People are not excellent and sometimes make mistakes. We take shortcuts, overlook easy methods to do things, or become distracted at times once we shouldn’t. In most points of our lives, these aren’t things which have dire consequences. At work, nevertheless, surrounded by hazards, these types of errors can alter lives, even finish them. So, though human beings aren’t perfect, we need to make our safety programs as near perfect as we can.
PPE Focus: Face Shields
Personal protective equipment (PPE) is a facet of safety where individuals are inclined to make many mistakes, and for a variety of reasons. Usually, we think that the mere wearing of PPE makes us proof against injury. With as a lot emphasis as we place on eye protection and head protection, do we lose sight (no pun intended) of protecting our faces? Certainly, eye protection is necessary, since eye injuries can lead to everlasting blindness. Equally necessary is head protection, preventing deadly head injuries the best that we can. Face injuries may not seem as significant a priority. They don’t have the immediate, everlasting, and doubtlessly deadly penalties of the others. With that said, although, an employer’s duty is to protect all parts of their employees, including their faces.
That duty includes figuring out tasks where face shields should be used, providing face shields for workers to use, training them to make use of face shields accurately, and to appropriate workers when face shields are used incorrectly or not used at all. The primary parts are easy. Our workers will make mistakes. Correcting these errors and enforcing your organization’s face shield requirements is an essential a part of an effective PPE program. Unfortunately, too often, this side of the PPE program is not enforced until after an employee is injured.
Conditions to Use Face Shields
Consider the following conditions where face shields ought to have been used, and the results 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 improper valve, causing a pressure release 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 cut-off saw. The saw kicked back and struck the worker’s face. Co-workers called emergency companies, 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.
Within the first state of affairs, the worker suffered severe chemical burns. A face shield would have significantly reduced the chemical publicity, the extent of the chemical burns, and probably could have prevented any ammonia from splashing on the worker’s face. Sure, the employee turned the improper valve, but does that mean that the employer is absolved of all accountability for this incident? Of course not. The very fact stays that the employer should provide employees filling ammonia nurse tanks with face shields, train workers to use the face shields appropriately, and require them to use them when performing this task. Then they must frequently and consistently enforce the face shield requirements. Doing so would have provided additional protection to the worker, even from the effects of the employee’s own actions.
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