Face Shields Proper Usage03.07.2020
People are not perfect and sometimes make mistakes. We take shortcuts, forget methods to do things, or grow to be distracted at times when we shouldn’t. In most points of our lives, these aren’t things which have dire consequences. At work, however, surrounded by hazards, these types of mistakes can alter lives, even end them. So, despite the fact that human beings are usually not good, we have to make our safety programs as close to good as we can.
PPE Focus: Face Shields
Personal protective equipment (PPE) is a facet of safety where people tend to make many errors, and for a variety of reasons. Usually, we think that the mere wearing of PPE makes us resistant to injury. With as much emphasis as we place on eye protection and head protection, can we lose sight (no pun supposed) of protecting our faces? Certainly, eye protection is important, since eye injuries can lead to everlasting blindness. Equally necessary is head protection, stopping deadly head accidents the very best that we can. Face injuries might not seem as significant a priority. They don’t have the quick, everlasting, and doubtlessly fatal consequences of the others. With that said, although, an employer’s accountability is to protect all components of their staff, together with their faces.
That duty includes identifying tasks the place face shields must be used, providing face shields for employees to make use of, training them to make use of face shields accurately, and to appropriate workers when face shields are used incorrectly or not used at all. The primary parts are easy. Our employees will make mistakes. Correcting these mistakes and imposing your organization’s face shield requirements is an essential a part of an efficient PPE program. Unfortunately, too often, this facet of the PPE program will not be enforced until after an employee is injured.
Situations to Use Face Shields
Consider the following situations the place face shields should have been used, and the consequences for the injured workers and their employers.
An worker was filling ammonia nurse tanks from a bulk plant. The worker was distracted while closing the valves, and mistakenly turned the incorrect valve, inflicting a pressure launch in the line. The discharge 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 building project. The worker initially was working an excavator, then climbed down from the excavator to cut a ten-inch water pipe with a minimize-off saw. The saw kicked back and struck the employee’s face. Co-workers called emergency companies, who transported the employee to the hospital. The employee was admitted to the hospital and treated for facial lacerations that prolonged from underneath the left eye to underneath the jaw.
In the first situation, the worker suffered severe chemical burns. A face shield would have significantly reduced the chemical exposure, the extent of the chemical burns, and probably may have prevented any ammonia from splashing on the worker’s face. Yes, the employee turned the mistaken valve, but does that imply that the employer is absolved of all duty for this incident? In fact not. The very fact remains that the employer ought to provide workers filling ammonia nurse tanks with face shields, train staff to make use of the face shields accurately, and require them to make use of them when performing this task. Then they have to regularly and constantly enforce the face shield requirements. Doing so would have provided additional protection to the worker, even from the effects of the employee’s own actions.