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Protective clothing and equipment for operating heavy machinery

Personal protective equipment and protective clothing can go a long way to prevent heavy machinery accidents. In most cases, the protective equipment and clothing will not be necessary, but when engineering controls fail or some kind of accident happens, protective clothing and protective equipment may be just what is needed to save the day.

Protective clothing and equipment include hard hats for protecting the head; hair nets and caps to prevent hair from getting caught up in machines; face shields and protective eyewear; and ear protection from loud noises. They also include jackets, coveralls, aprons, vests, gloves, safety shoes, safety boots and body suits.

Here are some general guidelines for effective protective equipment and clothing selection:

-- Ensure that protective equipment and clothing is appropriately matched to the hazards faced by the workers

-- Maintain the clothing and equipment in good condition

-- Store the equipment and clothing properly when it is not being used so that it does not suffer damage

-- Keep the clothing and equipment clean and functional

Workers should remember that protective equipment and clothing may sometimes cause an accident or injury to occur. For example, gloves could get trapped in machinery or a face mask could interfere with the vision of the wearer. Therefore, workers need to receive special training on both the benefits and the hazards of using these items.

In Stanislaus, California, it is not uncommon for workers who use heavy machinery suffer serious on-the-job injuries. Even in spite of using appropriate safety equipment and clothing, accidents sometimes occur. Fortunately, in these incidents, workers will often be able to qualify for workers' compensation benefits to pay for their injuries.

Source: Occupational Safety & Health Administration, "Chapter 1 - Basics of Machine Safeguarding," accessed Aug. 02, 2016

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