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Types of Personal Protective Equipment in the Workplace

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Personal Protective Equipment, commonly referred to as PPE is an important part of any safety plan, but it's not always easy to tell when you need to use them. Trio Plus has some advice for staying protected against Covid-19 with the right PPE - and also provides a few tips on what kind of equipment should be used in different situations.

Personal protective equipment is any special equipment you wear to avoid coming into direct contact with germs. Examples of personal protective equipment include gloves, masks, goggles, aprons, head covers and shoe covers. All these PPEs are used in hospitals to protect healthcare workers from infections. PPEs are designed to block the transmission of contaminants to your body, especially the nose, mouth and eyes. It is, however, important to understand how to use each PPE type before using to avoid exposing yourself. This article is a guide on when to use each type of personal protective equipment, especially during this coronavirus pandemic period.

The Corona virus pandemic found many of us by surprise and unprepared. For a business to stay open, there had to be a change in how both the staff and visitors interacted to minimise the virus's spread. While regular washing of hands and keeping a two-metre distance between people helps a lot, businesses need to provide more protection from the virus.

Here are some types of personal protective equipment that can be used within a premise to protect against Covid-19. 

What are 3 examples of PPE and when should they be used?

Face Masks

3-ply-face-mask.jpgThe first type of protective gear is a face mask. These are most effective when they cover the nose and mouth, or if they're sealed around the wearer's neck to ensure clean air passages. The two major types of masks in a hospital setup are surgical masks and FFP3 respirator masks. Surgical masks protect the users from droplets and splash that can find a way into their nose or mouth. Currently, face masks are a necessity among health care workers, unlike before when they were reserved for use in theatres in as protection against splashes of blood or other body fluids.They need to be replaced every two hours because they can't prevent droplets from being released into the environment. Face masks are necessary if you're in close contact with an infected person and there's a chance of droplets being released.


The second type of protective gear is gloves which are worn to prevent direct skin contact between people, or from contaminated objects to other surfaces. You should always wear gloves whenever there is a possibility of exposure to blood, bodily fluids, secretions and excretions as well as when handling contaminated equipment. Gloves are now a standard PPE for health care workers due to increased awareness about their effectiveness in protecting against disease-causing pathogens. Healthcare workers should, however, use gloves appropriately to avoid increasing the risk of transmission.These usually need to be replaced every four hours because they can't prevent droplets from being released into the environment. By wearing PPE gloves , you can reduce the risk of contamination from dirty surfaces.


The third type of protective gear is an apron or bib that covers your body from head to toe, with exceptions for parts like eyes or skin that can't be covered. They need to be replaced every four hours because they can't prevent droplets from being released into the environment. The purpose of the overall covering is to protect against droplets from coming into contact with the skin, which can be very dangerous. They have at least 100 square inches (0.11 m²) of coverage and fasten securely around your neck to prevent exposure to liquid or particle contamination on clothes. They're typically worn in situations where droplets from an activity could land on the skin, such as in a food preparation area or laboratory.Disposable plastic aprons help protect the healthcare worker’s clothing from soiling during direct patient care. Always use aprons when in situations where there is anticipated contamination of blood or other body fluids, like in maternity wards. Healthcare workers also use aprons when having close skin-to-skin contact with the patient.

Some parts of your body need more protection than others because they're exposed to contamination that's likely to lead to infection. If you have cuts or wounds, don't use PPEs unless they come pre-treated with chemicals like iodine. Eye protection can either be in the form of face shields or goggles. One can use these two to avoid splashing of fluids to mucous membranes on the face like the nose and mouth. For example, people who come into contact with a lot of people during this coronavirus pandemic time can use face shields to protect themselves from saliva spats produced when others are talking all coughing.

A mask is used to protect the face and respiratory tract against airborne particles, vapors, splashes or droplets that may contain Covid-19. It should have an efficient filter with a high level of protection that covers the nose and mouth. The respirator must be properly fitted for your facial features in order to work effectively.

Hand Protection

Inside a business premise, hands come into contact with many objects ranging from doorknobs, railings, and electric switches. All this surface can be grounds for the virus to stay, and washing our hands cannot be enough. That is why hands need to be protected by gloves. The gloves must stay on at all times.

Head protection

The mouth, eyes, and nose are home to the soft membrane through which the Corona virus enters the human body. It is essential then that these three organs are protected from the virus. Protective face masks are used to create a seal around the mouth and nose, creating a barrier that protects you from the virus. Additionally, the mask also prevents you from spreading the virus. The eyes are also protected by the use of goggles and face shields that block the virus from reaching the mucous membrane of the eye. Unless eating, this should be used all the time.


This type of protection includes aprons, shoe covers, headgear, and gowns, an extra layer of protection depending on the nature of the job you are doing. This is very important for medical staff if you are coming into contact with someone you believe or suspect to be having the virus.

In any case, the type of protective gear to use greatly depends on the type of work that requires the gear. At Trio Plus, we have a range of protective gear that includes; sticky tac mats that remove dirt from shoes; protective face masks to protect the mouth and nose; and surface sanitiser products that ensure surfaces are virus-free. Any order for our personal protective equipment is shipped the same day or overnight for mainland UK.

You can find a wide range of PPE products available to order quickly from Trio Plus including face masks, hand gel sanitisers and tack mats. Call us on 01372 747 555 with any enquiries.