For any accident prevention work, engineering control is the best control, and aid of personal protective equipment (PPE) should be the last resort or a supplementary control.

Nevertheless, the importance of personal protective equipment (PPE in short) is not less, its scope and utility have been tremendously increased during the last few years and wide varieties of such equipment are available in the market.

This requires a proper selection of quality and utility for a specific purpose. The problem is not of the availability but is of its use by workers on the shop floors.

Particularly in a country ours where the majority of workers are illiterate, not safety conscious, and not trained to wear such equipment the problem becomes more acute mostly in small and medium-scale factories.

The statistics of accidents exclusively due to non-use, misuse or defects of PPE is not available as there is no such distinct accident classification. 33% of total accidents could have been prevented by the effective use of PPE.


The conclusion is that @30 to 40% of total accidents can be prevented or controlled by the proper use of personal protective equipment. This figure is not small and highlights the need for PPE.

The PPE provides good defense against hazards of toxic exposure, oxygen deficiency, dusting, chemical splashes, steam, water and liquids, flying particles, hot substances, radiation, sharp edges, welding, cutting, grinding, striking against and stepping over objects, glare, personal falls and injury due to falling bodies, noise, scarp cleaning, material handling, the opening of pipelines or any hazardous work, electric shocks, burn and firefighting.

Many fatal accidents are caused due to these reasons and the use of appropriate PPE can prevent or lessen many of them.

The limitation of the protection by PPE should be well understood. Respirators have limited use for the concentration and time mentioned by the manufacturer. they cannot be used in higher concentrations for the longest time.

In heavy concentration, only a self-breathing apparatus (SBA) is recommended and that too for a limited time. Instead of providing hood and suction on flying particles, there is no meaning of giving respirators to the worker.

Instead of providing a guard on a grinding wheel, it is meaningless to provide eye protection to workers. Instead of sealing leakage of gas or dust or allowing it to continue, it is unsafe to advise the worker to use a gas mask.


Similarly, instead of trying to reduce pollution, it is of no use to tell the workers to use PPE only. It is always safer to improve the working conditions by engineering controls first. Then only the use of PPE may be recommended. It is the last line of defense.

PPE is the last line of defense. The first line is to eliminate or minimize workplace hazards. PPE cannot eliminate the hazard, it can help eliminate an injury or reduce its severity.

I remember a few fatal accidents from my investigation where I was of the opinion that besides engineering controls, PPE could have prevented such accidents.

When an engineering control fails or becomes ineffective, what is the protection? Then this line of defense (i.e.PPE) comes to help and protect in most of the cases.

In one case a worker died due to phosphine exposure and in another case due to chloroform vapor in a tank. In the third case due to a splash of 2-4 dichlorophenol, a worker died within 15 minutes.

In still another case a worker died due to pesticide exposure in delayed effect. All four were young workers and died due to these toxic chemicals. If they would have worn appropriate PPE, they could have been survived.

This shows the significance of the need for PPE. Through PPE cannot eliminate the hazard (like engineering control) it can certainly protect from it.


The need for PPE can be well judged from:

  1. Visual and foreseeable hazards.
  2. Accident experiences.
  3. Report on the safety committee/representatives.
  4. Safety audits, surveys, sampling, job safety analysis, and risk assessment.
  5. Legal requirements and remarks of the authorities.

The need for PPE exists because:

  1. Chances of failure of engineering controls, materials, process, equipment, and safety devices cannot be denied and in those circumstances, the PPE can act as a barrier between the man and hazard and save from the injury.
  2. There are certain operations or accidental situations where engineering controls are less possible and PPE becomes necessary. For repair or maintenance or to enter into a toxic or oxygen-deficient atmosphere, or while working at height or doing jobs like welding, cutting grinding, chipping, PPE gives good protection.
  3. It effectively avoids the contact of dangerous substances, noise, vibration, and radiation.
  4. It protects from atmospheric contaminants.
  5. It is a legal as well as moral duty to provide suitable PPE.


