The definition of what constitutes personal protective equipment varies by country. In the United States, the laws regarding PPE also vary by state. Note: our descriptions below are NOT to be used as official definitions or descriptions. If you are using this for work related or personal safety evaluation, you should consult with your local government rules, regulations, and definitions. Below is researched & described by garmentos not by scientist.
Personal protective equipment (PPE) is protective clothing, headwear, eyewear, or other garments or equipment designed to protect the wearer's body from injury or infection.
Protective equipment may be worn for job-related occupational safety and health purposes, as well as for sports and other recreational activities.
Important PPE apparel includes items such as pads, guards, shields, masks, shoe covers, steel toe footwear, helmets, mouth guards, flame protection, virus protection, etc.
The purpose of personal protective equipment is to protect the wearer. On some occasions, it is worn to protect others. For example, protective face masks can be worn to help limit the spread of germs & viruses.
PPE imposes a barrier between the wearer and the potential risk.
Personal protective equipment can be categorized by the area of the body protected, by the types of hazard, and by the type of garment or accessory.
This form of PPE is all-encompassing and refers to the various suits and uniforms worn to protect the user from harm. Protective clothing is essentially designed to protect users from unintended dermal exposures that could lead to the development of an adverse health hazard.
A few examples of garments & equipment for personal protection:
Steel toe boots
Firefighter PPE Clothing
Fluid Resistant Garments
As with any type of PPE, the key to proper selection and use of protective clothing is to understand the hazards and the risk of exposure. Some of the factors important to assessing the risk of exposure in health facilities include source, modes of transmission, pressures and types of contact, and duration and type of tasks to be performed by the user of the PPE.
There are different considerations that must be taken into account when selecting the appropriate protective clothing including the hazard, the material, design, durability comfort and functionality.
Breathing properly is VERY important. Our respiratory system needs protection at times.
The human respiratory system is a series of organs responsible for taking in oxygen and expelling carbon dioxide. Respirators serve to protect the user from breathing in contaminants in the air, thus preserving the health of one's respiratory tract.
Learn about N95 respirator masks.
Learn about Surgical Masks & N95 masks.
N95 respirators reduce the wearer’s exposure to airborne particles, from small particle aerosols to large droplets. N95 respirators are tight-fitting respirators that filter out at least 95% of particles in the air, including large and small particles.
Unlike NIOSH-approved N95s, facemasks are loose-fitting and provide only barrier protection against droplets, including large respiratory particles. No fit testing or seal check is necessary with facemasks. Most facemasks do not effectively filter small particles from the air and do not prevent leakage around the edge of the mask when the user inhales.
A respirator is a personal protective device that is worn on the face or head and covers at least the nose and mouth. A respirator is used to reduce the wearer’s risk of inhaling hazardous airborne particles (including infectious agents), gases or vapors. Respirators, including those intended for use in healthcare settings, are certified by the CDC/NIOSH. Check to be sure that the products are properly certified.
Skin Care is not only about moisturizer and acne medication.
Any form of PPE that acts as a barrier between the skin and the agent of exposure can be considered skin protection. Skin hazards, which lead to occupational skin disease, can be classified into four groups. Chemical agents can come into contact with the skin through direct contact with contaminated surfaces, deposition of aerosols, immersion or splashes. Physical agents such as extreme temperatures and ultraviolet or solar radiation can be damaging to the skin over prolonged exposure. Mechanical trauma occurs in the form of friction, pressure, abrasions, lacerations and contusions. Biological agents such as parasites, microorganisms, plants and animals can have varied effects when exposed to the skin.
PPE apparel for skin care may include the following as well as others:
Bullet Proof Vests
Vision is a critical & very useful tool for people interested in fashion. It is challenging to co-ordinate an outfit without sight. Sure, it is possible, but more difficult.
Most eye injuries occur when solid particles such as metal slivers, wood chips, sand or cement chips get into the eye. Blunt force trauma can occur when excessive force comes into contact with the eye. Smoke & broken glass are additional common risks to the eyes. Safety glasses provide protection from external debris, and should provide side protection via a wrap-around design or side shields.
PPE eyewear includes and is not limited to the following:
Face protection combined with respirators
Fashion designers enjoy hearing the applause at their fashion week events. Hearing protection should never be neglected.
Industrial noise is often overlooked as an
occupational hazard, as it is not visible to the eye. The Occupational
Safety and Health Administration establishes occupational noise exposure
standards. PPE for hearing protection consists of earplugs and
A few things to consider when selecting PPE clothes:
For gowns, it is important to have sufficient overlap of the fabric so that it wraps around the body to cover the back (ensuring that if the wearer squats or sits down, the gown still protects the back area of the body).
For gloves, standard specifications for nitrile gloves, natural rubber gloves, and polychloroprene gloves indicate higher minimum tensile strength and elongation requirements compared to vinyl gloves.
Learn more about personal protective equipment:
Personal Protective Equipment (CDC - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) : Personal protective equipment (PPE) is a main source of protection for emergency and recovery workers. Depending on the type of emergency which may include flooding, hurricanes, fire, electricity, structural collapse, falls, terrorism, earthquakes, tornadoes, extreme temperatures, diseases, among others. It is necessary to protect emergency response and recovery workers from physical, chemical and biological hazards. Routes of exposure include inhalation, dermal contact, ingestion or contact through mucous membranes. Therefore, main protective equipment includes respirators, eye protection, hearing protection and protective clothing. Depending on the hazard, the recommendations on the use of PPE change. Some examples of PPE may include Gas masks, gloves, overalls, boots, and googles.
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) - learn about the national supply of PPE, stockpiled N95 respirators, PPE FAQ's and much more.
Find medical clothing stores in our retailer guide.
Find medical gown factories in our garment production directory.
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