8 Examples of Personal Protective Equipment

Every day, humans work. Among the numerous occupations among men, certain occupations certainly contain higher risks than others. The risk involved in cutting a tree is not the same risk involved in preparing a meal. Likewise, the risk involved in electrical jobs cannot be compared with that in making a shoe. And the risk in constructing a bridge can certainly not be compared to the risk involved in carpentry.

Preparing a meal may require personal protective equipment such as gloves, aprons, and hair nets. Meanwhile, felling a tree requires such examples of personal protective equipment as chainsaw gloves, face shield, eye mask, safety boots with toe caps and penetration-resistant mid-soles, hard hats, chainsaw trousers, and hearing protection.

You can see that every selection of personal protective equipment is based on the hazard involved in the work activity and environment. And each one must fit properly and still allow for mobility and effectiveness.

In workplaces, the employer is usually required to provide the PPE.

What is PPE?

PPE is protective equipment or gear that is designed to be worn by workers as a defense to protect them from safety and health hazards at work. During jobs that contain risk, appropriate garments and equipment should be worn at all times when the hazard cannot be eliminated or otherwise controlled.

Some of the many examples of personal protective equipment are helmets, gloves, hazmat suits, respiratory protective equipment (RPE), ear plugs, ear muffs, high visibility clothing, harnesses, coveralls, and safety footwear. 

Some of these examples of personal protective equipment need training to be used effectively, others just need to be the right fit. But one thing that is common among all PPE is that routine checks should be carried out on them to maintain the integrity of their service and avoid unexpected accidents.

Importance of PPE

PPE is important for safety, health, cost, and effectiveness for both the wearer and the employer (if there is one). Beyond having a PPE, its importance can only be realized when it is worn or used properly. 

It is important because PPE is the salvation for hazards that can not be avoided or removed from the work situation.

Using PPE effectively at every required moment can protect the wearer from health risks (long-term and short-term), pain, and economic strain, and save the government and employer from extra costs. It can also retain the number of the workforce of an economy.

Uses of Personal Protective Equipment

Each personal protective equipment mentioned in this article has its uses.

Below, I have listed some uses of PPE. Check them out:

  • To prepare for risk.
  • Protection event of accidents
  • Effectiveness at work
  • Preserves the workforce
  • Reduce a worker’s likelihood of being infected
  • Reduce demands placed on the government, company, and healthcare system
  • Safe environment for workers to work
  • Avoid being a liability or long-term injuries

8 Examples of Personal Protective Equipment

After thorough research, we have provided you with 8 examples of personal protective equipment for your safety during hazardous working activities. They are:

  • Head protection equipment
  • Eye protection equipment
  • Ear protection equipment
  • Respiratory protective equipment (RPE)
  • Body protection equipment
  • Hands and arms protection equipment
  • Foot and leg protection equipment
  • Height and access protection equipment

1. Head Protection Equipment

The head is a delicate and vital part of the human body and so needs to be protected. The head is the part of the body that contains the brain. Because it contains the skull, brain, and other parts such as the eyes, nose, hair, nose, and mouth, it should be kept in optimum shape at all costs.

Any injury to the head could become massive, permanent, or even fatal. The head needs to be protected during work, especially when in contact with heavy-duty machines, heavy stationary objects, and overhead loads.

During work, especially ones such as construction, special gears need to be worn to protect the head from accidents.

8 examples of personal protective equipment. head PPE
Head protection equipment

There are three widely known examples of personal protective equipment for the head. They are hard hats, hair nets, and bump caps.

The hard hat is also known as an industrial safety helmet. They are designed to protect the head from falling objects, swinging objects, and electric shocks to the head. A hard hat is designed in a way to absorb hits and create a between the head and the shell of the hat.

Hair nets are also known as hair caps. They confine the hair, protecting it from being entangled in the machines during work.


2. Eye Protection Equipment

The eye is especially delicate. It is a part of the body that will affect your comfort if affected even a little.

During work, particles that can affect the eyes are shards of glass, sand, chemicals, debris, and dust. If there is a risk of splashes, or you’re using power equipment where objects can be propelled. If you’re working with bright lights, lasers, and pressured gas, you should use these examples of protective personal equipment for the eye.

8 examples of personal protective equipment
Eye protection equipment.

Safety glasses and goggles, eye shields, and face shields are some examples of personal protective equipment that should be worn for your eye protection.  You’re asking how they are worn with prescribed glasses. Well, some can be worn over your prescribed glasses and others can be made with prescribed lenses.

3. Ear Protection Equipment

Hearing is one of the five vital senses of humans and hearing defect is the most common sensory defect among the entire human population. Hearing might be subconscious but a defect in hearing or loss of hearing could cause a reaction so bad that it can take all of your attention. Occupational noise can cause noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL), tinnitus, constant pain, hypertension, cognitive impairment, diabetes, and even cardiovascular diseases amongst others.

