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PPE in construction
This topic will discuss personal protective equipment (PPE). Learners will learn about the responsibility contractors have in providing workers with PPE and giving them proper training so that injury is minimized. Also, learners will be introduced to different PPEs available for preventing different types of the hazards corresponding to different body parts.
topic is primarily on PPE which is nothing but personal protective equipment. And
when you talk about safety then PPE is interlinked with safety. So, you cannot proceed with
safety without mentioning on PPEs. Let us talk about PPEs and primarily most of you know
what are the different PPEs. But in today's class I will be talking about the different types of PPE
and the different for different hazards, what are the PPEs required and so on.
And I will be giving a lot of references from OSHA and IS code, and as far as PPE is concerned
there are so many IS codes available on specifications and etcetera. So, I have only brought few
but there are few more IS codes available in with IS. So, now let us move on with PPE.
(Refer Slide Time: 01:19)
So, these are some of the cartoon pictures which will tell you the usage or the purpose of PPE.
(Refer Slide Time: 01:22)So, what is PPE? So, PPE is to protect workers from injuries and accidents, and they are
designed to protect the specific organs of a human being, it can be eyes, it can be face, it can be
head, it can be ears, it can be legs, it can be hands or arms or the full body. And in 2007
Occupational Safety and Health Act they passed the rule that all PPE may be few exceptions here
and there should be provided to the workers at no cost.
The workers should not be charged for the usage or for the purpose of putting the PPE. And after
this law was passed almost 21,000 injuries were just minimized every year. And if you see cost
wise also, just an approximate idea I would give you cost of one helmet is just 500 but
compensation for a brain injury is something like around 50,000. So, better to go with PPEs, and
why to suffer on human sufferings and human loss or something.
So, PPE is the last thing to do when it comes to the scheme of hazard control. So, this week
when we are discussing about hazards you will also understand. So, hazard first step is to
eliminate a hazard and if elimination is not possible you can substitute. And if that is also not
possible you can think of engineering controls and administrative controls in order to protect
yourself and the environment. If nothing works out, then the last resort is to go with a PPE.
So, PPE will actually help you to escape from the injury in some ways or the other or at least will
minimize the impact even if the accident occurs. And even when you wear PPE do not think you are completely safe in a construction site. Because you should keep in your mind whatever
hazard is there, it still exists. You are only using a PPE to minimize the injury or an accident
And the protection also onto the worker depends upon the worker and what type of PPE is he
using, if you wear, if you have chosen a wrong PPE, then that is not going to protect you from
the particular hazard. And PPE sometimes may also interfere with performing the task and
productivity, maybe in a very hot summer, if a worker is wearing a complete overall PPE with
hard hats, helmets, legs, shoes and so on.
So, in spite of protecting the worker, it is going to be incomfortable or the productivity of the
worker is not expected, so that also should be kept in mind. And also the PPE require
supervision, especially for respiratory protection and so on. You should also monitor and inspect
whether the PPE will do your task. And the workers also should be trained how and how to use
the PPEs under what situations they should avoid even using a PPE.
And the other issue with PPE is it is an ongoing expense, forget about the initial purchase and
maintenance cost, storage and all these is primarily like a recurring expense for an employee to
continue with these projects. So, that is also some of the issues with the PPE and why PPE is not
taken up very seriously.
(Refer Slide Time: 04:57)But PPE can really help minimize the impact of an accident, just by wearing a PPE, keep sure
accidents may happen, that is no guarantee that accident will not happen. But even if the accident
happened instead of maybe an amputation of your hand or arm, you may at least go with some
cuts or scratches or maybe a fracture and you will escape from the severe impact, so that you can
really expect with the PPE.
Now what are the some guidelines for PPE? So, where all the required PPE for the job or the
activity and how do you choose the PPE, it is based on the hazards in the construction site. So,
suppose for example, you have to do some tasks for the day or for the entire week. Based on the
type of hazard, you have to assess the nature, the exposure limits and everything on the hazard
and accordingly you have to choose the right PPE for the work activity.
So, what PPE is necessary, whatever PPE is advised for the particular hazard, you have to use all
those PPE. And till the time you are on the job site, you should be using the PPE at all times.
Limitations of PPE, yes it does not mean that all PPEs are really good, so for example, safety
helmets, you should check for cracks, you should check for any damage or cracks or maybe little
cracks on the helmet, so all these are not safe helmets.