No specific personal protective equipment is named by the Factories Act, but working conditions mentioned in sections 14, 30, 33, 35, 36, 37, 38, 87, 111, and 114 are such that free of charge PPE should be provided by the occupier for the protection from hazards due to dust, fume, gas, vapor, flying particles, glare, revolving machinery, hot or dangerous contents, entry in confined space, explosive or flammable atmosphere, fire, dangerous operations, and hazardous process.


Rules prescribed under the above sections provide further details. 27 schedules of Rule 102 of the Gujarat Factories Rules indicate the need for PPE at many places.

Duty is cast upon the workers not to willfully neglect to make use of such equipment and not to interfere with or misuse them. Model Rule 58 u/s 35 and Model Rule 95 u/s 87 also prescribe PPE for the specific process.

Rule 68B, GFR states that the PPE shall conform to the Indian Standards. OSHA standards prescribe tremendous details for PPE. Noise-induced hearing loss is an occupational disease under the 3rd Schedule of the Factories Act. Schedule 23 u/r 102, GFR requires noise reduction below 90 dBA or to provide ear protectors to workers and their auditory examination by the doctor. Sch. 27 required protection against cotton dust.



Once it is decided that PPE is needed

  1. Select the proper type of equipment (IS mentioned in Part 3 should be referred to) and then
  2. Make sure that the supervisor sees to it that the workers use and maintains it correctly.
  3. Proper selection, training, and use of PPE are essential.

Factors of selection or requisite characteristics of PPE are:

  1. It should give adequate protection against the nature, severity, and type of hazard.
  2. Make sure that the supervisor sees to it that the worker uses and maintains it correctly. Proper selection, training, and use of PPE are essential.

Factors of selection or requisite characteristics of PPE are:

  1. It should give adequate protection against the nature, severity, and type of hazard.
  2. It should be of minimum weight, should give minimum discomfort with protective efficiency.
  3. Attachment to the body should be flexible yet effective.
  4. The wearer should not be restricted in movement or perceptions required for the job.
  5. It should be durable and attractive.
  6. It should not cause any hazard through its material, design, defect, use, or failure.
  7. It should conform to Indian Standards and the tests required.
  8. It should be easy to clean, repair, and maintain. The parts, pieces, and services should be easily available.

If all the above criteria are not available effort should be made to get the maximum of them.


Respiratory (Breathing) PPE:

what is Respiratory ppe in details
Respiratory PPE

Selection and Classification of PPE according to the body part and hazards:

Body partHazardPPE necessary
HeadFalling objects, Shock, chemical spurtingSafety helmet, hard hats, safety caps, headgear
EyeChemical splash, dust, flying particles, gas, welding, radiation.Spectacles, lenses, and goggles for chemical, welding, grinding, furnace, dust, etc.
EarHigh-level noise (>90 dB)Earmuffs, earplugs, inserts
NoseDust, toxic gasesDust mask, cloth mask, rubber mask, fume mask, respirators for dust, gas, and vapor, rescuer plus pressure suit, breathing apparatus (O2 or Air), Canister gas masks, airline respirators, chemical/mechanical filters.
FaceChemical splash, flying objects, hot substance.Face shield, welding screen, furnace mask, faceguard.
HandHot substance, acid, alkali, pigments, chemical, handling, cut, sharp edge.Hand gloves of rubber, PVC, hosiery cotton, leather, canvas, fiberglass, electrical rubber gloves, arm sleeves.
BodyChemicals, splashes, hot substances, fire, handling.Aprons, coats, and pants, pressure suit, suit of rubber, PVC, etc.
Foot/LegStriking against objects, chemicals, falling bodiesLeather or rubber sole shoes, steel toe-boots, antiskid sole shoes, ammunition boots, gumboots, leg sleeves.
OverallFalling from heights, hurt by falling bodies, chemicals.Safety belts, pole strap belt, nylon safety harness, all-purpose safety harness belt, vertical lift safety harness, Boatswain’s chair, rope ladders, nets, safety hooks.

