What are the different types of personal protective equipment?
Personal protective equipment (PPE) is essential to protect workers from the risks associated with their work. In this article, we explore the different types of PPE.
Types of PPE are generally classified in two ways:
- PPE categories in relation to the severity of the risk and the complexity of manufacture.
- PPE types by the area of the body they protect.
What is personal protective equipment?
The European regulation 2016/425 governs and defines the requirements for this personal protective equipment (the only difference in Italy is the legislative decree of 17/2019).
Among all PPE, we find, among others, the so-called “FFP” respiratory protection masks (FFP1, FFP2, FFP3), as well as protective glasses, protective visors, certain types of gloves, certain types of gowns or even protective suits,…
PPE protects against falls, chemicals, shocks, extreme temperatures, virus transmission, etc.
Do not hesitate to consult our blog article to better understand what personal protective equipment (PPE) is.
What are the three types of PPE?
In this section we will look at the 3 types of personal protective equipment and their characteristics. The severity of the risks and the certification procedure vary according to the type of equipment.
Category I PPE is used for minor risks and is simple to manufacture. They do not require certification, they can be self-certified by the user.
List of equipment: gardening gloves, sunglasses,…
List of equipment: safety helmets, goggles, anti-cutting gloves, breathing masks, earplugs,…
Category III PPE is used for fatal or irreversible risks. Their design is complex. They must be CE certified and quality control of production is required.
List of equipment: chemical protection suits, fall protection harnesses, respiratory protection equipment, life jackets, etc.
Different types of PPE and their uses
To avoid injuries, there are different types of PPE that will protect specific parts of the body. Let’s find out about the different types of personal protective equipment available for hands, eyes, respiratory tract, ears,…
The hard hat protects against impacts. It is one of the most common PPE items for head protection. It is used in many sectors, such as construction.
In the medical sector, surgical caps can be found, which prevent contamination of the working environment and thus limit cross-contamination. They protect against chemicals, body fluids and other substances.
In the same way, the food industry uses hairnets.
Goggles and faceshields are personal protective equipment (PPE) that protect workers’ eyes from splashes, airborne particles, radiation, splashes, etc.
We offer transparent anti-fog faceshields that protect your face and eyes against splashes and possible droplets. Each visor is equipped with 10 replaceable protective plastic sheets, which extends the life of the product.
Respiratory masks protect against particles, dust, toxic gases,… They offer protection against all hazardous substances in the air.
These masks are intended to protect health care workers from airborne infections. They are designed to protect the wearer from solid and liquid non-volatile particles. These include FFP2 and FFP3 masks.
Gloves protect against cuts, burns, harmful products, etc. They can be found in different materials, each with their own characteristics. Let’s take a look at some of these materials:
- Synmax vinyl: This revolutionary new formulation is based on a vinyl-hybrid base that uses latex-like properties, offering increased tactile sensitivity. These tough, elastic, non-sterile gloves offer effective protection in a wide range of applications.
- Vinyl PVC: For safe and comfortable working, choose our Premium Vinyl PVC gloves. Non-sterile and powder-free, they have excellent tactile sensitivity. These extra tough gloves offer reliable protection. Made from 100% synthetic materials, they are an excellent alternative for people with Type I allergies.
- Nitrile: These nitrile gloves have been upgraded with a new formula that makes them even softer and more comfortable, while offering similar elasticity, tactile sensitivity and performance to latex gloves. Popular in the health and food sectors, these gloves offer reliable and comfortable protection.
Safety shoes protect against shocks, slips, punctures, chemicals, etc. Thus, some shoes will have anti-slip soles. Others are designed to resist the penetration of dangerous objects.
In the medical sector, shoescovers are regularly used to prevent cross-contamination and the spread of harmful substances.
Coveralls and gowns can protect against chemicals, dangerous particles, bacteria, flames,… It is a physical barrier between the wearer and the environment.
Among these protections, we can find :
- The PP/PE 42GR protective gown: This protective gown is specially designed for medical personnel and offers a very high level of protection (type PB6B) against the penetration of liquids, aerosols and contaminated solid particles, but also against infectious agents. In addition to its effectiveness, it has been designed to be comfortable to wear to allow professionals to work in the best conditions.
- Coverall type 4: This disposable suit provides effective protection, acting as a barrier against most particles and liquids during patient contact: blood, body fluids, secretions and airborne particles.
Earplugs or ear muffs protect against high noise levels.
Safety harnesses protect against the risk of falling. On construction sites, a fall can be a serious and fatal accident. It is important that workers are well trained in the use of this equipment.
By now you are familiar with all types of PPE and understand that it is crucial to provide personal protective equipment that is adapted to the employees’ working environment. The aim is to avoid accidents at work and occupational diseases. The employer must ensure the health and safety of its employees and provide a safe working environment.