Personal Protective Equipment at Home

Personal Protective Equipment at Home

January 17, 2024

You might wear personal protective equipment (PPE) at work because you are exposed to certain hazards while performing your assigned tasks. The type of PPE you use is based on a risk assessment that identifies the hazards and exposures.

But hazards requiring PPE aren’t limited to your work environment. When you’re at home, you might not think about being exposed to the same hazards you encounter at work. You probably don’t conduct a risk assessment every time you are preparing to do a chore or home improvement project. And you probably aren’t concerned about being in compliance. But choosing not to wear PPE, whether you’re at work or at home, is putting you at risk for an injury or illness.

Here are some common home hazards and PPE to consider.

Cleaning solutions and solvents

Indoors, the most common hazards requiring PPE are cleaning solutions and solvents. When using bleach, wear gloves to protect your hands. Do not mix bleach and ammonia. This creates a chemical reaction that can choke you and damage your lungs.

Noise from yard tools

A snowblower can create up to 90 decibels of noise. Mowing your lawn with a gas mower can create up to 98 decibels. A weed trimmer can create over 100 decibels. Wear hearing protection to prevent hearing loss.

Fertilizers and pesticides

Fertilizing your yard or spreading pesticides can expose your skin, eyes and hands to chemicals designed to kill things. Use safety glasses or goggles, depending on whether you’re using pellets, fine powder or a spray or mist. Also wear protective gloves, pants and long sleeves.

Improper footwear

If you live in a warm climate, you may often wear flip-flops. But for outside work, wear hard-top shoes or boots to protect your feet from exposure and puncture wounds. Keep a change of footwear close to your front door. You don’t want to wear contaminated shoes in your house, where they can spread dangerous substances on carpets and flooring.

PPE is not just for when you are at work. Hazards exist everywhere, including your home. Protect yourself when performing tasks around the house.