Persons are not excellent and sometimes make mistakes. We take shortcuts, neglect find out how to do things, or turn out to be distracted at instances when we shouldn’t. In most facets of our lives, these aren't things that have dire consequences. At work, nevertheless, surrounded by hazards, these types of mistakes can alter lives, even finish them. So, even though human beings aren't perfect, we need to make our safety programs as near perfect as we can.
PPE Focus: Face Shields
Personal protective equipment (PPE) is a facet of safety the place individuals tend to make many mistakes, and for a variety of reasons. Often, we think that the mere wearing of PPE makes us immune to injury. With as a lot emphasis as we place on eye protection and head protection, will we lose sight (no pun intended) of protecting our faces? Actually, eye protection is important, since eye injuries can lead to everlasting blindness. Equally vital is head protection, stopping deadly head injuries one of the best that we can. Face injuries might not seem as significant a priority. They do not have the rapid, permanent, and potentially deadly consequences of the others. With that said, although, an employer’s duty is to protect all components of their employees, including their faces.
That duty contains figuring out tasks where face shields ought to be used, providing face shields for employees to make use of, training them to use face shields appropriately, and to appropriate staff when face shields are used incorrectly or not used at all. The first components are easy. Our workers will make mistakes. Correcting these errors and enforcing your company’s face shield necessities is an essential part of an effective PPE program. Sadly, too typically, this side of the PPE program just isn't enforced till after an employee is injured.
Situations to Use Face Shields
Consider the next situations the place face shields should have been used, and the implications for the injured workers and their employers.
An employee was filling ammonia nurse tanks from a bulk plant. The worker was distracted while closing the valves, and mistakenly turned the wrong valve, causing a pressure release in the line. The release of anhydrous ammonia splashed on the employee’s face. The employee was hospitalized for chemical burns on and across the face.
An employee was putting in a water pipe at a multifamily residential construction project. The worker initially was working an excavator, then climbed down from the excavator to chop a ten-inch water pipe with a minimize-off saw. The saw kicked back and struck the employee’s face. Co-workers called emergency services, who transported the employee to the hospital. The worker was admitted to the hospital and treated for facial lacerations that extended from underneath the left eye to underneath the jaw.
In the first situation, the employee suffered critical chemical burns. A face shield would have significantly reduced the chemical exposure, the extent of the chemical burns, and probably might have prevented any ammonia from splashing on the employee’s face. Sure, the worker turned the fallacious valve, but does that mean that the employer is absolved of all accountability for this incident? In fact not. The very fact remains that the employer should provide staff filling ammonia nurse tanks with face shields, train staff to use the face shields accurately, and require them to make use of them when performing this task. Then they need to continually and constantly implement the face shield requirements. Doing so would have provided additional protection to the worker, even from the effects of the employee’s own actions.