At work it’s always ‘safety first,’ but at home, no one is there to make sure you are being safe, taking precautions, and wearing your Personal Protective Equipment, or PPE. However, using PPE at home is important too. Accidents and injuries can occur around the home as easily as at a shop or jobsite, so it’s vital that we take the same precautions in protecting ourselves while working around the house as we do at work.
Using PPE at Home
Working around the house offers a number of ways to sustain injuries, just like at work. Whether we are using power tools, doing chores around the yard, or handling materials, there is PPE that should be used in order to minimize injuries and accidents. Make sure you always utilize the following PPE:
- Safety glasses. Our eyes are our most vulnerable parts, and even a small wood chip from a chain saw, pebble kicked up from a lawn mower, a stray piece of fiberglass insulation, or a piece of debris from cleaning gutters can cause agonizing pain and lasting damage to our eyes if they are not protected. It is important to use a strong pair of wraparound safety glasses, or goggles over prescription eye-wear, when doing any work around the house that may involve wood, dust, or debris. Prescription eyeglasses or regular sunglasses are not good enough because they do not protect our eyes from the sides.
- Gloves. The correct PPE options for our hands are worth their weight in gold when handling chemicals, sharp or rough materials, insulation, and potentially hazardous items (think cleaning up after the family dog or clearing poison ivy). Choose the correct gloves for the job, such as thick leather gloves for handling sharp or rough materials; rubber gloves rated for corrosive chemicals when handling solvents, paint strippers, and the like; and gloves with a protective grip when working with tools in the garden.
- Hearing PPE. It’s important to protect your hearing while at home, too. Once your hearing is damaged by sustained exposure to loud sounds, there is no way to bring it back. Power tools, chainsaws, and lawn and garden equipment all necessitate the use or earplugs or other protective ear-wear.
The reality is that while no one enjoys wearing PPE, it’s much better, and cheaper, to wear Personal Protective Equipment than lose an eye, cut yourself, burn yourself, or sustain any other injury that would necessitate a costly trip to the Emergency Room. We wear our PPE at work for good reason, and those reasons are just as good when you are working around your home.