Personal protective equipment is one of the last lines of defense that protects you from the hazards of your industrial job. As such, you must care for these items to ensure the best possible results. Check out these three tips for maintaining your personal protective equipment.
Since personal protective equipment is so important to your well-being, you must ensure your gear is of good quality every time you use it. That means daily inspections before the work day.
Look for any damaged items, such as cracked or dented helmets, ripped boots and clothing, broken gloves, and expired respiratory masks. If you notice any of these issues, refrain from working until you resolve the problems.
One way to ensure your daily inspections aren’t full of surprises is to properly store your personal protective equipment at the end of the work day. You should neatly fold gloves and store them in a clutter-free bin, drawer, or cabinet. Separate safety glasses from other items to make sure they don’t crack or chip.
Hang your PPE pants, shirts, and vests in a dry, dark space. This prevents mold, mildew, and pests from damaging your clothing. Furthermore, keep your boots in a dry, elevated area to avoid moisture damage. Never leave items in plastic wrapping, especially over long periods, as this can promote mold growth and cause discoloration and fabric warping.
Care and Cleaning
Before storing your personal protective equipment for the day, you should give dirty items a quick cleaning and attend to any tears, rips, or cracks. Some things can last indefinitely with proper cleaning techniques, such as quality boots and helmets. Meanwhile, other equipment like reflective apparel needs replacing every week to every six months, depending on usage.
For clothing, ensure you follow the washing directions on tags to prevent fabric damage and shrinking. Avoid throwing steel-toed boots into the water, as this can rust the protective lining. You often can’t thoroughly clean masks, so you must replace them after heavy usage.
Maintaining your personal protective equipment is paramount for any industrial worker operating in a hazardous environment. Follow these tips to protect yourself at work!