Selection and classification of Respiratory equipment based on the type of hazard:

Selection of Material of Construction for PPE

No.MaterialFor the protection from
1.MetalFlying particles, Falling body, sharp edge, abrasion
2.Fibre-metalSparks, a falling body, flying particles, sharp edge, abrasion machinery
3.Metal screenSharp edge & abrasion
4.Plastic, PVCHot liquid, moisture, water, acid, alkali, electric shock, skin protection, petroleum
5.RubberHot liquid, moisture, water, acid, alkali, electrical shock, machinery, skin protection
6.Conductive rubberExplosive substance
7.Chrome leatherHot substance, flying particles, sharp edge, abrasion, sparks
8.CanvasFlying particles, sharp edge, abrasion, machinery
9.AsbestosHeat, hot substance, sparks
10.Acidproof fabricAcid & alkali
11.Reflective fabricHot liquid
12.Flameproof duckHeat, hot substance, sparks, chemicals, flying particles, machinery
13.Cotton woolHeat, sparks, machinery, skin protection
14.Cotton canvasSharp edge & abrasion
15.Steel toe bootFalling body, striking
16.Non-skid shoesMoisture, slippery surface
17.Wooden sole boot or sandalHeat, hot substance, moisture, water, acid, alkali, slippery surface, sharp edge, abrasion
18.Soft silicon rubber or plasticMolded type earplug
19.Plastic goggles with the hydrophilic coatingTo prevent fogging
20.Wire screen lenses (face shield)Heavy fog or dampness
21.Laser safety goggles ( Anti laser eye shield)Laser beams
22.Aluminized welding helmetInfrared rays and to reduce heat effects.
23.Polarizing lenses (filter shade lenses)To prevent glare
24.Steel reinforced plastic & hard rubberSafety toe boot for foot protection
25.Boot with non-ferrous coating and conductive soleStatic charge, friction, sparks, and to reduce fire and explosion possibility.
26.Congress or gaiter type shoesWork with hot metal in foundry, quick removable shoes without the lash.
27.Non-conductive or insulating (non-metallic shoes)Electric work
28.Flexible metal-reinforced sole or inner soleConstruction work and cold metalwork with the possibility of foot injury Pharmaceutical factories needing higher product safety.
29.Plastic shoe cover or capPharmaceutical factories needing higher product safety.
30.Specially made asbestos clothingTo work with hot metal up to 1650 degree centigrade
31.Aluminized asbestos or glass fiber and wool liningTo work near a furnace at a temperature up to 540-degree centigrade or for firefighting. Such proximity clothing should not be utilized to enter into the fire. They are for working from a distance.
32.Flameproof or flame-resistant cloth- THPC, Nomex or Modacrylic fabricsFireproof cloths to work in the fire flames.
33.Cushion pads or padded ducksTo carry the heavy or sharp-edged load on the shoulder or back.
34.The apron of padded leather, fabric, plastic, hard fiber or metalFor the protection of the abdomen or middle body parts.
35.Thermal net cotton or quilted material (dacron or nylon)To work in cold weather (unsuitable to work in the fire).
36.High visibility and night hazard clothingFor construction and maintenance, Police and Fire brigade and Traffic hazards.
37.DisposableIn less radioactive work or drug or electronic industry.
38.Leaded clothing (lead glass fiber, leaded plastic)Laboratory work, protection against X and Gamma rays
39.Electromagnetic radiation suitRadar field
40.Conductive clothingFor lineman to work at extra-high-voltage. Such clothing keeps the linemen at the proper potential.


Head and Hair Protection

Head protectors are hard hats, caps, and helmets made of aluminum, PVC fiberglass, laminated plastic or vulcanized fiber.

They may be fitted with brackets for fixing welding masks, protective face screen or a lamp. The hats and caps are provided with the replaceable harness which provides sufficient clearance between the top of the head and shell.



Selection is as follows:


Protects against
1.FiberglassSparks, hot materials, heat
2.Plastic rubberHot liquids, moisture, acids, alkalis, electric shocks, dermatitis
3.Cotton woolSparks and heat, dermatitis, machinery
4.MetalFalling objects, flying particles, cuts, abrasions.
5.PlasticSparks, falling objects, flying particles, electric shock, cut, abrasions.










