Technician Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Guide

By John Honovich, Published on May 12, 2017

Technicians encounter multiple hazards when running wires and installing security devices. Wearing personal protective equipment, or PPE, helps protect against these hazards and mitigate the chance and severity of injuries. Enforcing a strict PPE policy helps lessen worker's compensation liability for employers and limits time lost to on-the-job injuries. In this guide, we examine PPE devices usage, including

  • Codes and standards
  • Eye protection
  • Hearing protection
  • Head protection
  • Breathing protection
  • Boots
  • Gloves
  • PPE policies

Codes *** *********

**** ********* **** ***** and ********* **** ******** workplace ******. ***** *********** ****** be ******* ** * minimum ******** ** ** achieved. ** *** ******* of ******** **** ********** standards, ****** ***** *** caution ****** ** **** guide. 

*** *******, ** *** United ******, *** ************ Safety *** ****** ************** (****) ******* *** ******* of ********* ******, ********* the *** ** ***. *** codes *** ********* ****** to ********** **********. **** national *** ***** *********** have ******* ********. ********* should ****** ****** **** they ****** ** ***** regulations ** * ******* in ***** ** ***** downtime *** ** ********* injuries, *****, *** ********. 

** *** **, *** code ****** ********* ********* safety **** *** ****. *** **** ** the **** ********* *** defining *** ********* *** the ************ ********, ********* security *********** ******* ** construction *****, ******:**

Eye **********

*** ********** ******** ******* impacts, ******, ** *********, and *****. ******** ********** can **** ******* ******* glare *** ** *********, while ************ ********** ******* against ******, *** ****** glasses are ******** ** ******* ******* all *******. ** *** US, *** ********** **** meet ** ****** **** ***.* *********. ****** ******* **** *** compliant **** **** ******** are ****** **** *** or ***+, ***** **** the ****** * ******** by * ****** ** indicate *** ***** ** UV **********. ******* **** are *** ****** ** being ***.* ********* *** not ** *** ***** or ********** **** ******** **********. 

****** ******* *** ******** *********** should ****** ** *******-*********, as *** **** ****** eye ****** **** ********* is ****** ******. ********* **** flying ****** ****** ** drilling **** ***** *** optical ******* ** *** glasses, ****** ** ********* to *** *******. **** technicians ****** ****** ******* with **** *** *******, as **** **** ** fog ** ** **** weather. 

** ***** ** ** protected **** ****** ******, ****** glasses **** **** ********** are ***********. ******** ******* allow *** ******* ** fit ***** ** *** face ******* ***** ***** or *************. 

****** ***** ****** **** in * ******* ** colors *** *****. *******, it ****** ** ***** some *** ***** ** companies *** ******** ****** lenses, ******** **** *** otherwise ** ***** *** safe ***.

****** **** ***** ******* include:

  • ******/***** ****** ******* ********** and ***** **********, *** are **** *** ************ with **** ******** **** as ********* *** ***********.
  • **** ****** ******* ***** from ******** *** *** good *** ****** ************
  • ***** *** **** ****** filter ****** ** **** light ** **** ******, but ******* ********, ** the **** **** *** have ** ****** ******* **** switching **** ****** ** outdoor ****. 
  • ***** ****** ***** *** user ** ******** ****** accurately *** *** **** for ******* ******* *** need ** ************* ***********-**** ******.

*********** *** **** ************ glasses *** **** *** (**** the *******) ***** ****** glasses. ***** ******** *******, and *** **** ******** vision ********** *******, ***** do *** ***** ****** protection. ****** **** ************ safety ******* *** **** available, ***** ****** *********** to ****** **** ***** ordinary ******* ** ******* that ***** **** ** see ***** ***** ******** all *** ******** ** standard ****** *******. **** technicians ****** ***** *** all-day ***, ***** *********** *** others *** ******* ********** eye ********** ****** *** glasses. 

