People are not good and often make mistakes. We take shortcuts, neglect methods to do things, or become distracted at occasions after we shouldn’t. In most elements of our lives, these should not things which have dire consequences. At work, however, surrounded by hazards, these types of errors can alter lives, even finish them. So, though human beings aren’t excellent, we have to make our safety programs as close to perfect as we can.
PPE Focus: Face Shields
Personal protective equipment (PPE) is a side of safety the place people are likely to make many mistakes, and for a variety of reasons. Often, we think that the mere wearing of PPE makes us resistant to injury. With as much emphasis as we place on eye protection and head protection, do we lose sight (no pun meant) of protecting our faces? Certainly, eye protection is essential, since eye accidents can lead to everlasting blindness. Equally important is head protection, stopping fatal head accidents one of the best that we can. Face injuries could not seem as significant a priority. They do not have the instant, permanent, and probably deadly penalties of the others. With that said, though, an employer’s accountability is to protect all elements of their employees, together with their faces.
That responsibility includes identifying tasks where face shields should be used, providing face shields for workers to use, training them to use face shields accurately, and to appropriate staff when face shields are used incorrectly or not used at all. The first parts are easy. Our staff will make mistakes. Correcting those errors and implementing your organization’s face shield requirements is an essential a part of an efficient PPE program. Unfortunately, too typically, this aspect of the PPE program will not be enforced until after an worker is injured.
Conditions to Use Face Shields
Consider the following situations where face shields ought to have been used, and the implications for the injured workers and their employers.
An employee was filling ammonia nurse tanks from a bulk plant. The worker was distracted while closing the valves, and mistakenly turned the improper valve, inflicting a pressure launch in the line. The discharge of anhydrous ammonia splashed on the worker’s face. The employee was hospitalized for chemical burns on and across the face.
An worker was installing a water pipe at a multifamily residential construction project. The employee initially was working an excavator, then climbed down from the excavator to chop a ten-inch water pipe with a lower-off saw. The saw 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 handled for facial lacerations that extended from underneath the left eye to underneath the jaw.
Within the first situation, the worker suffered serious chemical burns. A face shield would have significantly reduced the chemical publicity, the extent of the chemical burns, and probably may have prevented any ammonia from splashing on the employee’s face. Sure, the worker turned the improper valve, however does that imply that the employer is absolved of all accountability for this incident? After all not. The actual fact stays that the employer ought to provide employees filling ammonia nurse tanks with face shields, train workers to make use of the face shields appropriately, and require them to use them when performing this task. Then they have to frequently and persistently enforce the face shield requirements. Doing so would have provided additional protection to the employee, even from the effects of the employee’s own actions.