Utility and characteristics of head protectors PPE are:

TypeProtects AgainstCharacteristics
Safety HelmetFalling objects, hitting against obstructions such as low ceilings, beams, scaffold members, etc.Generally made of PVC, fiber-glass, or vulcanized fiber. Saddle (geodetic strap suspension) inside to dissipate impact pressure over a wide area of the head and to provide clearance between the head and the shell of the helmet.
Chinstrap or another device to prevent displacement. Peak and full brim to protect the face, neck, ears. Ventilation holes for comfort.
Electrical Safety HelmetThe electric shock when working near live electrical lines.Made of synthetic electrically non-conductive materials (PVC etc.)
Welders’capFalling welding spatters from aboveMade of leather with cloth lining inside
Crash HelmetSkull injuries in a road accidentUsually fiber/plastic material, with saddle inside, without peak or rim, and with chin strap. Cover forehead, temples, and lower portion of the head (above the neck)

Soft caps and hoods are also used for protection against heat, spark, and other dangerous materials and are made of appropriate materials. Some time hoods are made with a rig frame which is held away from the head.


Long hair or beards may be caught in moving machine parts (e.g belts, chain, in-running nips, etc.) while seeing or leaning down or by heavy static charges. Protective caps covering the hairs are useful.

Hairnet is not full protection. The hair cap should be of flame retardant material for protection against sparks or hot metal. It should be cool, lightweight, adjustable and with visor in front.

Type of equipment available:

  • Adjustable headgear and chinstrap.
  • Sand/shot blasting helmet.
  • Glass fiber safety helmet.
  • Safety helmet attached to ear muff.
  • Darvic plastic helmet.
  • Safety helmet made of aluminum.
  • Black fiber or molded fiberglass.
  • Hard hats and safety caps.
  • V-Guard protective caps & hats.
  • Topguard protective caps & hats.
  • Thermalguard caps & hats.
  • Shock guard caps & hats.
  • T-aluminum caps & hats.
  • Vanguard helmets for lateral protection.
  • Winter liner.
  • Foldback Faceshield frames for caps & hats.
  • Welding shields.
  • Auto change welding helmet.
  • Universal cap & hat adapters.
  • Spark guards.
  • Goggle retainer (on helmet).
  • Chin straps.
  • Defender fire helmets.


Ear Protection PPE:

Hearing loss is an occupational disease under Sch.3 of the Factories Act, 1948.

Noice level above 90 dBA is hazardous for exposure more than 8 hrs/day or 48 hrs/week. It may cause deafness, fatigue, loss of efficiency, irritation and also the loss of hearing. Noise level can be measured by a noise average meter or a noise dose mete.

Earplugs or Earmuffs reduce to @ 25 to 40 dBA. Earplug is made of plastic, rubber or polyurethane foam. Earmuffs cover the external ear and provide better attenuation than earplugs.

Types available PPE:

  • Ear muffs, or cups.
  • Plugs or inserts.
  • Dielectric ear muff.
  • Formable (disposable) aural inserts.
  • Full enclosure (e.g. astronaut).
  • Supernatural or canal cap.

Face and Eye Protection PPE:

Eye injuries can be caused by mechanical, chemical, thermal and radiation hazards such as dust, flying particles, splashes, and harmful radiation.


Eye protectors are safety spectacles, mono goggles, impact goggles, welding goggles, foundry goggles, chemical goggles, gas-tight goggles, face shield, welding helmets, etc. Possible hazards are:

1.Large flying particles fromChipping, fettling, riveting, sledding, chalking.
2.Dust and small flying particles fromScaling, grinding, stone dressing, woodworking.
3.Splashing of metals fromPouring of liquid metal from the ladle, crucible, etc., casting of metals, galvanizing and dipping in molten metals.
4.Splashing of liquids, gases, and fumes fromHandling of acids and other chemicals.
5.Reflected light, glare and radiant energy fromFoundry works, glass furnaces, gas welding, and cutting, arc welding.