So, just because you are wearing the helmet, it does not mean you will be escaping from the head
injury. Enforce the PPE usage in the training, so when the workers undergo the training itself, you have to be adequately enforcing the usage on what PPE to be used and how the PPE should
be used by the workers. Last but not the least take care of the PPE and do not try to damage or
something because it is going to take either your life or somebody else’s life.
Learn to inspect the PPE, so during training, you should also be training the workers to how to
inspect, how to use, how to wear and so on. So, training on PPE itself is a very critical topic and
very challenging and how to properly store, so that it can be reused, so all these are to be taken
care of. Now, if you look at the PPEs there are so many places where the different types of PPE
are used, let us start from the top to bottom.
So, first is head protection safety helmets or hard hats, then you have eyes either you can go with
an eye protection or a complete face shield. And next is ear protection, then you have complete
full body protection, then there is hand protection, hand or arm protection and then foot and leg
protection. So, this is how the different PPEs are arranged and we will discuss what are all the
(Refer Slide Time: 08:00)
So, number one is head protection. So, what for you should wear a safety helmet or a hardhat?
To prevent heavy head injury from either from a falling object, maybe you are actually walking
beneath a scaffold or maybe some formwork and by mistake some materials can fall off from the scaffold or from the roof. Then you have to have a proper hardhat to prevent any head injury
from falling objects.
Flying objects that may protrude, so this is primarily when you are working on cutting or
welding tasks in any construction site. There may be a lot of hazards on flying objects, so there
you may have to use a proper hardhat. An accidental bumping of head on fixed objects, maybe
you are working on a very congested site. And accidentally you may hit on a beam or some
objects which are protruding in the site and to avoid any head injury you should definitely go for
The hardhats require a hard outer shell under shock absorbing lining and there are some certain
tests also you should do for assessing the quality of a safety helmet. One is it should absorb the
shock of a blow, so that any falling object falls on your head, your head is still safe and your
hardhat is protecting your head, penetration resistance, primarily for again falling or protruding
Flammability resistance, suppose if you are working near fire substances, flammability
substances, it should not be yielding to the burning it should be maybe slow to the burning
process. Electrical resistance, primarily for electrical workers, other one is water absorption it
should not be able to observe water completely and other last one is a heat resistance. Now there
are some ways of wearing the helmet, so helmet is not for fun sake, it is primarily for safety
issue. So, you should wear the safety helmet in a proper way as shown in this figure.
(Refer Slide Time: 10:06)Now what are the common issues or terminology with the safety helmet? There are so many
terminology with related to safety helmet and a lot of specifications are there with regard to the
design of a helmet itself. First one is shell which is primarily the dome shaped cover, and this can
be of any metallic component passing through the shell and it can provided with the brim and
there can be a peak or no peak options also.
So, what is a brim? The brim is actually the rim which is surrounding the shell, you have this
dome shape and there is primarily a circular surrounding place and that is primarily called as a
brim. So, in this picture if you see here there is a peak here, so this is primarily the peak. Now
next is chinstrap, so primarily that is to safeguard your helmet from any displacement or
movement of the helmet on your head.
This chinstrap it is an adjustable strap that fits under the chin to secure the helmet on your head.
The next is ventilation holes, there are certain holes given only for air circulation, and again there
is a lot of specifications has to how the holes should be in the helmets. The holes are provided in
the shell to permit circulation of air inside the helmet and the diameter of any hole shell not
exceed 6 mm nor the edges of adjacent holes closer than 15 mm.
So, the spacing between the holes and diameter of the holes are mentioned, and there can be
minimum number of 3 holes available on a helmet. And the minimum number of holes on each side shall be not less than 3 and the total area of holes shall not exceed 300 mm square. So, you
cannot have too many holes in the helmet, so rigidity of the helmet also will be lost, all the specs
are given in the IS code.
Harness the complete assembly by means of which the helmet is maintained in position on the
head which includes a headband, cradle and so on that is primarily called head harness.
Headband, it is a part of the harness which is surrounding the head it shall be secured to attach to
this helmet shell and the helmet shell. Now the mass of a complete helmet without attachments
may not exceed 400 grams.
Again the weight of the helmet also there is a specification given, and there are a lot of varieties
of tests to do on flammability resistance, shock absorption and heat resistance and so on, given
the IS code, so if you are interested you can go through that later on. The common head injury is
primarily called TBIs which is nothing but traumatic brain injuries. And apart from that the other
common injuries are concussions, hemorrhages or penetrating head wounds these are all the
different types of head injuries.
And when a survey was taken up, many of these workers did not wear a hardhat when these
accidents happen. And some of these workers were also have wearing a hardhat but did not wear
as per the specification for the hazard.
