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The Effectiveness of Personal Protection Equipment, Research Proposal Example

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Research Proposal

The Effectiveness of Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) in Various Industries

In his article for Professional Safety magazine, Jason Dean points out that in order to comply with legal mandates and protect workers in industries with high on-the-job hazard rates, national and international companies “are projected to spend $33.3 billion on personal protection equipment” on a yearly basis by the year 2015 (2014, p. 41). This figure clearly illustrates that personal protection equipment (PPE), when used and worn properly under dangerous working conditions, is an effective and efficient way to not only protect workers on-the-job but also companies that today (at least in the United States) are required to adhere to a strict safety program (Dean, 2014, p. 41).

Agricultural Industry

In the agricultural industry which often involves the use of dangerous pesticides and other hazardous materials, the use of personal protection equipment is mandatory, due to the fact that numerous studies have shown that wearing PPE as a preventive measure helps to “eliminate (and) reduce risks at their source,” in this case, while working in an agricultural field. PPE also helps to prevent and reduce “the generation of the risk,” (Meirelles, Veiga, & Duarte, 2012, p. 15), meaning that when a field worker is wearing PPE, the risk of being exposed to hazardous materials in greatly diminished.

However, in some nations like Brazil, the importance of wearing of personal protection equipment in the field is not well-addressed, even though the Brazilian government considers PPE as a neutralizing factor related to protecting field workers against exposure to hazardous materials (Meirelles, Veiga, & Duarte, 2012, p. 18). Furthermore, in 1978, the Brazilian government mandated that all private companies involved in the agricultural industry must protect workers from “agents that might generate damage to the worker’s health during his working life” (Meirelles, Veiga, & Duarte, 2012, p. 17).

Heavy Manufacturing Industries

One of the most dangerous health-related working environments is found in heavy manufacturing industries, such as companies that manufacture iron, steel, and products made from metal. The most common activity is welding which involves the application of extremely high temperatures which can lead to permanent physical damage and even death if the welder is not adequately protected. According to Katie Twist-Rowlinson, hazards that most frequently encountered by welders includes “exposure to very hot materials, intense radiation, high noise levels, and heavy falling objects.” Therefore, welders must have total body protection which can be effectively done by wearing the right equipment for the job (2013, p. 26).

Twist-Rowlinson adds that since a welder, especially one that uses arc-welding equipment, often works in under extremely hazardous conditions, PPE must include adequate eye, face, foot, and body protection, all of which have been shown to greatly lower on-the-job accidents and injuries related to exposure to extreme temperatures and heat radiation. Overall then, companies must ensure that their welders are provided with the proper PPE in order to maintain their safety and in some instances, to encourage “an effective overall culture of safety” (2013, p. 26).

Thus, the effectiveness of personal protection equipment all depends upon proper use on-the-job and under the right conditions, therefore ensuring that workers in hazardous conditions will remain healthy and able to perform their required duties.

References

Dean, J. (2014, February). Personal protective equipment: An antecedent to safe behavior? Professional Safety, 41-46.

Meirelles, L.A., Veiga, M.M., and Duarte, F.J. (2012). Efficiency of personal protection equipment used in agriculture. Work 41, 14-18.

Twist-Rowlinson, K. (2013, December). Hot spot for hazards: Welders need head-to-toe protection. Industrial Safety and Hygiene News, 25-26.

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