Human Beings have been experiencing huge developments in the Industrial and Technological sectors since the Twentieth Century and now as we are in the Twenty First Century ,Technological revolution is being reflected in the problems of the modern age. Whatever the future may hold, the man is surrounded by the maze of power and machinery.
Mechanical, Electrical, Chemical ,Biological ,Nuclear and Allied hazards beset us on all sides. The symbols of mechanical power surround us ,belts and pulley’s, gears and wheels, explosives and chemicals, radiation, high speed, high pressure and power are the play things, the tools, the apparent necessities and conveniences of modern life.
Another significant phenomenon has been that during the past few decades industry has moved through a series of amazing discoveries. It found that Engineering could prevent accidents. It also found that workers could be reached through educational techniques and brought to a greater awareness of the problems and the method of combating the same. In this discovery of what is called the five E’ s of SAFETY , Engineering, Education, Enforcement, Enthusiasm and Evaluation. To ensure safe performance and constantly lower accident figures, two aspects have become important.
The works and plant must be engineered for safety. This implies that all new plants and processes should be examined closely from safety point of view before being put into operations and must be constantly observed to see that everything is done to minimise the possibility of employees being injured by such equipment. This calls for training in the safety as well as other technical skills.
The second aspect is that of educating the workers and emphasising the supervisors, their skill and vital role in prevention of accidents ,avoiding breakdowns and hampering of production which could be accomplished by simple instructions. As such, it is a long drawn out process requiring a steady and well organised campaign to ensure that every employee is trained in safety, the very day he starts work as well as in the other skills necessary for his particular job.
Accidents at the workplace can result in varying degrees of harm to people. Some of these injuries may be minor, others serious enough to cause handicaps or disability. Besides affecting employee productivity and morale, such incidents result in considerable pain and suffering to the victims and members of the family. There is thus a need for everyone in the workplace to have a basic knowledge of injury risks and personal protection practices.
PPE is a second line of defence for protection. The first line of defence is to eliminate accident causing situations at the workplace by effective Engineering measures. PPE does not, and cannot, eliminate hazards at work. As a barrier between the hazard and the worker, PPE can help prevent an injury or reduce its severity.
PPE should be resorted to only if absolute removal of the hazards in the work environment is not possible.
PPE relevant to the hazard should be selected and used.
PPE should conform to applicable national standard or code of practice and good Engineering practices.
The principal requirement of a PPE is to safeguard the worker from the identified hazard to which he is exposed and offer reasonable comfort to the wearer.