Agriculture Safety Matters: Personal Protective Equipment Matters

By | February 28, 2014

Agriculture Safety MattersYou know that agricultural work is particularly dangerous, but did you know that employees in agriculture have a risk of fatality that is more than double that of the average worker?


Engineering controls are the first line of defense against occupational injury and fatalities. However, these methods do not always offer the maximum protection for workers, so personal protective equipment (PPE) is crucial.


While  follows all government regulations regarding PPE and maintains American National Standards where required, it is also important that employees do their part. Become familiar with the types of PPE you may be required to use and why it is essential to your health and safety.


Often times, workers don’t wear their safety equipment because it’s a nuisance to put on or because it’s bulky and uncomfortable. It can be tempting not to put PPE on at all unless the safety supervisor is looking, but ultimately, it is up to you to be a professional and recognize the life-saving benefits of PPE.


A poorly fitted piece of protective equipment can cause headache or pain, and if it does, see your supervisor immediately to have it adjusted or re-fitted. But most of the time, it’s just a matter of getting used to wearing these items.


Foot protection, also known as steel-toe boots, safety-toe boots, steel-capped boots or safety shoes, is a must for all workers exposed to falling objects and puncture wounds from below. Most shoes will have symbols on the outside to illustrate the type of protection the footwear offers.


Hand and arm protection is one of the most important pieces of PPE in the agricultural industry because of the presence of amputation hazards and harmful materials. Depending on the work you do, you may need leather, canvas, metal mesh, fabric, coated fabric, chemical-resistant or liquid-resistant gloves.


Head protection is required in areas with the danger of impact, falling or flying objects and electrical shock or burn. Be sure to select the proper size, and take good care of the equipment.


In some cases, full-body protection may be necessary to completely protect against all harmful agents in the workplace. When full-body protection is required, it should not be taken lightly. It must be worn whenever you are in designated areas.


Though it is often overlooked, hearing protection is crucial in an agricultural environment to prevent permanent damage. Remember that plain cotton is not an acceptable form of ear protection.


When there is a chance of physical, chemical or radiation damage to the eyes or face, you must wear appropriate PPE. Everyday glasses do not qualify and are no excuse for lack of proper protection – request eye and face PPE that fits over spectacles.


Respiratory protection is a crucial piece of PPE for in an agriculturalenvironment because without it, harmful toxins may enter straight into the body. It is important for you to understand how to use this PPE properly and what its limitations are. Respiratory protection is especially important when performing work with airborne chemicals, any kind of dust and toxic fumes.

Personal Protective Equipment Matters

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