Persons are not excellent and often make mistakes. We take shortcuts, neglect how you can do things, or turn into distracted at occasions when we shouldn’t. In most elements of our lives, these aren’t things which have dire consequences. At work, nonetheless, surrounded by hazards, these types of errors can alter lives, even finish them. So, despite the fact that human beings will not be excellent, we need to make our safety programs as near excellent as we can.
PPE Focus: Face Shields
Personal protective equipment (PPE) is a facet of safety the place folks are inclined to make many errors, and for a wide range of reasons. Often, 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, do we lose sight (no pun meant) of protecting our faces? Definitely, eye protection is essential, since eye injuries can lead to everlasting blindness. Equally important is head protection, preventing deadly head injuries the most effective that we can. Face injuries might not seem as significant a priority. They do not have the immediate, everlasting, and doubtlessly fatal consequences of the others. With that said, though, an employer’s responsibility is to protect all components of their workers, including their faces.
That duty consists of identifying tasks the place face shields must be used, providing face shields for workers to use, training them to use face shields appropriately, and to correct employees when face shields are used incorrectly or not used at all. The first components are easy. Our staff will make mistakes. Correcting those mistakes and imposing your company’s face shield necessities is an essential a part of an efficient PPE program. Unfortunately, too usually, this facet of the PPE program is not enforced till after an worker is injured.
Situations to Use Face Shields
Consider the next conditions where face shields should have been used, and the results 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 flawed valve, inflicting a pressure release within the line. The release of anhydrous ammonia splashed on the employee’s face. The worker was hospitalized for chemical burns on and across the face.
An employee was putting in a water pipe at a multifamily residential construction project. The employee initially was working an excavator, then climbed down from the excavator to chop a 10-inch water pipe with a cut-off saw. The saw 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 extended from underneath the left eye to underneath the jaw.
Within the first situation, the employee suffered critical chemical burns. A face shield would have significantly reduced the chemical exposure, the extent of the chemical burns, and probably may have prevented any ammonia from splashing on the employee’s face. Sure, the employee turned the incorrect valve, but does that mean that the employer is absolved of all responsibility for this incident? In fact not. The very fact remains that the employer should provide workers filling ammonia nurse tanks with face shields, train workers to use the face shields appropriately, and require them to use them when performing this task. Then they must 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.