Personal protective equipment (PPE) is a term that refers to any type of equipment that protects its user from healthcare or safety dangers while at work, including the risk of cross-infection.
Keeping the workplace safe entails giving instructions, policies, training, and supervision to make people work safely and responsibly. Including the use of PPE to safeguard themselves while working with those who may become ill.
Organizations should be evidence of when PPE is necessary and should never deviate from the rules. Such as telling a nurse that she doesn’t need to wear protective gear.
The procedure will only take a few seconds or telling a care assistant that he doesn’t need to get an apron because ‘the individual’s symptoms have subsided.
Reason for PPE
The primary purpose of personal protective equipment (PPE) in a hospital context is to safeguard healthcare professionals while performing specific duties. They may need to come into exposure to blood containing bacterial infections such as germs and viruses.
As a result, PPE functions as a barrier, reducing the possibility for infection to spread within a setting. Perhaps, protecting not only healthcare professionals but also anybody else in the setting, such as patients and visitors.
When there is a risk that they will come into contact with bodily fluids, regardless of how tiny that chance is, all healthcare professionals should put on PPE.
Performing a risk analysis for personal protective equipment (PPE)
Employers have a duty for identifying risks and preventing exposure to dangers as much as feasible. Including any hazards that may need the use of personal protective equipment (PPE), such as bodily fluids.
The Health and Safety Executive’s risk assessment approach frequently includes the three steps which are simple to follow and may prevent infection.
The following are the three steps important in this risk assessment:
1: Determine the risks
2: Determine the people in danger
3: Make a risk assessment and a preventive decision
Determine the risks
Any process in which a worker performs with someone with an infection (whether known or unknown) increases the employee’s chance of becoming infected.
The risk varies widely based on the action being performed. Some areas of a business have a minimal risk of infection, while others have a continuously high risk.
With this in view, you should evaluate all risks in any situation where the person may come into contact with blood or any other item that could cause cross-infection.
Determine the people in danger
Infection control legislation applies to all personnel who work for a company, as well as those who are self-employed within the company and those who operate on behalf of an institution.
Such as bank employees and those who are in-contract with other companies to perform services such as food and cleaning. Employees who are in direct contact with sick people are in danger of facing exposure to a variety of risks, including:
- Taking blood, securing a cannula, and administering a vaccination are examples of clinical actions.
- Cleaning, housekeeping, and ensuring that materials are sterile are examples of ancillary actions.
- Laboratories are common for this type of work.
- In a mortuary.
Make a risk assessment and a preventive decision.
It suggests that the most effective way to assess risk is to compare the present practice to what is thought to be good practice. Any dangers discovered as a result of such a comparison must be a source of evaluation.
Perhaps to see if they can be completely removed or if they can only be regulated to keep the risk of harm as low as feasible.
Types of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
The following are the most popular types of PPE for most employees in regular situations:
It is advisable to use gloves before performing any task that involves contact with bodily fluids. As soon as the work finishes, remove it.
Before aiding with any operation that requires direct contact with an individual, employees should confirm that they are not allergic to latex. Most gloves in healthcare are of this material, and the employer must provide an alternate material.
These avoid infection transfer through the floor. They are most typically useful in a clinical setting when staff is working with patients who are undergoing surgery or put in isolation.
Use aprons, like gloves, when performing any work that involves the potential for contact with bodily fluids. You should remove it as soon as the task completes and dispose of it properly by official guidelines.
Face shields, especially goggles
These are essential when working with someone who has an infection or whose face or vision may splatter with bodily fluids. Any type of surgical mask should completely cover the face and nostrils, preventing pathogens from entering or exiting the body.
Respirator masks provide a tight seal around the nose and mouth. They are essential in situations when the danger of infection is high and/or infection is/has the potential to be deadly.
Issues with Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
The use of PPE, like any other safety system, isn’t ideal. Perhaps, there are a variety of challenges that might arise with PPE and its proper application.
- It is sometimes asserted that most PPE is built to fit men and that as a result, several types of equipment do not fit women well.
- The type of PPE varies enormously depending on the task, and healthcare personnel must be confident in the PPE they select.
- The price of personal protective equipment (PPE) for public and private healthcare providers is usually determined by demand; the more PPE required, the higher the price charged by suppliers.
Personal protection equipment (PPE) for healthcare personnel is a legal requirement, according to the FDA. OSHA ensures that working men and women have safe and healthy working conditions.
Simply by establishing and enforcing standards, you can make sure that your staff has protective coveralls. This will help in mitigating the risk to their health. As well as providing training, awareness, education, and assistance to those who may expose to blood or other potentially infectious