Staying safe & protected is essential when working in any environment. Whether it is a small-scale household DIY Task or a larger scale heavy duty construction project, ensuring the appropriate PPE Clothing is worn, correct Health & Safety Equipment is used and Protective Tools are provided is vital. This blog from RUKO UK investigates the different methods a user can undertake when performing potentially dangerous drilling and cutting processes.
What is PPE?
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is a range of specialised clothing, tools, accessories, devices and equipment designed to protect the user against potential risks and hazard exposure, providing ultimate health and safety measures for any DIY Task or workplace construction project when drilling or cutting.
UK Protection Laws and Regulations
The United Kingdom has certain laws and regulations when it comes to Health and Safety within a building/construction project. Construction builds should comply with these rules and regulations to maintain a safe working project.
- Health and Safety at Work Act (HSWA) 1974
- Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations (MHSWR) 1999
- The Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013 (RIDDOR)
- Safety Representatives and Safety Committees Regulations 1977 and The Health and Safety (Consultation with Employees) Regulations 1996
- Hierarchy of control
More information on these Laws, Rules and Regulations can be found here.
Fire, Smoke and Heat Safety
A vital safety feature is adequate extraction. Fume Extraction Units like extractor fans and air vents are important safety devices for safety against dangers such as smoke or fume inhalation. When conducting any form of application well ventilated environments or the use of ventilation equipment should always be considered.
Fire protection equipment should always be on hand in the event of a fire. Fire hazards often pose a risk when undertaking drilling or cutting activities (job dependant), equipment such as fire blankets, fire extinguishers and specialised fire protective clothing (such as gloves) can help to protect any user in the result of a fire outbreak.
Protecting users against heat should be a consideration in any application. This is because drilling and cutting can result in a lot of heat. Providing the user with heat safety devices such as Air Conditioning (A/C) Units, Heat Protective Clothing, Ventilation systems or a well-ventilated room/environment can protect the users welfare when it comes to heat exposure.
Health, First Aid and Personnel Welfare Protection
The welfare of the tool user is crucial within any project involving drilling or cutting. It is recommended that first aid kits and equipment should be available to users undertaking drilling or cutting activities. DIY and Construction Projects can pose health risks to users. This can range from dust and smoke inhalation to cuts, bits of excess material (that may fly off the surface material), eye damage, potential limb loss/damage and other first aid (accident) injuries.
It is also advisable for users to maintain regular break usage and to remain hydrated.
Ensuring Safety when undergoing a DIY Project
Professional builders, plumbers, gas engineers, electricians, welders, engineers and other craftsman are informed and trained in regard to health and safety regulations as part of the acts imposed by the British Government (for UK Workplaces). However, general DIY tasks carried out by a member of the public within their own private household (or land) does not have to abide by these regulations. This could pose a danger to those users, as they may not be aware of the measures required and the danger exposed to them. You can familiarise yourself with all the UK Laws, Rules and Regulations in regards to Health and Safety here.
All users, regardless of the scale of the project, should wear PPE Clothing and use appropriate safety tools. For small-scale DIY Projects within the household, it is advised that protective goggles/specs should be worn alongside hand ware protection such as gloves to provide the user with the best protection when drilling or using cutting tool equipment.
Ensuring Health and Safety within a work environment
Workplace Protection is vital for any business or employer to ensure they comply with laws, rules and regulations. Appropriate PPE should be used for each specified task. When it comes to drilling, the standard PPE to be used is Gripper Gloves for hand protection, mask (for respiratory protection) and Goggles or Specs for eyewear (vision) protection. In certain cases, more advanced gloves (and potential sleeves and jackets) and advanced headwear such as bandanas, hats/helmets or respirator equipment may be required. For an employer, a business must make sure that their employees are well protected for the job processes they undertake.
PPE Clothing, Safety Equipment and Hazard Prevention Accessories
There are a variety of different PPE Clothing and Safety Accessory options available for all job applications, big or small, DIY Tasks or workplace construction activities and projects. These can range from Head and Eyewear protection such as specs, goggles, visors, bandanas, hoods and helmets/hats to hand/arm protection such as gloves, gauntlets and sleeves. Full body protection and leg protection can be achieved with specialised jackets, vests, kneepads and spats. Whilst footwear protection can be achieved with safety shoes, spats, specialised socks and steel toe cap safety boots.
- Eyewear Safety – Visors, Spectacles, Brow Guards, Glasses and Goggles can all help prevent visionary hazards and eye damage. This is particularly vital when it comes to drilling or using a cutting tool, as the excess material could fling from the high speed tool to the face of the user. Wearing Specs or Goggles should always be a consideration.
- Hearing Protection – Ear PPE is often a forgotten safety measure when undertaking a drilling or cutting process. Certain tasks may involve using heavy-duty high-speed machine tooling, which may cause high noise pollution, potentially damaging to the users hearing. Ear Defenders or Ear Plugs can help protect users undergoing such activities.
- Masks and Respiratory Devices – Dust can be real issue when it comes to DIY or other construction builds. The dust typically forms from the surface material as small particles of excess material. This could then be potentially inhaled by the user. The use of masking can help to prevent this. In more advanced situations, specialised respiratory equipment can be utilised where fume or gas poses a health hazard to the user. This is particularly relevant in tasks such as Welding or Grinding where fumes and gas can be problematic.
- Head Protection – Helmets, Bandanas, capes, hoods and other headwear can provide injury, flame, fire and damage protection in more advanced applicational use, where masks and goggles may not be sufficient enough. An example of this could be when welding.
- Hand Protection – The most common forms of hand protection include gloves and gauntlets. There are many different types of gloves, from different grip types, material, sizes, coatings and capabilities. For most drilling applications, gripper gloves, drivers gloves or ISO cut gloves are best suited.
- Arm Protection – Sleeves and long sleeve gloves or gauntlets can help to provide protection against risks to the user’s arms. This is particularly supportive against cuts or injuries and excess material.
- Body Protection – There are a range of different clothing options available for body protection. Common types include jackets and one-piece protective bodysuits. Typically for most applications using cut or drill bit tools does not require bodywear protection.
- Leg and Ankle Protection – Spats, kneepads and specialist trousers can help to provide protection for legs when conducting large-scale drilling/cutting applications.
- Footwear – Alongside the legwear protection, footwear PPE such as safety shoes and safety boots can help to add protection and safety to any job. Steel toe cap boots or shoes are particularly recommended to ensure safety when dealing with heavy or potentially dangerous (e.g. sharp) objects.
RUKO UK offers a wide range of PPE Clothing and Safety Equipment provided by Panther. View our stock here.
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