(Refer Slide Time: 13:22)So, there is some statistics given, again this is not a recent one little older statistics, almost 1 lakh
people are hospitalized from traumatic head injuries each year. And if you see many of these
injuries are primarily because they did not wear a hardhat when the time of injury happened. And
unsafe helmets, what are all considered as unsafe? Any cracking or tearing or fraying on the
helmet is all considered unsafe.
Which implies the shining surface of the helmet is lost, it implies it has lost it is full strength
capacity. The brim or the shell also should not be cracked or perforated or deformed then it
shows it is an unsafe. The brim or shell shows signs of exposure to heat, chemicals or UV light
and so on, so which can be seen by loss of surface gloss. So, the shining surface will be little lost
or chalking or flaking.
Somewhere you will see a lot of white space coming onto the helmet which implies it is not safe
to use. And chinstraps must be provided for the helmets, if it is not provided then it is not a safe
helmet to be used. According to OSHA there are 3 types of helmets, one is class G, other one is
class E, and a third one is class C. Class G is for general service which implies for any bumps
onto the structure or any obstacles or any protrusion in a particular site.
It can provide good impact protection, that is primarily class G. Class E helmets are generally for
electrical work, protect against falling objects and also against shocks and burns. Class C is designed for comfort, so which protects workers from bumping and also limited protection
against falling objects and electric shocks.
(Refer Slide Time: 15:21)
The next is eye protection. So, the causes of eye injury, what all can create damage or what are
all hazards to an eyes? Dust or any flying particles such as metal shavings are wool fibres,
molten metal which can splash especially when you are doing welding you maybe actually
burning a metal and this molten metal can splash acids and other caustic liquid chemicals which
can again splash.
An intense light created by you were rebuilding arcs and lasers can be really dangerous to the
eyes. So, eye protection, the choice of eye protectors must not be restricting your eye movement
or the vision of the eye. At the same time the protectors should be durable, should be easy to
clean, you should not interfere with other functions. And also protective eyewear must be
provided to employees who already have an lens for corrective measures to the eye.
So, if you see here again there are so many eye injuries which are reported in construction than
any other industry. Especially most of these injuries have happened because of welding and other
related operations, welding and laser operations. So, almost 10,000 eye injuries are reported each
year, that is not one of the statistics says. And if you see here of those who were injured 20% of them were wearing their safety glasses and 80% of them did not even have a proper eye protector
So, compensation paid to an eye injuries almost 80 times more than the cost of a pair of safety
glasses. So, better go for an eye protector rather than paying on a compensation for eye injuries.
(Refer Slide Time: 17:13)
So, what are the different eye protectors? Let us go with the terminology, so what is an eye
protector called? It is any form of equipment which includes a lens and worn in front of the eyes
to provide protection to the eyes. And what is an ocular? It is a lens, it is that part of an eye
protector through which an operator can see, that is primarily called us an ocular. And there are
different types of eye protection are goggles, safety spectacles.
Then you have face shields and the hoods and other varieties are there, primarily shields it comes
under shields. Goggles, again goggles they are so many varieties of goggles, so what is a goggle?
It is an eye protector which protects the eyes, eye sockets, the facial area also which is
immediately close to the eyes. And protects the eyes from any impact dust, splashes and is
helding position into the eyes with the help of a headband.
This is primarily what is called goggles, this picture will show you what is a goggle. Now next is
coveralls goggles, so this is primarily over and above your normal glasses you can wear this goggles. This is primarily called cover all goggles, it is designed to fit over vision correcting
spectacles. Next is dustproof spectacles, so these goggles are designed to restrict the ingress of
dust into the any orbital areas of the eye.
And this generally comes with the side shields and also it comes with top shield, so that the eyes
are completely enclosed without any dust entering in the eyes. The next is eye cup goggles and
as the name implies, just on it looks like a cup and there are 2 eye protectors which is the figure
is shown here. An eye protector consisting of 2 lenses mounted on 2 separate cups, and you have
an adjustable nostrils, flexible nose bridge and it also has a headband.
This again there are a lot of varieties are here also. The next one is gas tight goggles, they are
designed to prevent ingress of harmful gases and fumes and entering into the eyes. So, these are
all the different varieties of goggles available for workers to use. The next one is safety
spectacles, so eye protector along with the oculus which is mounted in a special type frame, it
comes with or without side shields.
