Personal Protective Equipment

Personal Protective Equipment
Posted on in Safety Managers, Volunteers

Print This Post Print This Post

Each job performed while constructing a Habitat house presents its own risks. In order to protect your employees and volunteers, you must identify what the potential hazards are, and then decide how to best guard against those risks. Personal Protective equipment, or PPE, is the most common choice for protecting workers.

Head Injuries

The most common head injuries in residential construction occur when an item such as a tool is dropped from a height onto someone’s unprotected head. Injuries also occur due to falls from heights, changes in ceiling level and electric shock. The best way to protect against head injuries is to wear a hardhat.

Hardhats should be worn when working from heights, when others are working above you, and when there is the possibility of electric shock from above. To ensure their effectiveness hardhats should be properly maintained, for tips on hardhat maintenance go to If you take care of your hardhat, it will take care of you.

Eye Injuries

Eye injuries can happen in many ways: impact from chips, sand, dirt and dust particles, heat, chemical burn and optical radiation from intense light. Eye injuries common during home construction are dust particles and saw dust getting in to the eyes. Safety glasses will help protect your eyes! Proper safety glasses must comply with ANSI Z87 specifications, and will have a Z87 marking on the lenses or frame. Your typical eyeglasses are not enough to protect your eyes. Certain activities will require a face shield with eye protection, such as a welder’s mask.

Ear Injuries

Continued exposure to loud noises can have lasting affects on your hearing. Earmuffs, foam earplugs and canal caps are all effective ways of limiting the damage to your ears. Pick one that fits comfortably and blocks out the damaging sounds.

Another piece of Personal Protective Equipment which might benefit your affiliate is a Personal Fall Arrest System. In residential construction, fall arrest systems are mainly worn by individuals working on roofs. Falls from roofs present serious potential injury to employees and volunteers, and as such, are a major concern to Habitat. If your affiliate doesn’t subcontract out the roofing work, we recommend that you look into purchasing a fall arrest system.

Protecting your workers should be your number one priority on the jobsite. It is important that you understand what PPE items are necessary and provide them for your workers. And keep a watchful eye to make sure your workers are using them when necessary.

And remember to always get a signed waiver from all volunteers prior to them working on the jobsite! If you have any questions please call the Habitat for Humanity Affiliate Insurance Program at (888) 553-9002.

comments powered by Disqus

Sorry, that passcode is incorrect.


Online Training Course Instructions

Read this entirely before proceeding to a training course.

Access Code: W8NAEBTG

Recommended Courses

  • You are Exposed: General Affiliate Safety
  • Fall Safety
  • ReStore Safety & Loss Control
  • Volunteering on a Habitat for Humanity Job Site

Take Training Course Now
  • After reading these instructions in their entirety, click on Take Training Course Now.
  • In the Employee Access Code box enter: W8NAEBTG and press Submit. This is the code for all Habitat affiliates and volunteers to use.
  • The Safety Courses catalog screen offers a diverse selection of safety courses, including four Habitat-specific courses. Course completion time ranges from 15 to 30 minutes.
  • Click the name of the course you wish to take. The course loads and starts automatically. When the presentation has ended you will be prompted to take a Quiz.
  • Upon completion of the Quiz, you’ll be given your accuracy score, indicating Pass or Fail.
  • If you Fail, you may log in again and re-take the course at a later time
  • If you Pass, you will be directed to a course completion screen. On this screen enter your First Name and Last Name in the appropriate fields. In the Location field enter the Habitat affiliate name you are working with.
  • Course completion information is provided to HFHI, the program administrator and program underwriter.