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 include: lack of use; improper use; and malfunctioning or damaged equipment.
Lack of Use
APHIS personnel, contractors and temporary employees are expected to use the PPE provided as outlined in the JHA for the activity.
One of the drawbacks of PPE is it must be used, and used as outlined in the JHA and in training (examples would include eye injuries due to a lack of safety glasses).
All Command staff, General staff and other deployment personnel with supervisory responsibility are expected to enforce proper PPE use.
PPE must be used as in accordance with manufacturer guidelines to properly protect the employee. Using the PPE in an altered fashion may limit, if not negate, its protective value.
All PPE equipment is disposable. Disposing of contaminated or damaged 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.