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Personal Protection Equipment is a must for a safe working environment. Here are some guidelines on what are considered to be essential items for your protection and that of others in your workshop.
Hand in hand with the workshop safety guidelines, are those for your personal protection. PPE comes in different guises and of course at different qualities and costs. Mostly though, it is quite simple – look after your face and lungs!
Faceshield – Protecting that Gorgeous Face of Yours
This is a Honeywell Bionic Polycarbonate Faceshield. The frame is strong and will go further to protect your face in the event of an impact.
If you’re buying one of these, ensure you buy the version with the polycarbonate visor as there is an acetate variation which isn’t as strong.
They cost about twice as much as one of the ‘standard’ shields, but are worth the extra pennies.
The less expensive, more flexible shields (usually with a yellow head piece) are not very impact resistant but will go some way to stop skin abrasion in the event of an impact, but that’s about all.
Keeping you Breathing – Dust Masks
Dust is a nuisance in the workshop, and prolonged or regular exposure to it can have serious effects on your respiratory system. Protect it with a dust mask.
Shown here is a JSP Force 8 ‘halfmask’ with PFF3 filters. It is a super piece of kit and forms a good seal around your mouth and nose when in use. Breathing is easy through it, too.
Other styles of masks are available, too, including the disposable single use paper ones. The main thing to remember when buying masks is the magic FFP3 classification as these filter out the dust from hardwoods as well as other harmful dust particles.
Dust masks and respiratory protection (ideally) should be used in conjunction with a dust extraction and/or air filtration system suitable for your workshop.
“Pardon?” – Hearing Protection
Rarely worn when using a lathe, hearing protection is a good idea if you have hearing problems or perhaps hearing-aids. This kind of protection is also useful if using the lathe for a long period of time.
Hearing protection should also be used when using other, louder machines in the workshop.
For perhaps the best in PPE, there are several options available that combine quality impact resistant head and face protection as well as built-in airfiltration.
Full face shields like this Trend Airshield Pro, the 3M Versaflo range or the JSP Powercap all have these features including a ‘seal’ that wraps under the chin and round the face allowing filtered air to be gently blown into the mask to prevent it from misting.
The products shown here are illustrations of some of the products available. There are variations of each of them available and the quality may vary between manufacturers, too. Please check the manufacturers websites if you are interested in any of these items and to find stockists near you.
Budget is of course, a factor in deciding what PPE to buy, but for the sake of your safety, perhaps it would be good advice to suggest buying the best you can afford.