Utility and characteristics of eye protectors.

TypeProtects againstCharacteristics
Spectacle-type GogglesFlying bodies (dust metal chips, etc.)Plain, shatter-proof, toughened glass or plastic lenses. With or without side shields. Metal or heat-resistant frame.
Panorama GogglesOil and paint splashes, dust, and chip exposure.Light in weight, Non-fogging cellulose clear visor. Ventilation holes on either side. Soft pliable plastic frame wide enough to wear over prescription glasses.
Leather mask GogglesSmoke, dust, foreign bodiesSweat lining along edges, ventilation holes with baffles for light and dust. Shatter-proof lenses.
Chemical GogglesChemicals and toxic dustAcid/alkali-resistant rubber frame with clear lenses and shielded ventilating ports.
Gas-tight GogglesIrritating fumes, vapor or gasesAirtight-fitting without ventilating ports.
Welding GogglesGas welding/cutting flames & sparksSimilar to panorama goggles with filter glass of suitable grade and indirect ventilation ports.
Welding ShieldsArc welding/cutting flames and sparksFiber or fiberglass shield, hand-held or suspended from helmet with window for filter glass.

Eye and face protection standards are provided for – Rigid and non-rigid welding helmets, Welding hand shields, Attachments like lift fronts, chin rests, aprons, magnifiers, snoods, etc., Face-shields, Flammability, Goggles for welder, cutter, chipper (eyecups) and dust & splashes and Spectacles of metal, plastic or combination.


Face Protection PPE:

Plastic face shield with acrylic visor, and Darvic guard with fiber/PVC headband, with adjustable headgear helmet attached to face shield.

Eye Protection PPE:

Large vision red vinyl goggles with perspex lens and sponge lining.

  • Panorama type.
  • Full view perspex goggle.
  • Plastic spectacle with ventilation side shields.
  • Welding goggle.
  • Fiber goggle for grinding, chipping, etc.
  • Gas-tight goggle.
  • Rubber frame goggle.
  • Leather mask goggle.
  • Bakelite general purpose goggle.
  • Metal frame spectacle.
  • Stoker’s goggle.
  • Dust goggle.
  • Furnace goggle.

Laser eyewear should be marked with optical density valves and wavelengths for which they are to be used. Laser glasses or goggles designed for specific wavelengths should not be used for different wavelengths of laser radiation.

Hand and Arm Protection PPE:

Protection of hands and arms is required when workers have to handle materials having a sharp end, sharp edges, hot and molten metals, chemicals, and corrosives substances.

The protective equipment may be the gauntlet gloves, wrist gloves, mittens, hand pads, thumb and finger guards and sleeves.

Gloves, hand leathers, arm protectors, finger stalls, mittens, etc. should not be used near moving machinery or machine.


Selection of Gloves”

MaterialProtects against
1.AsbestosSparks, hot materials, heat.
2.Chrome leatherSparks, hot materials, hot liquids, flying particles, cuts, abrasions.
3.Flame proofed DuckSparks, hot materials, heat, flying particles, machinery.
4.PlasticHot liquids, moisture, acids and allalis, dermatitis.
5.RubberHot liquids, moisture, acids and alkalis, electric shock, dermatitis.
6.Chemical resistant materialAcids and alkalis.
7.Reflective fabricHot liquids.
8.Plastic rubber-coated fabric Hot liquids, moisture, acids, and alkalis.
9.Metal MeshCuts and abrasions.
10.Cotton CanvasCuts and abrasions.

