Individuals are not excellent and sometimes make mistakes. We take shortcuts, forget how to do things, or turn into distracted at occasions when we shouldn’t. In most points of our lives, these usually are not things that have dire consequences. At work, nevertheless, surrounded by hazards, these types of errors can alter lives, even finish them. So, even though human beings aren’t perfect, we need to make our safety programs as near good as we can.
PPE Focus: Face Shields
Personal protective equipment (PPE) is a facet of safety the place individuals are likely to make many errors, and for a wide range of reasons. Often, we think that the mere wearing of PPE makes us immune to injury. With as much emphasis as we place on eye protection and head protection, can we lose sight (no pun supposed) of protecting our faces? Certainly, eye protection is necessary, since eye injuries can lead to everlasting blindness. Equally vital is head protection, preventing deadly head accidents the most effective that we can. Face injuries could not seem as significant a priority. They don’t have the immediate, everlasting, and doubtlessly deadly consequences of the others. With that said, although, an employer’s responsibility is to protect all elements of their employees, including their faces.
That accountability consists of figuring out tasks where face shields must be used, providing face shields for employees to make use of, training them to use face shields appropriately, and to right workers when face shields are used incorrectly or not used at all. The first components are easy. Our workers will make mistakes. Correcting these errors and enforcing your company’s face shield necessities is an essential part of an effective PPE program. Sadly, too usually, this facet of the PPE program will not be enforced until after an employee is injured.
Conditions to Use Face Shields
Consider the following situations where face shields should have been used, and the implications for the injured workers and their employers.
An worker was filling ammonia nurse tanks from a bulk plant. The employee was distracted while closing the valves, and mistakenly turned the incorrect valve, inflicting a pressure launch in the line. The discharge of anhydrous ammonia splashed on the employee’s face. The worker was hospitalized for chemical burns on and around the face.
An employee was installing a water pipe at a multifamily residential construction project. The worker initially was operating an excavator, then climbed down from the excavator to chop a ten-inch water pipe with a cut-off saw. The noticed kicked back and struck the worker’s face. Co-workers called emergency services, who transported the employee to the hospital. The employee was admitted to the hospital and treated for facial lacerations that prolonged from underneath the left eye to underneath the jaw.
In the first situation, the worker suffered severe chemical burns. A face shield would have significantly reduced the chemical exposure, the extent of the chemical burns, and probably could have prevented any ammonia from splashing on the worker’s face. Yes, the worker turned the mistaken valve, however does that imply that the employer is absolved of all accountability for this incident? In fact not. The actual fact remains that the employer should provide workers filling ammonia nurse tanks with face shields, train workers to make use of the face shields accurately, and require them to make use of them when performing this task. Then they must regularly and constantly enforce the face shield requirements. Doing so would have provided additional protection to the worker, even from the effects of the worker’s own actions.
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