What kinds of personal protective equipment should you have?

When you work in construction, there are several different pieces of personal protective equipment that you should have on hand. For example, you should use safety glasses and face shields if there's a potential for objects to be airborne. When welding, working with electricity, cutting, grinding or performing other similar activities, the shield protects your eyes and face from injury.

When working in areas that are cold or where your hands are exposed, it's a good idea to wear gloves. They should fit well and be the correct style of gloves for the job. For example, electrical gloves tend to be made from rubber to resist shocks, while chemical-resistant gloves help workers who need to work with acids.

When you work with electricity, some good protective items to have include rubber gloves and shoes with rubber soles. Your gloves may need to have insulated sleeves as well, especially if you work with high-powered electrical items.

When you are working with scaffolding, it's important to add a line and clip to the scaffold, so if you fall, you are caught before hitting the ground. You may also want to wear a hard hat to protect your head from falling objects and should always wear slip-resistant or non-slip shoes. If there is a risk of items falling from above, you should also wear boots with steel toes. These boots are designed to prevent accidental amputations.

Each of these PPEs can help protect you, and your employer should inform you on what to wear in the workplace. If safety isn't a priority and you get hurt, you can file a workers' compensation claim for the injuries you suffered on the job.

Source: Occupational Safety and Health Administration, "Construction," accessed Jan. 13, 2017

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