Glove material selection should be as under:

  1. Natural rubber gloves are stretchable and highly resistant to punctures. They perform well in mild caustics and ketone-based solutions and in temperatures ranging from 0-degree Fahrenheit to 300-degree Fahrenheit. These gloves work well for a job that requires handling rough materials or sharp-edged objects such as plate glass and lumber.
  2. Neoprene is a premium-grade, synthetic rubber. Gloves coated with neoprene are resistant to strong acids, oils, grease, solvents and caustics, They perform well in temperatures from 0 degrees Fahrenheit to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
  3. Nitrile is a super synthetic compound available in either a smooth or rough finish. They perform well in temperatures from 25 degrees farenheit to 300 degree farenheit. Nitrile-coated gloves offer superior abrasion, snag and punture resistance for tasks such as handling coarse building materials and rough castings.
  4. Viton gloves are especially useful for resisting chemical permeation from chlorinated and aromatic solvents as well as many other liquids and vapors.
  5. Polyvinylchloride (PVC) plastic gloves resist a broad range of chemicals and abrasives. They provide ample flexibility and durability in temperature ranging from 25 degrees Fahrenheit to 150 degrees Fahrenheit. PVC-coated gloves are ideal for jobs that involve handling rough machine parts, casting or petrochemical.
  6. Butyl rubber gloves offer high permeation resistance to many gases and vapors.
  7. Latex gloves are not appropriate for primary chemical resistance but offer good protection from standard grit/grime.

Utility and characteristics of hand protectors are:

TypeProtects againstCharacteristics
Leather glovesCuts, bruises, abrasions, lacerations during handling of metal sheets and other sharp-edged objects and sparksHeat-resistant aluminized fabric or other special material
Aluminized fabric glovesFlames, intense heat radiation, burn injuriesHeat-resistant aluminized fabric or other special material
Asbestos gloves-Do-Padding inside for comfort and to withstand high temperatures
Acid/Alkali-proof rubber/synthetic glovesCorrosive chemical (organic acids or petroleum products)Rubber, neoprene or vinyl material
Lead-lined glovesIonizing radiation (X-rays, gamma rays, etc.)Rubber, leather or plastic with lead lining
Canvas glovesGrease, oil, dust and direct which may cause slipping of handsFabric or coated fabric
Electric glovesLow voltage electric shocks (up to 4000 V) High voltage electric shocks (tested 11 kv)Made of insulated rubber having required dielectric strength and electrical resistance. Generally red in color.
Barrier CreamContact dermatitis from solvents, lubricants, and other oils

Types available:-

  • Chrome or plain leather gloves.
  • Mittens, Gauntlets.
  • Corrugated rubber gloves.
  • Cotton gloves.
  • Asbestos gloves or mittens.
  • Sleeves made of leather, asbestos, rubber, or PVC.
  • Iron hand gloves.
  • Chemical-resistant gloves.

Foot and Leg Protection:

Some typical risks are handling heavy materials, caustic and corrosive liquids, wet conditions, molten metals, etc. Common foot and leg protective equipment are safety shoes or boots, leggings, and foot-guards. Leg guards are used to protect-shins against impact. Knee pads are worn by mold loftmen and others who do continual kneeling.

Selection is as follows:

Safety shoes/boots may be conductive, non-conductive or spark resistant. Rubber boots are useful to work in wet conditions, steel toe boots against impact and puncture-resistant soles to walk on surfaces having nails, sharp objects, etc.

Conductive shoes allow draining of static charge and non-ferrous shoes reduce the possibility of friction sparks and much useful in fire/explosion-prone areas. Conductive footwear resistance should not exceed 450-kilo ohms.


Conductive shoes are used where floors are non-conductive and grounded such as in the manufacture of certain explosive compounds or while cleaning tanks that have contained solvent or volatile hydrocarbons. These shoes have conductive soles and non-ferrous metal parts.

Foundry workers should wear gaiter or congress-type safety shoes that have no fasteners or lashes and rapidly removable. The tops of the shoes should be covered by full pant leg, spats, or legging to keep out molten metal.

Electricians need insulated shoes with non-metal parts. Leather shoes are useful to work in wet conditions. Wooden soles to walk on hot surfaces and rubber shoes for working with acids and alkalis but not with solvents that dissolve the rubber.


