What is PPE and why is it important?

The safety of employees, as well as visitors to your business, should be of paramount importance. The global pandemic has only heightened this, and expectations are now higher than ever before. Luckily, it’s not all that difficult to ensure your workplace is safe. By simply investing in some PPE (personal protective equipment), you can help your staff and visitors feel safe in your business. In this article, we take a closer look at what PPE is and why it’s important.

What is PPE?

PPE, personal protective equipment, is the term for all kinds of equipment that acts as a barrier between a human and a health or safety risk. These risks could be anything from an infectious disease to a chemical, to falling from a height. As you can probably imagine, PPE equipment encompasses everything from gloves and masks to helmets, steel toe boots, high visibility clothing, and ear protection.

The PPE that you purchase for your business should meet all of the necessary safety regulations. These vary depending on the industry, with the medical industry, in particular, being incredibly stringent due to FDA regulations. When purchasing PPE, it is vital to only do so from a reputable store to ensure your employees and visitors are fully protected.

Why is PPE so important?

PPE plays a crucial role in keeping a workplace safe, and it should therefore be pretty self-explanatory as to why it is so important. It helps to protect everyone in the business from risk and injury, even so far as bacteria and hygiene go. Even offices and retail stores should provide employees with PPE that can help to lower the risk of viral infections. Some industries, such as the oil and gas industry and chemical industry, are especially high risk. A lack of PPE in these industries could have fatal consequences. Should an injury occur due to an employee not having access to – or using – the right personal protective equipment, your business could be found liable and could end up being sued.

PPE could save your business money

It’s also important to note that while PPE obviously costs money to purchase, it could end up saving your money in the long run. We mentioned above that providing PPE to your employees and training them how to use it correctly could help you to stay above the law should an accident or injury occur, but there are other indirect cost savings to be had too. For one, PPE helps to minimize downtime in businesses. If an employee is injured, or an investigation needs to take place, your whole workplace will grind to a halt. PPE can help ensure neither of these things happen. And, if an investigation leads to you being fined for improper use – or a lack – of PPE, this will not only cost you in terms of the fine, but in insurance premiums too.

As you can see, PPE is incredibly important and should not be something that your workplace neglects.

*header image courtesy of Shutterstock