Types of PPE - What kind do you need? – Compliance Solutions

Types of PPE - What kind do you need?

Types of PPE - What kind do you need?

Today’s post will talk about the different types of personal protective equipment used by workers every day!

First, what does PPE stand for or mean? PPE is an abbreviation for personal protective equipment. OSHA defines PPE as, "is equipment worn to minimize exposure to hazards that cause serious workplace injuries and illnesses."

The Occupational Safety and Health Act was created in 1984 and made a standard for PPE (personal protective equipment) in the workplace. Employers must provide adequate PPE to protect workers from hazards at no cost to employees.

Respiratory Protection

There are two different types of respiratory protection, personal protective equipment

  1. Air Supplying Respirators
  2. Air Purifying Respirators

Air supplying respirators are usually self-contained breathing apparatuses like SCUBA. They will provide the user with a fresh, safe air source instead of filtering dangerous air. These are generally used in environments that have no oxygen.

Air Purifying Respirators are used in environments with a sufficient oxygen source but where contaminated air is still present.

Examples of air Purifying Respirators Include

  • Dust Masks- These are used for dust and other particles but aren’t used when hazardous materials or toxic substances are present.
  • Gas filtering Respirators- These are either half-face or full mask respirators that filter gases or vapors to keep the user safe.
  • Particulate Filters- Are used to filter fine solid or liquid particles, there are three types of this respirator including:
    • CLASS P1 Intended for use against mechanically generated particulates. Examples: silica and asbestos
    • CLASS P2 Intended for use against both mechanically and thermally generated particulates. Example: metal fumes
    • CLASS P3 Intended for use against all particulates, including highly toxic materials.
  • Combined Gas and Particle Respirators: These are pretty self-explanatory it is the combinations of the above particle filtering and gas filtering respirators.

Try our Respiratory Protection Training, Fit Testing, or an Instant Respirator Medical Evaluation, which are all required before using a respirator on the job!

Eye Protection

Eye protection protects the user from damage to the eyes from flying particles, dust, splashing substances, harmful gases, vapors, aerosols, and radiation.
Personal Protective Equipment for the Eyes include

  • Goggles
  • Wide Vision Goggles
  • Welding Helmets
  • Face Shield
  • Tinted Goggles

Hearing Protection

Hearing protection, personal protective equipment protects workers from hearing damage or loss. The Hearing Conservation Amendment in OSHA Occupational Noise Standard 29 CFR 1910.95 says, “Employers must establish a hearing conservation program for employees who noise exposures equal or exceed eight hour time-weighted average (TWA) of 85 decibels (dBA).”

Hearing Protection, Personal Protective Equipment Includes

  • Disposable Hearing Protection- Suitable materials packed into the ear canal
  • Earplug- Plug that is inserted into the ear canal, may be disposable
  • Suspension System- Device that holds hearing protection in place while working
  • Helmet- Protects both the head and the ears
  • Earmuff- Hearing protection that goes over the ears and protects hearing

Try our course if you need Hearing Protection Training!

Hand Protection

Personal Protective Equipment for the hand protects workers' hands from lacerations, crushing, burns, or exposure to hazardous or corrosive materials.

Hand Protection includes

  • Guards- Guards on machines with moving parts protect hands from coming into contact with moving parts.
  • Gloves- Gloves can protect both from harmful chemicals or materials and protect from lacerations or burns.

Head Protection

Personal protective equipment for the head protects workers from:

  • Falling Objects
  • Contact of the head to fixed objects that could cause damage
  • Protection from Electrical Hazards

There is only one piece of personal protective equipment to protect the head, a helmet! But there are ways to change a helmet to make it safer for workers, including:

  • Adding a light for workers in low light areas
  • Adding a chin strap to make sure the helmet stays on during strenuous activities
  • Adding ear muffs for hearing protection
  • Adding a face shield to protect the face

Foot Protection

Proper footwear should provide comfort and keep the workers' feet protected while on the job.

Some Examples of foot protection include

  • Thick tops of shoes to protect from crushing or smashing
  • Protective toe cap to protect the toes
  • Shoes that are resistant to chemicals or electricity

Personal Protective Equipment is vital to protect workers from accidents! Get Personal Protective Equipment Training from Compliance Solutions today!


Today we reviewed all the different types of Personal Protective Equipment or PPE that people can use to protect themselves on the job! We also covered examples of each type of PPE 

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