Hazard wise selection (Feet Protection PPE)

Falling, rolling objects and materialsShoes with steel toe-caps
Sharp cutting edge, wood chips, glass shards, nailsSteel spring in-soles
Chemicals, solvents, alkalis, caustics, bleaches, cutting oils and compounds, grease, creosol.Non-soluble natural rubber, vinyl, plastic footwear, synthetic rubber, neoprene, cord or cork soles
Oily floorsSynthetic rubber or chrome leather soles
Hot surfaces, sparks, metal splashesHeat-resistant soles, slip-on wooden sandals overshoes; foundry boots with elastic band or buckle for quick removal; trouser legs rolled down over boot tops
Extreme heat and direct flameInsulated or aluminized over-shoes or boots of fire-resistant material
Fungal infection from prolonged exposure to waterLined rubber shoes. Silicone-treated leather or rubber shoes for minor or occasional wetness
Sparks can ignite flammable gases, liquids, and explosivesShoes with non-ferrous metal parts, steel toes covered with a non-sparking material
Static electricity built up in the body can ignite volatile materialShoes with special conductive soles of cork leather etc.
Skids and slips surfacesCleated, non-slip, or neoprene soles. Slip-on non-skid sandals; strap-on cleats.
Live circuits or equipmentElectrically non-conductive standard safety shoes.
Sanitation hazards: Contamination and infectionSpecial plastic over-shoes; paper or shower shoes. Disposable strictly not to be re-used.

Safety footwear must be carefully chosen for maximum protection and its suitability for the particular hazard. Care and proper maintenance are of vital importance. Footwear must be regularly inspected.

Worn-out or defective shoes should be immediately repaired or replaced. Defective footwear should never be worn. Footwear must always be kept clean and dry.

Material for knee pads, lagging etc

MaterialProtects against
1.AsbestosSparks, hot materials, and heat.
2.Chrome LeatherSparks, hot materials, hot liquids, flying particles, cuts, abrasions.
3.Flame-Proofed duckSparks, hot materials, heat, flying particles, machinery.
4.PlasticDermatitis, hot liquids, moisture, acids, alkalis.
5.RubberDermatitis, hot liquids, moisture, acids, alkalis, electric shock.
6.FiberSparks, flying objects, flying particles, cuts, abrasions, machinery.
7.Chemical resistant fabricAcids and alkalis.
8.Reflective fabricHot liquids.

Material for Shoes and Boots

MaterialProtects against
1Steel toe capsFalling bodies
2Non-skid shoesMoisture.
3Wooden solesHot materials, heat, hot liquids, moisture, acids and alkalis, slips and falls, cuts, abrasions.
4Chrome leatherSparks, hot materials, heat, hot liquids
5RubberHot liquids, moisture, acids, and alkalis, electric shock
6Conductive rubberExplosive

Types Available:

  • Leather legging and spats.
  • Asbestos hip legging.
  • Safety leather boots.
  • Asbestos clogs or boots with leather sole.
  • Rubber gumboots.
  • Leather ammunition boots.
  • Leather/rubber sole shoes with or without steel toe.
  • In Oxford, Jodhpuri or Ankle style.
  • Electric shock-proof shoes tested to 11kv.
  • Welder’s safety boots.
  • Miner’s boots, Hunter’s shoes.

Body, Skin, and Fall Protection PPE:

Body protectors are coats, waist, aprons, overalls, jackets, and complete head-to-toe protective suits. Aprons of different materials are used for protection against blows, splashes, radiant heat, flying particles, etc.

Pads are used to protect the shoulders and back from bruises. Impervious clothing of rubber or synthetic fabrics is used for protection against water, moisture, dust, vapors, and liquid chemicals.


The nature of the potential hazard degree of the hazard involved and the nature of activities of the wearer is important in the selection of safety clothing.

Although complete coverage of the body and legs is not needed in many cases, unnecessary safety clothing may hamper the efficiency of the wearer. No compromise should be made with strict safety requirements.

Selection is as follows:

MaterialProtects against
1.AsbestosSparks, hot materials, heat.
2.Chrome leatherSparks, hot materials, hot liquids, flying particles, cuts, abrasions.
3.Plastic or RubberHot liquids, moisture, acids and alkalis, electric shock, dermatitis, machinery.
4.CanvasFlying particles, cuts, abrasions, machinery
5.Chemical resistant fabricAcid and alkalis.
6.Reflective fabricHot liquids.

