PPE – Personal Protective Equipment
In this article, Elizabeth Long takes a look at PPE and why it is helpful for farming.
Farming can be incredibly rewarding, but it is important to remember that it can also be intensely physical and, at times, dangerous.
Working with machinery and livestock can be unpredictable, and farming is considered one of the most dangerous occupations in Ireland, with around 2,800 accidents per year.
Of course, there are safety measures that you can follow to try and reduce the risk of injury to yourself and others.
As well as having secondary checks in place and avoiding lone working where possible, farmers should also make use of the range of PPE that is available.
But what is PPE, and what should you consider for your farm? We take a look.
What is PPE?
PPE, or Personal Protective Equipment, is a type of clothing or accessory that helps to protect the wearer from potential hazards while working.
Common examples of PPE include gloves, safety glasses and hearing protection.
This equipment can be extremely helpful on a farm, where workers may be exposed to dangers such as sharp objects, dangerous animals, harmful chemicals, and more. PPE can help keep farmers safe and protected.
How can PPE be helpful?
PPE can be helpful in protecting workers from a variety of injuries, including cuts, burns and ergonomic injuries.
To be effective, you must use PPE correctly. For example, loose-fitting gloves can actually increase the risk of hand injuries. Meanwhile, properly fitting gloves can help to protect against cuts and abrasions.
Similarly, ill-fitting respirators can actually do more harm than good. It can allow harmful particles to enter through gaps in the seal.
By taking the time to choose the right PPE for the job and wearing it correctly, workers can help to reduce their risk of injury on the job.
Different types of PPE for farmers
PPE is essential for any farmer. Not only does it protect them from the elements, but it also helps to prevent injuries.
There are a variety of different types of PPE available, and choosing the right gear depends on the type of farming.
For example, workers in dairy farms need to wear PPE that protects them from contact with milk and other dairy products.
This might include gloves, aprons, and face masks. In contrast, farmers who work with livestock need PPE that protects them from bites and kicks.
This might include sturdy boots and gloves, as well as overalls or coveralls. No matter what type of farm you work on, it is important to choose the right PPE for the job.
Disposing of PPE
When it comes to PPE, it is important to dispose of it properly. PPE is designed to protect you from exposure to hazardous materials. Therefore, if you do not dispose of it properly, those same materials can end up causing harm to human life and the environment.
There are a few different ways to dispose of PPE. The best option will depend on the type of material and the level of contamination.
For example, single-use items like gloves and face masks should be recycled as part of special schemes where possible, or responsibly thrown into the rubbish.
However, put other items like reusable gowns and respirators in a designated container for decontamination.
By taking the time to dispose of PPE correctly, you can help keep yourself and others safe from harm.