South Carolina construction workers encounter on-the-job hazards every day, from fall risks to electrocution.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration explains that well-fitted personal protective equipment may safeguard workers against injuries resulting from common construction site risks.

PPE provides essential protection to construction workers

Construction workers may suffer injury from a number of workplace hazards, including physical, chemical, mechanical or electrical threats. Well-fitted PPE may help safeguard against these hazards. Safety gear may include shoes, gloves, eyewear, earplugs, hard hats, coveralls or even full body suits.

To maximize the effectiveness of protective gear, employers must train and educate workers so they know what kind of PPE to wear under the circumstances, when and how to wear it, how to care for it and how to remove and safely dispose of it.

PPE does not always fit properly

OSHA explains that ill-fitting PPE may expose workers to jobsite hazards. However, Industrial Safety and Hygiene News points out that OSHA regulations do not address the proper fit of PPE in the construction industry.

Equipment furnished by employers may not fit properly because employers may bulk-order one or two sizes, usually large or extra-large, without taking into account employees’ individual needs. This practice may particularly impact women, who comprise approximately nine percent of construction workers.

Manufacturers make different sizes of PPE, so employers have the option of providing gear that fits a greater number of workers. The International Safety Equipment Association is working with other professional groups to communicate the importance of well-fitted PPE and to promote the efficient and affordable distribution of this equipment in varied sizes.