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What are PPE?

Personal Protective Equipment

What are PPE?

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is the equipment, complements and accessories that the worker wears or attaches and that are intended to protect him from one or more risks related to safety and health.

At Reysan we are specialists in work clothes and Personal Protective Equipment. In this post we are going to talk about the most common types of PPE and about what is and what is not a piece of equipment with these characteristics.

The legislation on the subject excludes as PPE, for example, ordinary work clothes (coats, jackets, normal sweatshirts ...) and uniforms that are not specifically intended to protect the health or physical integrity of the worker. However, there are also protective clothing that is considered as such, such as clothing against mechanical or chemical aggressions, anti-dust clothing or anti-gas clothing.

It is also excluded from PPE:

  • Rescue and rescue service equipment.
  • Personal protective equipment for State Security Forces and means of road transport.
  • Equipment for sport, self-defence or deterrence.
  • Portable devices for the detection and signalling of risks and nuisance factors.

Types of Personal Protective Equipment

So what can we classify as EPI? Let's look at two classifications:

EPIs by the severity of the risk

We can divide them according to the severity of the risk they protect:

  • Category I

    They protect against risks known as "gradual effect", i.e. the user can become aware of their effects in time, before damage occurs. For example, mechanical aggressions with surface effects (gardening gloves) or exposure to mild cleaning agents (protective gloves).

  • Category III

    They protect against a deadly danger or one that can seriously harm health. To name a few, they protect against toxic gases, electrical risks, intervention in very cold or hot environments or protection against very high falls.

  • Category II

    Those not included in categories I or III, such as some PPE for hearing protection, safety footwear, protective clothing, head protection ...

By protection zone

  • Head protectors

    Safety helmets, protective headgear (caps, hats, etc.) ...

  • Hearing protectors

    Earmuffs, earplugs and different types of hearing protectors.

  • Eye and face protectors

    Frame glasses, face shields, welding shields...

  • Respiratory tract protection

    Filtering, insulating, breathing or scuba diving equipment.

  • Hand and arm protectors

    All types of protective gloves, mittens, sleeves and sleeves.

  • Foot and leg protectors

    Safety footwear, gaiters, knee pads, removable soles...

  • Skin protectors

    Protection creams and ointments.

  •  Protectors of the trunk and abdomen

    Vests, jackets and aprons protecting against mechanical or chemical aggressions, thermogens, protection against X rays...

  • Total body protection

    Harnesses, fastening belts, protective clothing, equipment against falls from a height…

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