Industry Insights

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for Worker Safety

Aug 28, 2020 11:22:37 AM / by RenovationsPlus


Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is meant to recognize the hardworking men and women in the labor force. Show your appreciation for your team’s contributions on Labor Day and all the other days of the year by keeping them safe from all kinds of workplace safety hazards with personal protection equipment.



The total number of COVID cases in the U.S. is now at more than 5.6 million, meaning workplace safety has never been more important.1 That staggering number suggests that more can be done to protect workers.

Ensure your team members have the PPE solutions they need to be fully protected while on the job. From disposable gloves, coveralls and shoe covers to reusable face shields, respirators and goggles, PPE solutions can help minimize the spread of germs, safeguard against flying debris and provide other protections for workers.


Respiratory Protection

Because of COVID-19, face masks are especially important for minimizing the transmission of germs and pathogens in the workplace. Choosing the right particulate filter depends on the particulates you and your team are trying to avoid breathing.

NIOSH 42 CFR 84 regulations detail nine separate filter categories for particulate respirators, which consist of three separate filter classes (N, R, P) at three separate filter efficiencies (95%, 99%, 99.97%).

    • N Class - Approved for solid and liquid particulates, excluding oils (time use restrictions may apply
    • R Class – Approved for oil and non-oil solid and liquid particulates, with a maximum 8-hour or 1-shift use (time restrictions apply when used for oil mists)
    • P Class - Approved for oil and non-oil particulates (no time use restrictions)

Face & Eye Protection

Glasses, goggles and face shields are the three basic types of products that protect workers’ eyes and faces. While protective glasses may look like normal eyewear, they have an industrial design that includes durable construction for lasting protection on the toughest jobs. Also, many pairs have side shields to prevent debris from coming in sideways and injuring eyes.

For even more eye protection, choose protective goggles. These solutions fit snug around both eyes and hold flush to the face for a higher level of eye protection from chemicals, direct impacts and large particles.

If there is a high risk of hazardous materials splashing onto workers’ faces, goggles and glasses won’t be enough. You need to supply your team with face shields. These products are considered secondary protectors, meaning they must be worn in conjunction with protective glasses or goggles. If your team wears washable face shields, be sure to clean them after each use.


Emergency Eyewash Flushing Systems

Did you know that about 20,000 eye injuries occur in the workplace each year?3 As much protection as glasses, face shields and goggles provide, they may not provide total protection. In fact, most eye injuries occur because of flying particles or falling objects no larger than the head of a pin!

Debris as small as that can easily find its way inside goggles and/or glasses. For that reason, it’s vital that you have at least one emergency eyewash station on-site. These stations allow workers to quickly and safely flush harmful particles and/or chemicals from their eyes.


Maximize On-the-Job Safety

PPE is necessary to protect team members who work in high-risk conditions. While these solutions are important, it’s just as important to optimize safety protocols to truly provide the best protection for workers. Training on PPE utilization, adding social distancing products and policies and canceling nonessential activities are just some of the PPE add-ons you can implement to fully protect your associates.


  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2020, August 24). “Cases in the U.S.”. Retrieved from
  2. Dang, S. (2020, February 25). "Preventing Workplace Eye Injuries". Retrieved from

The information provided in this blog does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice; instead, all content is for informational purposes only. This blog does not create an attorney-client relationship between the reader and Home Depot Pro. You should consult your attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular legal issue or problem.


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