Personal Protective Equipment

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is gear that can be worn to help minimize or eliminate injury.  It can be worn to help prevent sudden injuries or injuries that occur over time.  It is very important the user understands the intended purpose of the PPE and verifies that it fits properly.

When to Wear PPE

  • Before you resort to PPE, you should first:
  • Use administrative controls
  • Implement Engineering Controls
  • Use local exhaust or general ventilation vs. a respirator
  • Control dust with a wet process vs. dry
  • Install sound reducing devices to mechanical equipment

When these other two means of protection are exhausted you then will need to select the appropriate PPE.

Often times PPE will be used in conjunction with administrative and engineering controls for added protection.

Basic Types of PPE

  • Head:  Hard hat, welders cap
  • Hearing:  Ear muffs, ear plugs or canal caps
  • Face/Eye:  Safety glasses, face shield, safety goggles.
  • Hand: Gloves for general use,  chemical use, electrical work or hot work.
  • Body:  Chaps, leathers, coveralls
  • Foot Protection: Leather boots, Safety toe/steel toe boots

Personal Protective Equipment is gear that is worn to help minimize or eliminate injury. It is very important the user understands the intended purpose of the PPE, verifies that the PPE fits properly and is adequate for the work to be performed.

Remember:  PPE is the last line of defense against a hazard.


Presenter tips

  • Pre-read the Toolbox Talk. Your comfort level and confidence will be higher if you know your topic.
  • Discuss related tasks, work areas or events that make the Toolbox Talk relevant to your job site.
  • Involve the workers by asking questions and input that drives discussion.

Questions for Discussion

  • Does the PPE you wear to perform your work fit properly and is it in good working condition? What can be done in your work area to improve the use of PPE?
  • What improvements can be made to reduce the need for PPE?