Types of body protection PPE available are:

Body Protection:- Lather combination suit, hood, clogs, boots, and gloves, mittens, aprons, spats, leggings, furnace mask, rubber apron with hood combined, low weight rubber-coated fabric suit, low weight PVC coated fabric suit, heavy-duty PVC suit or rubber-coated fabric suit, PVC or rubber-coated aprons with sleeves, sand or shot blast helmet, rubber mat for electrical purpose, vulcanized fiber face mask for radiant heat, PVC splash-proof coat, PVC hood with protected ventilator, PVC pressure suit, PVC boiler suit, overall, coat-pant and hood.

Special work clothing includes leather or wool clothing, asbestos or aluminized clothing, and flame-retardant or fireproof work cloths.

Safety Belt:- Lineman leather belt, leather safety strap or belt, full-body harness, man-hoisting leather belt, Quick-on coverall harness, Suspension harness, Wrist rescue system, Descent system, Total encapsulating suit harness, Linemen’s belts, Structural steelworker’s, car dropper’s and derrick worker’s belts, Shock-absorbing lanyards, Retractable Lanyard, Retractable lifeline, Winches, Rope grabs, Horizontal lifeline system, Rail slider anchorage connector, Sure-hold confined space positioning equipment or system.


Fall protection

Fall Protection for the body includes safety belts, lifelines (ropes) and lanyards, harnesses (belts & straps with buckles) and fall-arrester devices or safety nets.

Safety harness weight capacity
How much weight can a safety harness take care

It is important to note that such safety belts and associated equipment are used when fall hazards cannot be eliminated by strong support like railings, floors, platforms, etc.

OSHA Standard has prohibited the use of a body belt only for fall arrest and a fall arrest system is suggested, since 1-1-1998.

Body belts are used where less than 1 m free fall is Full body harness anticipated and a body with safety belt and harness (belts or straps on fall arrester device chest, shoulders, and thighs) is used for a limited fall up to 2 m. A harness can spread the shock load over the shoulders, thighs, and seat (hips).

The body belt or lifeline D-ring should be arranged at the back of the worker. The wearer of the safety belt should not tie off below the waist level (to prevent turning down the head). A window cleaner’s belt length is limited to 8 ft (2.5m). The chest belt is worn loosely to allow smooth breathing.

The lifeline may be vertical from a fixed anchorage or horizontal between two fixed anchorage

Horizontal Lifeline

Independent of the work surfaces Lanyard is a flexible line up to 6 ft (1.8 m) to secure the wearer’s harness (D-ring) to a lifeline or fixed anchorage. Lanyards may be made of nylon or other fibrous or metallic material and are non-stretchable to limit free fall distance.


Shock-absorber lanyards are available to absorb up to 80% of the stopping force of a normal lanyard. The metal lanyard must not be used where the electrical hazard is possible. Snap hooks (locking type referable) and D-ring should be maintained in good condition. Knots or lengthening of lanyards must be avoided.

Body belts (work belts) are used to reduce the probability of falls. Chest harnesses are used where there is limited fall hazard (not vertical free fall) such as for the removal of a person from a tank or bin. Body harnesses, covering the chest, shoulders, and thighs, are used to arrest the most severe free falls.

The retrieval method is necessary to shorten the hanging distance after a fall up to 6ft (maximum limit of free fail for more fall height, other supporting fixed structure must be provided by fencing, railing, platform, fixed-ladder with platform and handrails, etc.) A retractable lifeline, which will be shortened automatically (Spring action) after its full length, can limit falls to inches and avoid prolonged suspension causing high discomfort to a hanging person.

Fall arrester net, if used, should be tied firmly as near as possible under the working place to minimize the fall distance.


Belts, Safety Harness harnesses, lifelines, lanyards, buckles, joints, D-ring, etc. should be checked for weak points, washed regularly and kept dry at room temperature.

I hope you understand the facts about PPE (PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT). if you have any doubts regarding this article please comment below. If you like this article please share it with your HSE friends.

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