Personal Protective Equipment
Personal Protective equipment (PPE) is the final line of defense in the hazard
control hierarchy. Engineering controls and administrative controls are preferable
to PPE. Nevertheless, there are numerous tasks and situations in a deployment
where APHIS personnel will have to rely on PPE for their protection.
There are a number of reasons why PPE is the lowest preference for hazard
control. The major obstacles of safe PPE use are: lack of use,
inappropriate use, and malfunctioning or weakened equipment.
Lack of Use
APHIS personnel, contractors and temporary employees are expected to
use the PPE provided as outlined by the Safety Officer. One of the
drawbacks of PPE is it must be used, and used as outlined (examples
would include eye injuries due to a lack of safety glass us or dust
inhalation from not using dust masks). All Command staff, General staff
and other deployment personnel with supervisory responsibility are
expected to enforce proper PPE use.
PPE must be used as per manufacturer guidelines to properly protect the
employee. Using the PPE in an altered fashion may limit, if not negate,
its protective value. This limitation is overcome by properly training
personnel on proper donning, use, and doffing of PPE (an example would
include touching contaminated gloves to clean skin during removal).
All PPE equipment is disposable. Disposing of faultily PPE and obtaining
new PPE is an important process in PPE use. To assure that employees
are receiving the full protective value of PPE, employees must be trained
on inspection procedures for all PPE being used (examples would include
failure of a hard hat which had a broken suspension system or failure
of safety shoes which had the metal toe plate exposed).
Appendix 5-A is
a handout on PPE Use and provides some very basic information on the
subject. Appendix 5-B provides more detailed information on PPE selection