Correct use of equipment and protective equipment

OCCUPATIONAL WORK CAPACITY CAPABILITIES 2/6

The use of tools, aids and protective equipment is part of professional skills. Every professional knows how to check their condition before use, keeps them in good condition, uses them correctly and maintains them when necessary.

Important things to remember

The tool used is suitable for the task and the conditions.

The tool is right for you.

You have received training, instructions or orientation for using the tool or device.

The tool and the device are in proper condition and any adjustments are correct. 

Please inform the employer if you notice any fault or malfunction in the condition of the tool or device.

The tools and devices used in the work vary by industry  

 

  • In the transport industry, for example, the tool may be a vehicle or a device for moving goods. 
  • Examples of tools in the construction industry include angle grinder, hammer and circular saw.
  • The tools in a restaurant include cooking utensils, ovens and pots.
  • The tools of a practical nurse include, for example, rubber gloves, disposable gloves, wheelchairs and thermometers.
  • Important tools for office work include, for example, computers, information systems and programs.

Increase work proficiency with aids 

In many tasks, work proficiency is supported by the use of various tools. The aids also reduce the stress caused by work.

The use of aids improves working positions and reduces the risk of, for example, back illnesses.

The employees must be provided with tools that are suited to the work and the workload if heavy lifting and transfers cannot be avoided or made safe by improving working methods.

Work-easing aids

  • basket cranes
  • equipment for the transfer of goods
  • height adjustable counter tops
  • movable stools
  • equipment supporting work ergonomics

Aids may also be used in sedentary and office work to improve the working position and reduce static stress:

  • Adjustable armrests for chairs
  • Keyboard and mouse wrist supports
  • Easily adjustable chair
  • Saddle chair
  • Stand-up desk

Use protective equipment 

Personal protective equipment (PPE) protect your health and safety at work. Keep in mind that even a short work effort without proper protection can result in an accident or exposure.  If you do not know the instructions on how to use the equipment, ask your supervisor or, for example, the occupational health and safety representative. 

Examples of personal protective equipment
  • Safety goggles 
  • Earmuffs 
  • Safety shoes
  •  Respirator 
  • Protective gloves
  • Mouth and nose cover 
  • Protective apron 
  • Hair cover 
  • Reflectors and well visible clothing 
  • Workwear 
Dress according to the working conditions
  • Dressing according to the task is part of professional skills 
  • The use of workwear and protective clothing is governed by the Occupational Safety and Health Act 
  • Workwear has a protective effect
  • It is important that the clothing does not pose a risk to the workplace (for example, by adhering to devices or machines) 
  • Workwear creates a positive impression of a representative of the employer 
  • The selection of workwear and protective clothing depends, for example, on the work, workstation, workplace cleanliness requirements and  potential customer work requirements 
Dressing should also be suitable for weather conditions
  • When working outdoors in the winter, the protective effect of the clothing from cold temperatures should be taken into account 
  • Favour layered clothing when working in a cold temperature (constantly below 10°C) 
  • The clothing should breathe when working in a hot working environment (temperature constantly over 28°C) and/or with physically heavy work
  • Outdoor clothing should protect you from direct sunlight during the summer 

The type of protective equipment used depends on the work and the working environment. For example, in the construction industry, earmuffs prevent hearing damage, and helmet and face cover prevent damage to the head or the eyes of the loggers. In healthcare, protective gloves and respirators ensure hygiene.

References


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