Understanding the Potential Limitations Caused by PPE

Understanding the Potential Limitations Caused by PPE

Personal protective equipment (PPE) is the best defense to minimize exposure to hazards that can cause serious injuries and illnesses. PPE is an invaluable tool for anyone who works in or comes into contact with areas that are potentially contaminated.

While it is the best method of protection, the effectiveness relies on the user knowing what equipment is appropriate to wear and the best way to effectively clean/disinfect/navigate the contaminated space. Although it can be an extremely reliable resource for protection, there are some limitations to be aware of.

Potential disadvantages of PPE

According to Chem Scape, there are some key disadvantages of PPE that need to be considered. These include:

  • PPE does not eliminate the health or physical hazards of any chemical.
  • PPE can provide a false sense of security.
  • If the risk changes for the job task, the PPE may not match the new hazards. 
  • PPE can restrict comfort and movement, causing fatigue and reducing productivity.
  • PPE can restrict breathing, vision, and communication.
  • PPE can create psychological stress for the worker including symptoms of claustrophobia and panic attacks.

NIH goes even further to define some other difficulties encountered by users of PPE kits. These include excessive sweating, fogging of goggles, spectacles, or face shields, suffocation, breathlessness, fatigue, and headache due to prolonged use.

Good ways to combat these disadvantages

While the drawbacks of PPE can be dangerous and scary, there are a few things you can do to ensure you are using the equipment as effectively as possible. One good rule of thumb is to ensure the PPE is fitted to you specifically and is not shared. PPE should also be removed after leaving a contaminated space and should not be worn home. The contamination can follow you if not removed properly and you may expose yourself and others around you unknowingly if you’re not careful. Finally, your PPE must be in good working condition in order to protect you. If you discover your PPE is defective, torn, or not in good working condition upon inspection, you should discard and replace the equipment.

Look to the experts to determine the proper PPE to use

While the potential limitations caused by PPE can be scary, awareness and education can help combat some of these disadvantages. OSHA requires that PPE be provided to prevent blood or other potentially infectious materials from contacting employees’ work or street clothes, undergarments, skin, eyes, mouth, or other mucous membranes in cases of occupational exposure. Consequently, comprehensive training is available for individuals who may require PPE to perform their duties safely and effectively. Different examples of PPE include disposable gloves, respiratory gear, face masks, biohazard suits, aprons, and shoe coverings.

Biohazard cleaners undergo specialized training to expertly handle sensitive situations

Cleaning a space that has been contaminated can involve more than simply removing the biohazards it can also entail dealing with trauma and difficult emotions. Biohazard cleaners recognize the gravity of such situations, and their teams are trained to handle sensitive matters, providing expertise to support you and your family during challenging times.

Professional biohazard cleanup in Louisiana

Biohazard cleaning does not simply require the sanitation of a space, but it’s a comprehensive approach to ensuring an environment is cleaned and returned to safety. At Xtreme Cleaners, we take training seriously and everyone on our team is equipped with the knowledge, tools, equipment, and resources to handle every job professionally.

If you or someone you know needs help decontaminating a space in Louisiana, call our team at Xtreme Cleaners at 800-524-9591, and our experts will do whatever it takes to help. Available 24/7, we are ready to address any questions or concerns you may have. Together, we can take the first steps toward healing and recovery after such a traumatic event.