The use of personal protective equipment is essential in any worksite to ensure the safety and physical integrity of workers. The construction sector is one of the most risky in terms of occupational safety, so the regulations in force in this regard must be fully complied with.
For more information on safety standards in Ecuador, download the Health and Safety Regulations for Construction and Public Works in the Standards section.
So, what are the most important elements of Personal Protective Equipment?
Harness and lifeline: safety equipment that consists of a lifeline (elastic or static nylon tape) that secures the harness to a fixed point. According to Article 62 of the Health and Safety Regulations for Construction and Public Works, this type of equipment is used for work at heights. Heights are understood to be any work performed at more than 1.80 meters above ground level or where there is a risk of falling from a different level.
Safety boots: Mandatory requirement in all work; steel-toed boots with anti-puncture soles must be purchased.
Helmet: according to articles 14 and 39 of the Health and Safety Regulations for Construction and Public Works, the use of a helmet is mandatory in all construction works.
Reflective vest: This is a mandatory requirement on all construction sites. It serves to identify workers and make them more visible when operating heavy machinery, thus preventing accidents due to being run over or hit.
It is customary to assign a different color to the site foreman so that he can be easily recognized.
Safety glasses: impact resistant glasses, necessary for work where there is a risk of splashing or dispersion of fragments (e.g.: concrete pitting, casting, use of a grinder, plastering, among others).
Gloves: for electrogenic welding, leather gloves should be used. For generic use, gloves are sufficient.
Masks: are necessary when working with dust or toxic gases. In particular, workers should wear masks when cleaning the building, handling cement bags or similar, sanding fillings or using materials that emit noxious gases.
Ear plugs/ear muffs: for working in noisy conditions. Necessary for the operation of concrete, elevators, pneumatic hammers, self-drilling guns, among others.