****-***, ******* ********* ****** glasses *** ***** ~$** USD. ****** ****** ******* **, Bollé, ******* ******, ******, Radians, ****, *** *** Safety ****.

*** ****** ******* **** anti-scratch ******* *** ***** ~$15. ****** ****** ******* **, Uvex, ******* ******, *** Honeywell.  

************ ****** ******* **** anti-scratch *** ****-*** ******* are ***** ~$*** *** can ** ****** ******* from ******** **** ** RXSafety *** **********. 

******* **********

**** ********** **** **** 85dB ** ***** ******* damage. ** * ****** must ***** ** ** heard **** *-* **** away, *** ********** ***** level ** **** ****. A ******* ***** ******* wheel, *** *******, ** 95+dB.

******* **** *********** **** require ******* ********** ***********, while ******* ***** *****, they ***** ****** ********** ear *****. ***** *** compressed *** **** ******** into *** ***. **** then ****** ** **** the ****** *** *****. These *** ** ************* when **** *** ** entire ***, *** **** technicians **** **** *** protection **** *********. *********** ear **********, **** ** earmuff ***** ********** **** either ** **** *** head ** **** **** a **** ***, ****** be ******* **** *** ********** will ** ******* ** noise **** **** *** an ****** * **** shift. 

******* ********** ******* *** safety ************ *** ******** from ********* ** **** as ******** ******* *****. Therefore, ***** ***** ******* protection, ***** **** ****** alert *** ********* ** *** hazards ****** ****. **** technicians *** * ***** system, **** *** ********** cutting ***** ** ******** a ****, *** * helper ******* *** *** danger, ***** ** **** the ***** ********** ** laying * **** ** their ******** ** ****. 

********** ******** *** ***** ~$25 *** * *** of ***. ****** ****** ******* 3M, *****, *********, ****** Leight, *** ******. 

******** ***** ******** *** often ~$**. ****** ****** ******* 3M, ****** ******, *********, and ******. 

Head **********

*******, **** ***** ** hard ****, ***** *******, ******, and *********** **********. **** hats ****** ** **** any **** ***** ** a **** ** ******* objects. **** ****** ** used ** *** *** site ***** ***** ** a **** ** * technician ******* ***** ***** into * *** *******, such ** *******, *****, trenches, ** ***********. **** commercial *** ********** ***** ******* all ********, *******, *** employees **** **** **********. Technicians ****** **** **** head ********** **** ***** an****** **** ********

** *** **,***.* ******* **** *** standards. ******** *********** ******* ** job ***** **** ******* hard **** ****** ****** one **** ** ***** at ***** * (*** general), ** *******. **** job ***** **** **** voltage ******* ******* ******* that ***** * (**********) should ** ****. 

******** **** **** *** come **** ** ******* vents, ***** **** *** user ****** ****** *** summer. **** **** **** include ***** **** ***** users ** ***** ****** or ***** ***********. **** brim ***** **** **** protect *** ****'* **** and **** **** *** sun *** *** ******* for *********** **** ****** work ********. **** **** hard **** ** *** come **** *****. *** particular ***** **** ** ****** dependent ** *** ******** taste ** *** ****. 

****** *** ******** **** hats, **** *** ******* slots, *** ***** ~$**. Full **** **** **** are ***** ~$**. **** hats *** ********* **** artwork ** ****** ******, which *** **** ~$** or ****. ****** ****** ******* Jackson ******, *********, *** MSA. 

Breathing **********

**** *****, ********* ****** nuisance *****, *** ******** to ****** *** ***** particulates **** ** ****, smoke, ******, ****, *** dander. These ***** *** ********* made ** ***** *** are **********, ******** ** be **** *** ***** periods ** ****. **** **** a ****** ***** *** fit ******* ****** *** face. ***** *** **** for ********** * ****** task **** *** ***** dust, **** ** ******** holes, ******* * ****, or ******* ***** ** a ***** *****. **** are ***** ~$** *** for * *** ** 50. 