So, these safety spectacles can come without the brim and the side shield, it can come in any
forms. Next is filter, sometimes you also have a filter and through which you can see the objects
properly and the filter can come in so many varieties. An ocular designed to reduce intensity of
the incident harmful radiations by absorbing only few of the radiations and then reflecting many
That is primarily called filter, it can be in plastics, it can be in solid glass, it can be in laminated
construction or other suitable material. And filter cover, so whenever you are using your filter
there should be a filter cover. This is a transparent cover used to protect the filters against
abrasion and weld splatters. So, generally these are used while welding and laser cutting
(Refer Slide Time: 20:47)Primarily when you are using steel construction PPE is used for welding and laser cutting
operations. Next we are going to little see on shields, shields again one is eye shield other one is
face shield. Eye shield, a transparent visor supported in front of the face to shield the eyes. The
face shield, it is a device including a transparent visor supported in front of the face which can
shield the eyes, face, forehead, friend of the neck and so on.
So, this picture is primarily the face shield with the COVID situation I think many of you will
know what is the face shield all about. And the face shield extends from the brow to below the
chin across the entire width of the employees head and it is polarized for lab protection
sometimes you can also have different varieties there. It generally protects against corrosive
chemicals, splashes and so on.
And it is used while grinding, chipping, cleaning wells or around flying particles to safeguard
your face. Then next is laser safety goggles, it provides a range of protection against intense
concentrations. So, you can either have a variation through wavelength or it can be variation
through lenses accordingly you can safeguard the welding and also the laser once. The next is
safety clip on, so this is primarily a safety clip on, you only have a lens which can be fixed over
your regular spectacles and which can protect your eyes.The last one is hood, hood and all are used while you are using welding, primarily in steel
construction. It is a device used to cover completely head, neck, face and so on, and leaving a
small lens for your eyes otherwise it covers your whole upper portion of your face and body, and
all these we will discuss while we are doing on welding.
(Refer Slide Time: 22:46)
Otherwise we have welding helmets, welding hoods and so on, welding sheaves and lot of
varieties are there. So, what about this eye protection? So, what are the different hazards and
what PPE is recommended and as given in IS codes. So, impact, for any impact hazard sources
can be chipping or grinding of metal, stone dressing, turning off cast iron and so on. So, PPE
recommended is safety spectacles with side shields or you can go for a cup type goggles or
complete face shield is also fine.
When in there is a dust hazard, sources are from sealing or grinding handling of cement clay
etcetera. Primarily when you are working on concreting activity with the usage of cement, it can
be cement, paste cement mortar concreting you will have dust. You can go for dust goggles or
you can have a complete face shield also. Splashes from metals, pouring of lead joints, die
casting, dipping in hot metals, foundry work and so on.
Again you can either go for cup type goggles or you can go for face shields. Splashes from
liquids, so handling of acids, alkalis and other similar chemicals you can go for a complete face shield. Reflected light and glare, primarily while testing of lamps or sheet metal, lathe work and
so on, either you can go for safety spectacles with side shields or you can go for cup type
Radiant energy, primarily when you are working on oxy acetylene welding, cutting, furnace
works, electric arc welding, primarily the types of welding, you can either go for welding hoods
or welding sheets or you can also go for cup type goggles, face shields or face safety spectacles
with side shields.
(Refer Slide Time: 24:41)
So, we have talked about eyes, and we have also talked about face shields, let us talk more about
face protection. So, there are so many types of face protection, face shields without a crown
protector which implies it only covers eyes and the portion below. So, this is primarily a face
shield without a crown protector. Face shields with the crown protector wherein it covers your
forehead as well and then a front part to cover your face.
The next is face shields with the provision to attachment to your safety helmet, there also you
have 2 varieties, one is to your full brim helmet and other one is your brimless helmet. So, you
can primarily attach to a complete helmet. So, it actually covers your head and face completely,
it protects your head and face completely.
(Refer Slide Time: 25:34)The next is hand and arm protection. If you look at many of the organs hands are an obvious tool
while working, most of the workers use hands, without hands they may not be able to do any
work in the construction site. And if you see on the other extreme gloves are very small item and
which is often neglected in any construction site when it comes to safety because workers try to
handle something with the bare hands.
So, gloves are least often preferred in the construction site and hands are the essential tools when
it comes to working in a construction site. The workers feel they lose their grip when they are
wearing the proper gloves. And the research shows 20% of construction related injuries are
attributed to the hands and gloves are necessary under certain situations. Number one, when you
are exposed to extreme temperature or when there are chemicals or gases are present.
