If you’re an industrial worker, then you’re already well aware of the advantages of using personal protective equipment (or PPE) while on the job. However, what some people don’t realize is all of it has an eventual expiration date. That’s why we want to go over how often you should replace pieces of your PPE so you can remain as safe as possible.
After a Set Amount of Time
Even though time is probably the worst way to determine if your PPE is worth keeping or replacing, it’s still an aspect that you need to take into consideration. All equipment wears away to different degrees. For example, a fire-resistant shirt is going to wear out more quickly than a hard hat.
Despite the differences, most people agree that six months of regular use is around the time that you should thoroughly look over the PPE and determine if you need to replace it or not. In most cases, it won’t need to be, but it never hurts to be safe rather than sorry.
After It Fails Inspection
Whether it’s or own small-scale inspection, a routine check completed by your boss, or an official one done by OSHA officials, articles of PPE that fail an appraisal for any reason should be discarded and replaced. If there are multiple parts to your equipment, you likely won’t need to replace all of it. Still, it’s a good idea to check with the person who looked it over (or another higher-up) before deciding.
After It Has Been Severely Damaged
More often than not, the way more people determine how often they should replace pieces of their PPE is based on if they’ve been damaged or not. A perfect example of this is fire-resistant clothing. On its own, FR clothing can last for a while, but once it’s gotten burned, it’s useless and will need to get replaced.
Other pieces of PPE can usually take more of a beating before needing a replacement. Always take the time to check it after you’ve heavily used it. If you’re unsure if it’s still of good quality, don’t be afraid to check with your boss for confirmation.