*** *********** ******** **** masks, *** **** *** straps ******* ** ***. They ****** * ***** seal ****** *** **** and ****** **% ** particles. **** *** **** for ******* ** * dusty *********** *** ** extended ****** ** ****, such ** ******* ***** through ** ********** *****. *** masks *** ***** ~$** for * *** ** 20. 

*** ********** ***** *** also ********* **** ******, which ***** ******** ***. This ******** ******* *** overheating. ****** *********** *** much **** *********** ** use ** *** ****. They *** ***** ~$** for * *** ** 10. 

**** ***** *** **** as ********* ** *** respirators ** ********* *** the ******* **** *********** will ********* ** ** average ************, *** *** significantly *******. *******, *** masks *** ************* **** comfortable **** **** *****, making *********** **** ****** to *** ****. *** most ********* ********** ********* is *** *** **** gets **** *********. *********, many ********** ****** ** spend *** ***** ***** on *** *****, **** or ******* ******. 

****** ****** ******* **, *********, and ******* ******.

*****

***** ****** ** **** fitting, ******* ***** *** heel *******, *** **** rubber ***** ******** ** provide ******** *** ********** insulation. ** *** **, **** ************ ******* ********* *** boots, ********* **** **********, puncture **********, *** ********** protection. ***** *** ***** that ** *** ****** with **** ******** ****** guarantee to ******* ****** ** the ******.

**** ******** *** **** injuries *** **** ****** for ***********, *** ******* the ***** ***** *** help ******* ** ******** these. ***** ****** ****** ******* *** *********** *** ***-*** wear. **** ****** ******* arch ******* *** **** cushioning ** ******* **** injuries. ****-**** ******* *** available, *** ****** ** changed **********, ******** *** heel ******* ****** ** wear ****. 

**** *********** ****** ***** toed *****, *** ***** can ** ***** *****. Aluminum *** ****** ***** toe ********** ** *** available *** *****, ***** make *** ****** **** much *******. *********** ***** help ******* *** ******** knee ****, *** *********** boots **** ***** **** protection *** ***** ******* can ** *********. 

****** *** ***** **** widely. ****** ****** ******* *** Wing, ***********, ***********, *** Doc ******. *** *** ********** ** specific ***** ****. 

******

****** *** **** ** prevent **** *** ********, improve **** ********, ******* tool ********, *** ******* against ****. ******* ** *** be ********* ** ****** wires ** *** **** tools ***** ******* ******, many *********** ****** ** wear *********'* ******, ***** have *** **** ** the ***** *** *** or *** ******* *** off. ****** *** ******** technicians ****** **** ******* on *** **** *** across *** ******** *** full **********. 

******* ********* *** ****** mainly ******* ******* ********* and ******** ********, *** construction ******* ** ******** technicians. 

****** *** ***** ~$**. Common brands ******* ********, *****, and ******.  

PPE ********

*** ********* *** *** exposed ** ******* ****** be **** ***** ** what ***** ******* *** and *** ** ******** them. ** ** *** responsibility ** ********** ** ensure **** ***** ******** knows *** *********** *** hazards ** ********** ******** technology ********.

*** ***** *** *********** especially ****** ** ****** how ** ***** *** the *** *** *** to *** ****** ** a ***-****, ** **** may *** ** ***** of *** ******* ********. *********** and ******** ****** ******* any ****** ******** **** observe, **** **** **** term *********. *** ********* should ** ******** ** workplace ****** ************.

**** ******** ** ** have * ******* *** policy. **** * ****** together with ********** ********* ****** training *** **** ************ companies ***** ********* *** ********* injuries *** ******'* ************ claims. **** ******* ********* exist ** **** ********** create * ********* ****** program, *** ******** ***** have ********* ********* ** well.

Comments (13)

In my experience, a big struggle with PPE is making sure it is actually worn.

It sounds crazy, but telling installers to put in their earplugs and put on their safety glasses is a constant struggle.

Often times though, workplace injury insurance policy coverages are contingent on PPE being worn.  