Since some equipment and machines produce noise, personal protective equipment for the ear should be worn when you are likely to work around noise. Underground mining, construction, and plant processing are some works that mainly produce health-hazardous noise.

8 personal protective equipment
Ear protection equipment

The World Health Organisation (WHO) after an assessment of the health effects of occupational noise reported that millions of years of healthy life have been lost globally because of this. They also reported that 22% of hearing loss globally is caused by occupational noise. Now, this doesn’t even account for other types of hearing defects caused by occupational noise yet.

Noise is measured in decibels and it has been recommended that 85 decibels are the highest amount of noise you should work in regularly without the examples of personal protective equipment I will provide. 85 decibels can be produced with a room full of people talking. Yes, that’s how delicate the ear is.

The three basic examples of personal protective equipment for the ear are ear plugs, ear muffs, and semi-aural inserts.

Ear plugs are inserted into the ear canal and are effective in blocking out some noise. Ear plugs are made of foam that expands to fit your ear when inserted.

Ear muffs are also known as defenders and look like stereo headphones. They have adjustable cushions that completely cover the ear and fit snugly around the head. Cotton in the ear muff soaks perspiration. 

Semi-aural inserts are also called canal caps. They are worn at the entrance of the ear canal and are not as effective as the two previous examples of personal protective equipment. Therefore, they should not be relied on for long in noisy environments.

4. Respiratory Protective Equipment (RPE)

The human respiratory system is central to life and comfort. But it can be affected by exposure to harmful substances during work.

Your respiratory health should never be mortgaged on the grounds of effectiveness or productivity. This is why employers must make sure that personal protective equipment for respiratory protection must be provided for workers. And workers must make sure that they are properly utilized for their safety.

Fabric factories, construction, manufacturing, welding, gas and chemical production, mining, agriculture, and aerospace industry work.

Dust, debris, fibers, gases, and powders are some of the matters that enter the lung if personal protective equipment is not worn or worn properly. 

Particulate matter is the most common cause of occupational respiratory problems. When these microscopic pollutants are released into the air, they are absorbed into the lungs. Frequent long-term exposure will result in respiratory problems. A single severe exposure can also cause a reaction.

Some examples of diseases that could occur as a result of exposure to these matters are asbestosis, occupational asthma, silicosis, byssinosis, black lung disease (coal worker’s pneumoconiosis), and hypersensitivity pneumonitis.

Some examples of personal protective equipment for respiratory protection include a face shield, nose mask, and respirators.

8 personal protective equipment
Respiratory protective equipment

These examples of personal protective equipment are divided into two; air purifying equipment and air supplying equipment.  Filter contaminated air in the workplace to make it fit for breathing e.g.respirators. On the other hand, the air supplying equipment such as breathing apparatuses provide air independently for the worker. This is usually needed in environments with low oxygen.

When using any of these examples of personal protective equipment, always make sure they are properly fit to prevent contaminated air from entering your lungs. Your beards can be a hindrance to the proper use of respiratory protective equipment so a good shave is recommended when they are to be used.

5. Body Protection Equipment

As there is equipment for particular parts of the body, there is equipment for full-body protection i.e. chest and abdomen. These examples of personal protective equipment protect against acid and chemical splashes, sparks, falls, radioactivity, temperature extremities, contamination, cuts, and the weather. Examples of personal protective equipment that protect the full body are coveralls, overalls, aprons, body suits, and welding aprons.

Body protective equipment- 8 personal protective equipment
Body protective equipment- welding apron. (Source: weldguru.com)

Plastic and rubber clothing protect from chemical splashes. high visibility clothing is worn so that workers can be easily seen during accidents and so they won’t be run over. Laboratory coats act as a shield against protection. Cut-resistant clothing protects workers from cuts from sharp objects used during work.

Some guidelines should be followed when you want to use these examples of personal protective equipment:

  • Make sure they fit perfectly.
  • Always remember to decontaminate them immediately after use before the next use.
  • Inspect the full-body protective personal equipment before each use.

6. Hands and Arms Protection Equipment

Most works, even high-risk ones, require the use of the hands and the arm during the process. The use of hands is so important for work that during wars, good condition of people’s limbs, hands, and arms are vital criteria to be enlisted as soldiers. And injury to one’s hands and arm can result.

Likewise, as a worker, an injury to your arms and hands can make you a liability and be exempted from the workforce. Something as little as frostbite during work activity can cost you an arm!

Therefore, examples of personal protective equipment for hand and arm protection such as gloves, gauntlets, mitts, armguards, armlets, and wrist cuffs must never be underestimated. In cases where these hazards cannot be controlled, these examples of personal protective equipment should be considered.

Gloves and gauntlets protect the hands and arms in various work situations. Gloves mainly protect the palm and fingers while any risk that can contact the arm requires a gauntlet.

