Face Shields Proper Usage
PPE Focus: Face Shields
Personal protective equipment (PPE) is a side of safety where individuals are inclined to make many mistakes, and for a wide range 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, can we lose sight (no pun meant) of protecting our faces? Definitely, eye protection is essential, since eye injuries can lead to permanent blindness. Equally essential is head protection, preventing fatal head accidents the very best that we can. Face injuries could not seem as significant a priority. They do not have the rapid, everlasting, and potentially fatal penalties of the others. With that said, though, an employer’s responsibility is to protect all elements of their staff, together with their faces.
That responsibility includes identifying tasks the place face shields should be used, providing face shields for employees to use, training them to make use of face shields correctly, and to correct staff when face shields are used incorrectly or not used at all. The primary elements are easy. Our staff will make mistakes. Correcting those mistakes and enforcing your company’s face shield requirements is an essential part of an efficient PPE program. Sadly, too typically, this aspect of the PPE program will not be enforced until after an worker is injured.
Situations to Use Face Shields
Consider the following conditions where face shields should have been used, and the consequences 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 unsuitable valve, causing a pressure release in the line. The release of anhydrous ammonia splashed on the worker’s face. The worker was hospitalized for chemical burns on and across the face.
An employee was installing a water pipe at a multifamily residential building project. The employee initially was operating an excavator, then climbed down from the excavator to chop a ten-inch water pipe with a lower-off saw. The noticed kicked back and struck the employee’s face. Co-workers called emergency providers, who transported the worker 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 employee suffered severe chemical burns. A face shield would have significantly reduced the chemical publicity, the extent of the chemical burns, and presumably could have prevented any ammonia from splashing on the employee’s face. Sure, the employee turned the unsuitable valve, however does that mean that the employer is absolved of all responsibility for this incident? In fact not. The very fact stays that the employer should provide workers filling ammonia nurse tanks with face shields, train employees to make use of the face shields appropriately, and require them to make use of them when performing this task. Then they have to regularly and consistently enforce the face shield requirements. Doing so would have provided additional protection to the worker, even from the effects of the worker’s own actions.
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