If a worker gets something embedded into their eye because their glasses were perched on top of their hat or around their head instead of over their eyes, the insurance company can refuse to cover the event and leave both the injured and the employer (integrator) in the lurch.

I agree. Techs tend to hate PPE... until they get hurt. Then they love it. 

That's also why I'm a fan of letting them buy their own PPE and reimbursing them instead of mandating one type for the whole company. Everybody likes a different style, and letting them choose their favorite means they're more likely to wear it. 

In larger companies, this can be impractical. It's cheaper to buy in bulk, and it's easier to enforce a single policy. Still, being open to feedback and being willing to change a PPE brand no one likes is safer in the long run than just getting whatever gets the salesperson the best commission or whatever. 

I agree, if you don't make it a rule they slowly stop using PPE and then slowly start forgetting basic safety rules (you can't straddle a ladder!)  It's the culture here, so much so that sub-contractors who fail to wear PPE are easy to spot because they look really out of place. 

It has also been worth the expense to get logos printed on safety vests, shirts, jackets.  I wouldn't call them uniforms, but there is a visual value and unity factor to seeing everyone wearing company gear.

Our crews get PPE from us, if they want to use their own it has to meet or exceed what we provide them.  Individual harnesses (boom lift) provided.  The boot truck comes around every 4-6 months, everyone gets new boots at least once a year. 

I think safety harnesses are a key component of a good PPE program both for working at heights with a man-lift (JLG), on the roof, or on a ladder. A good safety harness is a must.  

Though not direct PPE, a good safety education program is key with case examples. You are right people don't ware the PPE often until it is personal, so make it personal with case study examples.  Lastly, safety education should include identifying hazards in the workplace, how does an employee know they might be contacting lead based paint or asbestos.  Help them identity hazards to say, hay-ho let me go ask my supervisor, stay safe. 

I have seen this at many of the gas stations around town. Ladder safety is no joke.

I would add a high-vis vest. It's required on many jobsites and I wear one anytime I'm working on an area where there may be vehicle traffic.

I know the PPE is annoying and techs say "Nothings going to happen to me ", But all it takes is a small piece of burning metal to destroy you vison. Take the time to put on the PPE, you are better off with it than with out. =)

Safety Glasses have always been a pain for me, no one ever provides or finds ones that properly fit over glasses. And even in the off chance I do, I hardly feel protected. It feels more like the safety glasses are just protecting my prescription glasses, not my eyes. Huge gaps all around where things would easily get in.

Most of the time I choose not to wear Safety Glasses, and I think I'm quite justified in it. They are offering me, some one who must wear prescription glasses, no protection, and in some cases makes it even more difficult to see.

Other than that, some one else mentioned it in this thread, letting technicians have a little bit of say in what they wear goes a long way. My previous employer was adamant everyone wear black safety boots (it was even in the safety policy), and could only buy from one place. I could not find any that fit me comfortably in black, but did find a pair of dark brown ones. Luckily my supervisor was understanding, but had the manager got involved, I would have been stuck buying uncomfortable black safety boots. I don't personally care about the colour, but I need to be comfortable when I'm wearing these things all day.

Why not just buy prescription safety glasses? Then they fit perfectly. As a glasses wearer myself I understand exactly where you're coming from, but it's still a pretty bad excuse for not wearing them.

I've worn RX safety glasses in the past, especially when I worked in machine shops. 

They typically came with removable side shields so you could wear them like regular glasses away from hazardous areas:

My glasses alone are anywhere from $400-$600. Hard enough to afford one pair, let alone another for safety.

My current employer claims they will pay for them, but I'm waiting for the policy to come into place or something like that.

A few of our guys wear these glasses and are happy with them. 

http://www.rx-safety.com/prescription-safety-glasses-rx-533-frame-only.html

Keeping your eyesight is worth the effort. 

I realize glasses can be costly, but let's be honest. $400 is a whole lot cheaper than a bionic eye or the suffering you'll face for the rest of your life if you lose one.

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