A Small Business Owner’s Guide to Personal Protective Equipment

 December 30, 2022

By  Kyrie Mattos

Are you a small business looking to protect your employees? Companies must provide appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). But how do you know what type of PPE is best for the environment and tasks performed? This blog post will discuss the different levels and types of personal protective equipment that can help keep your workers safe. We’ll also address why employers must ensure their staff uses proper safety protocols, such as wearing masks, gloves, goggles, or other protective gear when necessary. Hopefully, by the end of this post, you’ll better understand how to implement effective PPE policies in your workplace correctly.

PPE levels

Different levels of PPE may be required depending on the nature of an employee’s role and job-specific tasks. Under OSHA guidelines, PPE falls into four categories:

Level A 

Level A of PPE for small business is designed to offer the utmost safety when dealing with hazardous chemicals. This includes a NIOSH-approved, positive pressure SCBA or supplied air respirator unit; an encapsulated chemical protective suit that covers from head to toe, including hard hat and coveralls; steel shank boots and chemical resistant gloves for added protection; along with disposable gear such as suits and booties in some instances where needed. Select when the most comprehensive skin, respiratory, and eye safety protection is necessary.

Level B 

Level B of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) includes a hard hat, face shield (if required), coveralls, chemical-resistant boot covers, hooded protective clothing, overalls, or one/two-piece splash suits, in addition to steel toe and shank extreme boots. Moreover, the appropriate respiratory protection should be utilized too, either NIOSH-approved positive pressure supplied air respirator with an escape SCBA or a full facepiece self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA). When optimal respiratory security is required, a lower amount of skin protection suffices.

Level C 

PPE for small businesses applies when the concentrations and types of airborne substances are known, appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) must be utilized to ensure safety. Level C includes coveralls; chemical-resistant steel toe and shank outer boots; disposable boot covers; hard hat with face shield when needed; NIOSH-certified full or half-mask air-purifying respirators and hooded chemical-resistant clothing along with two-piece splash suits that can also be disposed of after use. Inner as well as outer protective gloves should also always be worn.

Level D 

For situations involving minor contamination, the minimum required personal protective equipment (PPE) is Level D. This consists of a hard hat, an escape mask and face shield; safety goggles or chemical splash goggles; single-use hazardous material coveralls and boots with steel toe/shank protection; as well as gloves. Together they afford you adequate coverage in any potentially dangerous environment.

PPE Types

As a business owner, it is your responsibility to ensure the safety and well-being of your employees. One way to do this is by providing them with the right kind of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). PPE for small businesses includes any clothing or device designed to protect workers from injury or illness caused by workplace hazards. We’ll review some PPE types that every business should know about:

Respiratory Protection

Respiratory protection devices help protect workers from airborne contaminants such as dust, fumes, gasses, and vapors. This PPE includes face masks, full-face respirators, half-mask respirators, and powered air-purifying respirators (PAPRs).

Eye Protection

Eye protection is essential for protecting workers from hazards such as flying debris and chemical splashes. Items like safety glasses and goggles are necessary for eye protection in the workplace.

Hand Protection

It’s essential to provide employees with gloves designed for the specific task they are working on to protect their hands from cuts, abrasions, burns, and extreme temperatures. Disposable gloves can also be used when dealing with chemicals or other hazardous materials.

Foot Protection

Safety shoes and boots are essential for protecting feet from injuries such as punctures or crushing injuries due to heavy objects falling on them while working. Depending on the job being performed, different types of footwear may be needed; these include steel-toed boots and nonslip soles to reduce slipping hazards on wet surfaces.

Head Protection

Hard hats are a must when working in areas with a risk of falling objects or overhead electrical wires. They help protect workers against head injuries caused by these hazards by absorbing impact energy before it reaches the head or neck area.

Hearing Protection

Exposure to loud noises can cause permanent hearing damage over time; therefore, it’s essential to provide hearing protection such as earplugs or earmuffs when necessary to protect workers’ hearing health in noisy environments like construction sites or factories where noise levels can exceed 85 decibels (dB).

Full-Body Suits

In some cases, full-body suits may be necessary when dealing with hazardous chemicals that could cause skin irritation or other forms of harm if they come into contact with the skin directly; this type of suit helps prevent this from happening by providing a barrier between the worker’s skin and any harmful substances they may be exposed to while performing their job duties.  

High Visibility Clothing 

High visibility clothing helps make sure that workers remain visible even in poor lighting conditions, such as at night or during inclement weather; this type of clothing is typically brightly colored so that it stands out against its surroundings, making it easier for others around them to spot them quickly even in low light conditions which helps keep them safe while performing their job duties outdoors. 

The Importance Of PPE for small business – In Summary

Ensuring your employees have access to the proper Personal Protective Equipment is essential for keeping them safe while on the job; however, it’s equally vital that you select the appropriate PPE for small business for each task based on factors such as potential hazards present in each work environment and individual worker needs so that your employees always remain protected no matter what kind of work they are doing. With so many different types available today, you should have no trouble finding something suitable for your business operations.

Kyrie Mattos


{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}