Managing PPE

By: February 26th, 2009 Email This Post Print This Post

We’ve written about personal protective equipment (PPE) on this blog a number of times before including footwear, lab coats (here and here), and the latest OSHA updates.

But PPE in the healthcare setting is arguably one of the most important factors for worker safety, and misusing it can result in injury or illness. Here are additional points to remember when administering PPE training.

  • If you use aprons or sleeve covers, set up a specific location for finding new ones and disposing of contaminated ones. Putting up posters as reminders always helps.
  • Make sure employees know how to select the proper glove and which material to use.
  • Remind employees to inspect gloves for holes or tears.
  • Train employees to wear gloves during phlebotomy and finger or heel sticks, and remind them not to remove a finger of the glove in order to feel the vein.
  • Hands should be washed after glove removal with soap and water; if not available, a hand sanitizer is acceptable until soap and water can be located.
  • Anyone working with chemicals must wear safety goggles. Tinted lenses are not recommended as they could obscure interpretations relating to color.
  • Goggles that fit over prescription glasses must meet the requirements of the accreditation agencies for eye protection. If employees want safety glasses made, they cost falls on them.
  • When wearing a respirator, employees with facial hair should shave the site of the respirators seal to provide proper protection.

We’ve also uploaded an easy to use PPE checklist that outlines use and storage, amount, and when to change or replace items.

And if you haven’t already, check out these video clips on glove safety and footwear fashion.

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