When there are flying particles, when you are working with electricity, there is a potential to cut
either your hand or your arm. And you are working in a wet environment better to choose a pair
of gloves. And types of hand injuries which were reported so far can range from a single simple
cut to the loss of a complete hand. And also remember to choose the right gloves for you because
there are so many types of gloves available, and for so many hazards which are existing there.
(Refer Slide Time: 27:04)Now let us talk about fabrics with which the gloves are made. One is metal mesh, leather or
canvas gloves, second one is fabric coated gloves, the third one is chemical and liquid resistant
gloves and also we have something called a synthetic gloves. So, these are the different varieties
of gloves and the picture shows you the different varieties. Now first one let us talk about is
metal mesh leather or canvas glows, it is a sturdy provides protection against cuts, burns and
And this leather can protect against sparks, moderate heat, blows chips or rubber objects. And
there are other types of metal mesh gloves primarily called aluminized to gloves or aramid fiber
gloves. So, these aluminized gloves are used for welding, furnace and foundry work, aramid
fiber gloves are primarily used and when you are working for synthetic materials and protect
against heat and cold.
The next is fabric and fabric coated gloves, primarily protection against dirt, dust abrasions. And
the cotton fabric coated gloves with plastic and provide protection against the slip resistance. The
next is chemical and liquid resistance, so this material is primarily of rubber plastic or synthetic
rubber like material. It protects workers against burns, irritation and dermatitis, and there are
special varieties of rubber gloves which will also protect against acids.
(Refer Slide Time: 28:49)So, these are the different types available.
(Refer Slide Time: 28:53)
What are the different types of hand protection? It starts from just a single finger protection to
the complete hand protection, there are a lot of varieties available. And there are lot of
terminology also available as seen in the IS code. So, first gloves, I think most of you know what
is a gloves, it is a covering for the hand having separate fingers and thumb and the cuff length is
not more than 63.5 mm.
So, this is primarily called cuff length and this cuff length is not more than 63.5 mm. Then what
is a cuff, it is an extension of a glove which covers the wrist or the arm. And the next one is full arm gauntlets, so primarily it covers your full arms, you would have seen people wearing when
they drive, 2 wheelers, that is primarily called full arm gauntlets which is like this.
This is a covering for the hand having separate fingers and thumb separately, and with the cuff
greater than 300 mm but not exceeding 400 mm. So, between 300 mm to 400 you have a longer
cuff and that is primarily called full arm gauntlets. Next is gun pattern, it is a pattern of
forefinger and thumb design, having the face of the thumb the palm and the first and the last
finger made of one piece of material and you have an other piece of material on the back.
So, you have so many designs coming in. So, this picture is primarily a gun pattern one. The next
is hand guards, so this is a piece of protective material of various designs used to protect the
hand, it can be worn over and above your gloves or your cuffs. The next is mill; it is a covering
for the hand leaving separate for the thumb and one common covering for all your 4 fingers. So,
it has only 2 partitions one for the thumb and one for all the 4 fingers.
Clute patterns, so clute pattern is something like these gloves of 4 fingers and thumb design
having one picc palm including the front of all 4 fingers and the back of one index finger also, so
it is like continuous trips like that. Then Montpelier pattern, so this pattern shall be of 4 fingers
and thumb design having the front and all 4 fingers are one piece. Back of the gloves and the
gauntlet of all the back fingers are of one piece, that is how it is.
One finger mitt, covers the one particular finger which is supposed to be which you think is
hazardous, which is something like this. So, you can actually use just a covering for just for one
finger alone, that is primarily called one finger mitt.
(Refer Slide Time: 31:43)The next one is foot and leg protection. So, when you should go for foot and leg protection? So,
heavy objects such as barrels or tools that might roll on or fall into an workers feet. Sharp objects
such as nails or spikes which might pierce and penetrate into your legs, molten metal, that might
accidentally splash on your feet or legs especially when you are working on hot or wet surfaces
or maybe on slippery surfaces, you should go for a proper leg protection.
Again the leg protection is of so many types. Number one is leggings, leggings then you have
metatarsal guards, toe guards, combination of foot and shin guards, sturdy safety shoes and an
electrically conductive safety shoes.
(Refer Slide Time: 32:35)So, the pictures are like this, a leggings it protects the lower legs and the feet from the heat hazards such as molten metal or welding sparks. Metatarsal guards can primarily protect you from any impact and compression. So, it primarily protects the middle portion of your legs. Next is toe guards, it only helps to protect your toes, impact from any compression or any hazard primarily onto the toes it only supports.