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What is Personal Protective Equipment and the different types of PPE explained
Dec 23, 2020

What is “PPE” and what does it stand for?

PPE stands for Personal Protective Equipment and this equipment would provide a level of safety and protection for users who are using them. PPE is required to be worn before being exposed to any industrial hazards. PPE should be always kept in good working condition as if the PPE is to fail the user, the user would be exposed to unwanted and potentially dangerous hazards. Training on PPE is necessary for employees to ensure they understand how to wear PPE properly as well as understand the limitations of PPE.

Different types of PPE are required for different hazardous locations and thus to ensure safety for employees, employers need to access the different work locations and ascertain the level/type of PPE required. Employees need to take PPE seriously as they might put themselves in unwanted danger and compromise themselves if they do not use the right PPE. Thus, employers need to strictly ensure that employees follow/use the right PPE and guidelines to minimize risk in hazardous work areas.

What are the different types of Personal Protective Equipment?

1) Head

Our head is a critical part of our human body and thus needs to be adequately protected. Hard protective helmets such as the white one in the photo above would provide basic protection for the user. The helmet on a basic level needs to be able to withstand penetration of a direct blow/shock to the head. These helmets are often lightweight and comfortable to wear for long periods of time and at the same time provide a decent level of protection to the user.

2) Face and Eye

Eye protection is needed when there is potential danger to the eyes such as from dust particles or chemicals that might get into one’s eyes. As an example of eye protection, a transparent pair of hard plastic glasses can be used and that would provide a good level of protection for one’s eyes in hazardous areas. The eye protection equipment also needs to be kept in good condition so as not to obstruct one’s view when using it.

3) Ear

When faced with situations where one might encounter very loud sounds that can be damaging to our ears, ear protection is required to be worn. Examples can be earplugs that can be worn before being exposed to any potential loud sounds. This is to prevent any irreversible hearing loss or damage to our eardrums.

4) Hand and Arm

Items such as gloves or long sleeve work coats can provide protection against hot objects or prevent one from getting electrocuted. Depending on the tasks and hazard being exposed to, adequate protection needs to be worn to protect our arms and hands.

5) Torso

Our torso covers a large area of the front chest and thus we need to protect it from any hazards such as cuts, impacts, heat, and hot liquids. We can wear protective clothing such as jackets and vests to provide some protection.

6) Foot and Leg

To protect our foot from injuries and to provide adequate grip to the floor, safety footwear is required. These footwears are specially designed to provide the necessary grip and protection in jobsites. Special features such as toe areas which are reinforced by steel and a robust thick shoe sole to provide protection against sharp objects or high heat areas. Wearing safety footwear is a basic PPE that must be adhered to whilst performing work in jobsites.


We hope you have a better understanding of what Personal Protective Equipment is, the different types of PPE and the importance of PPE after reading this article.

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