8 personal protective equipment
Chemical resistance gloves- personal protective equipment. (Source: vdp.com)

The examples of personal protective equipment I mentioned above serve to protect you from cuts, chemicals, colds, burns, dermatitis, skin cancer, abrasions, infection, piercing, electric shock, vibration, and heat. These accidents can occur when there is manual handling of or contact with powered knives, fire, heat, chemicals, microorganisms, cold, chainsaw, electricity, glass, molten metal, or melted plastic.

Before choosing the suitable equipment from the examples of personal protective equipment to use, there are factors you should consider:

  • What is the nature of the hazard?
  • What part(s) of my hands and arms are at risk?
  • Is the material used for manufacture able to protect against the particular hazard?
  • Is it the right fit?
  • Such gloves are usually made from leather, chain mail, rubber, knitted Kevlar, or stout canvas. However, gloves should not normally be worn where there is a risk of them being caught in machinery.

BS EN 14328 is the standard for gloves and armguards against cuts by powered knives. BS EN 407 caters to PPE for heat and/or fire. Part 1, chemicals and microorganisms. BS EN 388, mechanical hazards, and BS EN 511, cold. If the above-mentioned examples of personal protective equipment or the otherwise appropriate equipment for hands and arms protection are not worn or properly worn, critically health conditions such as dermatitis and carpal tunnel syndrome can affect the worker.

Common PPE glove types are rubber gloves, cut-resistant, chainsaw, and heat-resistant gloves. 

7. Foot and Leg Protection Equipment

During construction and electrical work, handling cutting and chopping machinery, handling drilling equipment, working in a wet environment, and using chemicals, the foot and leg can be in danger.

This means that these parts of the body may be crushed, frozen, burnt, chopped, corroded, pierced, or many other possibilities.

There are some examples of personal protective equipment for the foot and leg. some common examples are safety boots, leggings, gaiters, and spats.

Leg and foot protective equipment. 8 personal protective equipment
Leg and foot protective equipment. (Source: canva.com)

These examples of personal protective equipment can also protect you against falls, and electric shock. The standard for safety footwear is BS EN ISO 20345. The PPE option that is appropriate is chosen depending on the hazard.

8. Height and Access Protection Equipment

Sometimes, work might require humans to work at certain heights suspended in the air. sometimes they need access to a person for a rescue mission.

These examples of personal protective equipment needed for such duty are specialized and require competence, and at the least training. This is because they must be used correctly.

Some examples of personal protective equipment for height and access protection include body harnesses, lanyards, rescue lifting and lowering harnesses, connectors, energy absorbers, and body belts, and anchorage.

8 personal protective equipment
Height and access equipment – Body harness. (Source: canva.com)

Such examples of personal protective equipment require periodic, thorough inspection by a competent person.

About 1992 Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations?

In 1992, a regulation was released in the UK that was implemented on the 1st of January 1993. It mandates every employer in Great Britain to provide appropriate personal protective equipment for all employees who are at risk of exposure to hazards against their health and safety during their work. They are simply requirements for the equipment that should protect the employees.

In the 1992 personal protective equipment at work regulation, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is defined as “all equipment (including clothing affording protection against the weather) which is intended to be worn or held by a person at work which protects them against one or more risks to their health and safety, and any addition or accessory designed to meet that objective”. Examples of personal protective equipment include hard hats, safety boots, high visibility clothing, respiratory equipment, face masks, safety harnesses, etc. 

The regulations for PPE are it:

  • Must be compatible with other PPE
  • Must be able to fit the wearer properly
  • Must have the ability to tackle situations where risks are involved or may occur.
  • Must take account of the state of health of the wearer.
  • Must comply with statutory requirements on manufacture


From the above study, it is evident that the importance of the different examples of personal protective equipment cannot be overlooked. For you to be effective during work, be safe from being a liability, obtain long-term or permanent injuries, and pain, and save cost, wearing your PPE is important.

Examples of Personal Protective Equipment – FAQs

When is personal protective equipment required?

Workers need to be aware of when using PPE is required. Inadequate training on matters like this can cause avoidable problems. Employers are required to teach workers when it is necessary to wear PPE. The list below outlines the times and situations when personal protective equipment is required: When the risk cannot be properly controlled without PPE. When there is the possibility of cuts, burns, chemicals, falls falling objects, etc. When general protective measures are taken but cannot protect the individuals. By the 1992 personal protective equipment at work regulations, protective measures should be carried out in this order, with PPE used when others have been administered. -elimination, substitution, engineering controls, and administrative controls. Hazardous areas- areas under construction, electricity,  height, PPE is required when it has to be used as a short-term measure before adequate control is carried out. During an emergency. For instance, they need to use an emergency face mask.


Precious Okafor is a digital marketer and online entrepreneur that got into the online space in 2017 and since then have developed skills in content creation, copywriting and online marketing. He is also a Green activist and hence his role in publishing articles for EnvironmentGo

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