Persons are not perfect and infrequently make mistakes. We take shortcuts, overlook find out how to do things, or grow to be distracted at times after we shouldn’t. In most facets of our lives, these aren’t things which have dire consequences. At work, however, surrounded by hazards, these types of mistakes can alter lives, even end them. So, although human beings are usually not perfect, we have to make our safety programs as near good as we can.
PPE Focus: Face Shields
Personal protective equipment (PPE) is a side of safety the place individuals are likely to make many errors, and for a variety 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 intended) of protecting our faces? Certainly, eye protection is essential, since eye injuries can lead to everlasting blindness. Equally essential is head protection, preventing fatal head injuries the very best that we can. Face accidents might not appear as significant a priority. They don’t have the immediate, everlasting, and doubtlessly deadly penalties of the others. With that said, though, an employer’s responsibility is to protect all components of their workers, together with their faces.
That duty contains figuring out tasks the place face shields ought to be used, providing face shields for workers to make use of, training them to use face shields accurately, and to appropriate staff when face shields are used incorrectly or not used at all. The primary elements are easy. Our workers will make mistakes. Correcting these mistakes and imposing your organization’s face shield necessities is an essential a part of an effective PPE program. Unfortunately, too usually, this side of the PPE program isn’t enforced until after an worker is injured.
Conditions to Use Face Shields
Consider the next situations the place face shields ought to 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 wrong valve, causing a pressure release within the line. The release of anhydrous ammonia splashed on the employee’s face. The employee was hospitalized for chemical burns on and across the face.
An worker was installing a water pipe at a multifamily residential building project. The worker initially was operating an excavator, then climbed down from the excavator to cut a 10-inch water pipe with a minimize-off saw. The noticed kicked back and struck the employee’s face. Co-workers called emergency services, who transported the employee to the hospital. The worker was admitted to the hospital and handled for facial lacerations that prolonged from underneath the left eye to underneath the jaw.
In the first situation, the worker suffered severe chemical burns. A face shield would have significantly reduced the chemical exposure, the extent of the chemical burns, and possibly could have prevented any ammonia from splashing on the employee’s face. Yes, the worker turned the improper valve, however does that imply that the employer is absolved of all responsibility for this incident? After all 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 accurately, and require them to make use of them when performing this task. Then they need to regularly and consistently implement the face shield requirements. Doing so would have provided additional protection to the worker, even from the effects of the worker’s own actions.