Personal protective equipment (PPE) is a crucial component in any spill kit whether it is a universal kit or a biohazard kit. The following are examples of PPE (from Creative Safety Supply’s Spill Kit User Guide) that can be found in a variety of kits and should be considered during the purchasing process.
- Eye and face protection: This type of protection will usually comprise of goggles and a face shield Chemicals have the capability to permanently injure a worker’s eye when splashed upwards, and goggles or safety glasses will keep the eyes protected. Face shields will protect the sensitive skin on an employee’s face in the case of hazardous chemicals splashing up. In addition to protective eyewear and a face shield, employee should also be trained in what to do if their eyes or face do happen to come in contact with a chemical, such as locating the nearest eye wash or emergency shower station.
- Gloves and booties: Since a worker is most likely to use their hands when cleaning up a spill, it is a body part most likely to come in contact with the liquid or hazardous chemical. Safety gloves found in universal spill kits are often nitrile or neoprene gloves which will provide adequate protection. Some materials can even soak through a worker’s boots, so it will be important to provide some sort of booties.
- Disposable lab coat or coveralls: Wearing either coveralls or lab coat that can be disposed will ensure none of the chemicals of the spill will remain on a worker’s clothes and get carried home or to their vehicle.
- Respiratory protection: This type of protection will only be necessary around certain chemicals but will be extremely important in those cases. Inhalation of caustic chemicals can cause long-term, permanent damage to workers.
As with choosing other forms of PPE, the workplace should be adequately analyzed before choosing the PPE provided.