J. J. Keller® Compliance Network Logo
Start Customizing Your Profile for Free!
Update to Professional Trial!

Experience Everything Compliance Network Has to Offer

Already have an account?
Thank you for investing in EnvironmentalHazmat related content. Click 'UPGRADE' to continue.
Enjoy your limited-time access to the Compliance Network Professional Trial!
A confirmation welcome email has been sent to your email address from ComplianceNetwork@t.jjkellercompliancenetwork.com. Please check your spam/junk folder if you can't find it in your inbox.
Thank you for your interest in EnvironmentalHazmat related content.
You've reached your limit of free access, if you'd like more info, please contact us at 800-327-6868.

Personal protective equipment (PPE) is an employee’s last line of defense against hazardous chemicals in the workplace, but employees are often reluctant to appropriately protect themselves. Often employees don’t understand what hazards they’re working with or don’t understand that not all PPE is created with the same hazards in mind. For example, some gloves are great for keeping acids at bay, while that same hazard would cause another pair to disintegrate. So how do you get employees to wear the proper PPE?

The first step in empowering employees with valuable knowledge is helping them understand what makes a hazardous chemical dangerous. OSHA requires, as part of your Hazard Communication (HazCom) training, that employees are familiar with the chemicals they are using. Talk through the types of hazards the chemicals onsite and the short-term and long-term effects they can have if an employee is exposed. Use a hands-on activity such as finding the safety data sheet (SDS) and locating the hazards of each chemical.

The next step is ensuring that the employee understands what the PPE can and cannot protect against. PPE is not universal and needs to fit the employee and the hazard. For example, nitrile gloves protect well against fuels and greases but may disintegrate if they come into contact with an alcohol or acid. A hands-on activity to try is to have employees try to find what PPE is required in the SDS. Hint: Section 8 of the SDS outlines the exposure limits and PPE required. Then compare it to what the SDS says and what is available onsite. Does your PPE provide enough protection based on the requirements in the SDS?

Key to remember

By building employees' knowledge through hands-on activities, you can help ensure that employees have a thorough understanding of the hazardous chemicals they use. If they know what and when to wear the right PPE and the effects if they are exposed, they are much more likely to want to wear it and use the proper protection when it is required.