When To Replace Your Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)


When To Replace Your Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

If you’ve been in this business for any number of years, you’ve seen first-hand the importance of wearing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). In many cases, it’s a matter of going home to the family, safe and sound but a little shaken up, or a trip to the hospital in an ambulance.  

PPE is a significant investment for any company and keeping it in good shape not only extends its life and saves money, but it also ensures it’s in safe working condition to protect your crew.  And while OSHA does a good job defining who is responsible for providing PPE, it’s a good idea to make it your job that ALL PPE is in good condition—even those brought in by your trades.

When to Replace PPE

Let’s run through a quick guide of typical safety items and note when it’s time to replace PPE.

Gloves: Rips and tears render gloves useless for working with electrical materials or chemicals. Inspect gloves every day and if they’re damaged, throw them away and replace them immediately.

Protective eyewear: After each shift, clean eyewear with soap and water. Replace them if deep scratches impair vision.

Lanyards and safety harnesses: Look for obvious damage such as nicks and tears. If the webbing is brittle from excessive sun damage or chemical spills, throw it away. Also, remove it from service if it’s missing hardware, straps, or stitching.

Helmets: Hard hats shouldn’t be worn longer than five years. Obvious cracks, dents, and holes create weak spots and signal it’s time to retire the hat. 

Make Safety a Fundamental Component of Your Success

If you don’t already have a safety program in place, start today. If the boss makes safety a priority, so will your employees. Start with a straightforward process for inspecting PPE so it’s in peak condition and ready for the next job.

Here are a few ideas for putting together a safety system:

Appoint an Inspector

Appoint one person to hand out PPE in the morning and collect it at the end of the day. When they pick it up, here’s what they should be looking for:

  • Discoloration or material degradation
  • Rips, tears, holes, cracks, or visible damage
  • Missing components such as fuel, filters, or other resources
  • Failing straps, locks, adapters, or security devices

Keep Track of the Details

Create a list of when PPE was put into service along with the manufacturer’s name and expiration date. Follow the manufacturers’ expiration dates: You may not see visual damage, but the materials may not be able to offer peak protection past their expiration date.

Carefully Inspect Older PPE

If you’re pulling items from storage that have not been used for some time, spend a few extra minutes carefully inspecting the items, checking to ensure there is no deterioration.

Don’t forget about stationary PPE

Equipment like machine guards, finger guards, foot switches, and safety switches also require routine evaluation and inspection.

Replace Your PPE at Crescent Electric

When it comes time to replace your PPE, Crescent Electric is here to help. Shop our selection of PPE online today, and register an account to track your order, get exclusive offers, and more!