Persons are not good and infrequently make mistakes. We take shortcuts, overlook how to do things, or become distracted at times when we shouldn’t. In most aspects of our lives, these are usually not things which have dire consequences. At work, nevertheless, surrounded by hazards, these types of errors can alter lives, even finish them. So, despite the fact that human beings are not good, we have 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 people tend to make many mistakes, and for quite a lot 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, do we lose sight (no pun supposed) of protecting our faces? Certainly, eye protection is vital, since eye injuries can lead to everlasting blindness. Equally vital is head protection, preventing fatal head injuries one of the best that we can. Face injuries might not seem as significant a priority. They do not have the quick, everlasting, and potentially deadly consequences of the others. With that said, though, an employer’s accountability is to protect all elements of their staff, together with their faces.
That duty consists of identifying tasks where face shields must be used, providing face shields for employees to use, training them to make use of face shields appropriately, and to right workers when face shields are used incorrectly or not used at all. The first elements are easy. Our employees will make mistakes. Correcting those errors and enforcing your organization’s face shield requirements is an essential part of an efficient PPE program. Unfortunately, too usually, this aspect of the PPE program shouldn’t be enforced till after an worker is injured.
Situations to Use Face Shields
Consider the next conditions where face shields should have been used, and the consequences 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 worker’s face. The employee was hospitalized for chemical burns on and around the face.
An worker was putting in a water pipe at a multifamily residential construction project. The employee initially was working an excavator, then climbed down from the excavator to chop a 10-inch water pipe with a minimize-off saw. The saw kicked back and struck the worker’s face. Co-workers called emergency companies, who transported the worker to the hospital. The employee was admitted to the hospital and treated for facial lacerations that extended from underneath the left eye to underneath the jaw.
Within the first situation, the worker suffered severe chemical burns. A face shield would have significantly reduced the chemical publicity, the extent of the chemical burns, and possibly may have prevented any ammonia from splashing on the employee’s face. Sure, the worker turned the mistaken valve, however does that mean that the employer is absolved of all duty for this incident? After all not. The actual fact remains that the employer ought to provide workers filling ammonia nurse tanks with face shields, train employees to make use of the face shields appropriately, and require them to use 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 employee, even from the effects of the employee’s own actions.