Individuals are not good and sometimes make mistakes. We take shortcuts, neglect how to do things, or become distracted at instances after we shouldn’t. In most elements of our lives, these aren't things which have dire consequences. At work, however, surrounded by hazards, these types of errors can alter lives, even finish them. So, regardless that human beings will not be good, we need to make our safety programs as close to good as we can.
PPE Focus: Face Shields
Personal protective equipment (PPE) is a facet of safety the place people are likely to make many errors, and for quite a lot of reasons. Typically, we think that the mere wearing of PPE makes us proof against injury. With as much emphasis as we place on eye protection and head protection, will we lose sight (no pun supposed) of protecting our faces? Actually, eye protection is important, since eye injuries can lead to permanent blindness. Equally important is head protection, preventing fatal head accidents the most effective that we can. Face accidents might not appear as significant a priority. They don't have the immediate, permanent, and doubtlessly fatal penalties of the others. With that said, though, an employer’s accountability is to protect all parts of their employees, including their faces.
That accountability includes identifying tasks where face shields should be used, providing face shields for employees to use, training them to make use of face shields appropriately, and to right employees when face shields are used incorrectly or not used at all. The primary parts are easy. Our staff will make mistakes. Correcting these mistakes and implementing your organization’s face shield necessities is an essential a part of an effective PPE program. Unfortunately, too often, this aspect of the PPE program will not be enforced until after an worker is injured.
Conditions to Use Face Shields
Consider the following conditions the place face shields should have been used, and the results for the injured workers and their employers.
An employee was filling ammonia nurse tanks from a bulk plant. The employee was distracted while closing the valves, and mistakenly turned the unsuitable 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 around the face.
An worker was installing a water pipe at a multifamily residential development project. The worker initially was working an excavator, then climbed down from the excavator to chop a 10-inch water pipe with a lower-off saw. The noticed kicked back and struck the worker’s face. Co-workers called emergency services, who transported the worker 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 critical chemical burns. A face shield would have significantly reduced the chemical exposure, the extent of the chemical burns, and presumably might have prevented any ammonia from splashing on the worker’s face. Sure, the employee turned the wrong valve, but does that mean that the employer is absolved of all responsibility for this incident? Of course not. The actual fact remains that the employer ought to provide staff filling ammonia nurse tanks with face shields, train employees to use the face shields appropriately, and require them to use them when performing this task. Then they need to regularly and constantly enforce the face shield requirements. Doing so would have provided additional protection to the employee, even from the effects of the worker’s own actions.
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