Wearing the proper Personal Protective Equipment, or PPE, is one of the most important aspects of having a safe and proper work environment. However, it may be one of the most overlooked parts of preparation for getting the job done. Depending on when and where you are working you will need and often are required to be wearing specific articles of safety clothing. QPR is committed to making sure you are properly equipped for the job and that starts with safety. Today, we’ll give you some tips on how to select the right PPE for the job you’re doing. We’re going to show you three examples to give you an idea of what to select for the work you do.
Example 1: Sealing a Parking Lot
George A. Contractor owns his own sealing and striping business, and has been contracted to fill cracks and then seal and re-stripe the parking lot of a local hardware store. Although he’ll be able to close off the area he is working in, there will still be vehicular traffic coming in and out of the lot, and he needs to make sure drivers are aware of him and the two man crew working with him. In addition to their traffic control measures, each man is wearing a Class 2 high visibility safety vest over long sleeved shirts. ANSI (American National Standards Institute) has different standards for high visability clothing, and the breakdown of classes is as follows:
- Class 1 vests are generally designed for workers where traffic does not exceed 25 mph and there is adequate separation between traffic and worker (examples are parking attendants, event volunteers, warehouse personnel)
- Class 2 vests are for individuals near roadways where traffic exceeds 25 mph and need enhanced visibility in poor weather conditions (examples are airport traffic and ground personnel, paving contractors in low speed road conditions)
- Class 3 vests provide the highest level of visibility to workers. These garments are for workers in high risk environments interacting with all types of weather and where traffic speeds exceed 50 mph (examples would be major paving contractors)
Example 2: Repaving a Road
Franklin Paving has the contract to resurface State Road 65 for the next few months. They’ll have a crew of anywhere from 10-15 employees on the jobsite until completion of the work. Each employee will need to be outfitted with the proper PPE to insure a safe work environment along the highway. To start, all employees know about Franklin Paving’s company policy of always wearing long sleeves and pants on the jobsite to minimize skin exposure. As well, each member of the crew has been distributed a pair of safety boots they wear each day on the job. In addition, they will need high visibility gear to distinguish themselves to motorists in addition to equipment operators on the site. Because SR-65 has a 55mph speed limit, crew members are required to wear a Class 3 vest while working, but each will also need an OSHA-approved hardhat to protect their head as well. The OSHA standard states in 29 CFR 1910.135(a)(1) that, “Each affected employee shall wear protective helmets when working in areas where there is a potential for injury to the head from falling objects.”
Example 3: Patching Potholes in inclement weather
Every municipal, county, or state authority has the same headache every year: too many potholes! There are a variety of ways to repair potholes on roadways (I’d be remiss if I didn’t suggest the QPR way of doing it) but the only proper way to patch roads is safely. Many street departments and repair crews are doing this work in dangerous high-traffic areas. Let’s take the example of the City of Jedburg. Jedburg Street Department employees always use responsible traffic control techniques while working in active roadways, but the proper PPE is also vital…especially when weather and conditions are not ideal. Today in Jedburg there are several storms coming through, and the street department has been dispatched to repair potholes along the main bypass running around the city. Of course, each member is wearing their ANSI-approved safety vest. Because of excessive rain, wind, and low visibility conditions, each member of the crew is also wearing a high visibility rain suit while they patch to keep them protected from the elements while visible to motorists.
Of course, there are an endless number of options in deciding on which type of PPE you would like to use. QPR ShopWorx offers a variety of different vests, hardhats, gloves, and eye protection, in addition to high visibility gear designed to combat the elements. We can also put your company’s logo on any of our high visibility gear. If you are unsure of what is the right product for you, please contact us or your local QPR representative. We are here to make sure you work as safely as possible.