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Employee Safety: 4 Considerations To Choose The Right PPE

Employee Safety: 4 Considerations To Choose The Right PPE

Feb 19 2024 at 12:53

Personal protective equipment (PPE) has established itself as the first line of defence that keeps people safe on the job across various industries. The type of PPE that best suits an organisation’s employees depends on various factors, and there is never a one-size-fits-all approach to protect everyone.

Getting the right PPE for the job is crucial to avoid issues with their usage, such as deterring employees from using them whenever possible due to poor fit or heightened risk of heat stroke and dehydration. If you notice your workforce not using their PPE for similar reasons, here are four suggestions to make better choices with your PPE procurement.


1. Threat level and workplace hazards

Danger levels vary from job to job, and the risk employees will face should naturally influence the type and amount of PPE they need to wear. For instance, electricians in the construction industry regularly face the risk of being shocked while on the job. Hence, they will need either Class A or Class B PPE attire and hard hats to protect against mild shocks and stronger shocks, respectively.

Besides the hazards inherent to an employee’s particular role, there are also potential dangers they may encounter in the workplace, such as dangerous chemicals, radioactive materials, or pinch-point hazards from heavy machinery. Therefore, consider these as well when evaluating the protective capabilities of your safety equipment.


2. Comfort, fit, and functionality

Comfort, fit, and functionality – these three aspects of PPE are widely regarded as tightly intertwined and can significantly affect user experience. Out of the three, fit is the most important of all, as it often affects the other two. A good-fitting helmet would be comfortable to wear all day and not prompt the wearer to take it off while still on the job, and it can perform as expected when impacted by something and provide a greater level of protection instead of flying off.

To avoid the issues that result from ill-fitting PPE, organisations can make certain design choices, such as flexible materials that allow for a custom fit. For instance, choosing equipment with adjustable straps allows employees to alter them to be as comfortably snug as possible and to suit their required range of movement.


3. Climate

Organisations must keep in mind that climate-related issues often make wearing PPE a hindrance for employees and thus cause them to forgo using them. These occurrences are mainly prevalent in working environments with high temperatures or humidity, and workers who get exposed to the heat of day for hours, like those who perform formwork, are most likely to commit this violation. This goes back to the comfort aspect, so it is best to consider seeking feedback from employees working on the field regarding the pain points of using PPE throughout the workday and make improvements from there.


4. Visibility

Visibility is paramount in many work environments, and employees must be easy to pick out while wearing their PPE. Being unable to spot one’s coworkers coming and going has led to production issues at best and accidents at worst time and time again. One example where visibility is of high priority is at an airport during night operations. In particular, airport staff working on the tarmac must wear PPE with reflective tape to improve their visibility and reduce the risk of injuries while on the job.



Providing the most suitable PPE for your employees gives them much peace of mind and reduces their risk of injury. Paying close attention to the key factors above, as well as considering all the regulations in place and keeping an open mind regarding the various options available, shall greatly assist organisations in choosing the best safety equipment for their teams.

That said, wearing PPE is only as effective if it is paired with proper training and education. Wong Fong Academy can supplement your workforce with the latter as we host an array of current and relevant safety courses ranging from Apply Workplace Safety and Health in Construction Sites (CSOC) to rigger & signalman courses in Singapore. Don’t hesitate to contact us today to learn more about our course offerings and other learning divisions, such as emergency & rescue, food safety courses, and much more.