does that imply that the employer is absolved of all duty for this incident? In fact not. The very fact stays that the employer ought to provide staff filling ammonia nurse tanks with face shields, train staff to use the face shields appropriately, and require them to use them when performing this task. Then they must continually and constantly enforce the face shield requirements. Doing so would have provided additional protection to the employee, even from the effects of the worker’s own actions.
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