OHS Code Explanation Guide

Published Date: July 01, 2009
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Part 18 Personal Protective Equipment

Section 242 Limb and body protection

Hand and arm protection

Examples of injuries to arms and hands include burns, cuts, electrical shock, amputation and absorption of chemicals. There is a wide assortment of gloves, sleeves, and wristlets for protection against various hazards.

Employers need to determine the type and style of hand protection their workers need. Work activities should be studied to determine how much finger dexterity is needed to safely do the work, the duration, frequency, and degree of exposure to hazards, and the physical stresses that will be applied. The protection selected must be appropriate to the type of hazard.

Workers must be trained to understand the limitations of the protective equipment they are using. Figure 18.9 shows examples of protective gloves and other hand wear.

Figure 18.9 Examples of protective gloves and other hand wear

Torso protection

Exposure to heat, splashes from hot metal and liquids, impacts, cuts, acids, and radiation can injure the torso. A variety of protective clothing is available such as vests, jackets, aprons, coveralls and full body suits.

Heat-resistant materials such as leather are often used in protective clothing to guard against dry heat and flame. Rubber and rubberized fabrics, neoprene and plastic offer protection against some acids and chemicals. The manufacturer’s specifications and selection guides should be consulted for information about the effectiveness of specific materials against specific chemicals.

Disposable suits of plastic-like or other similar synthetic materials are particularly important for protection from dusty materials or materials that can splash. If the substance is extremely toxic, a completely enclosed chemical suit may be necessary. The clothing should be inspected to ensure proper fit and function for continued protection. Figure 18.10 includes examples of torso protection.

Foot and leg protection

To protect the feet and legs from falling or rolling objects, sharp objects, molten metal, hot surfaces, and wet slippery surfaces, workers must use protective footwear meeting the requirements of section 233. Appropriate footguards, boots, leggings and chaps protect the legs and feet from molten metal or welding sparks.

Aluminum alloy, fibreglass, or galvanized steel footguards can be worn over work shoes, although they may catch on objects and cause workers to trip. Heat-resistant soled shoes protect against hot surfaces like those found in the roofing, paving, and hot metal industries. See Figure 18.10 for examples of foot and leg protection.

Figure 18.10 Examples of torso and foot and leg protection