Exposure Control through Personal Protection

Exposure control involves a wide variety of defensive measures to be taken during the use of hazardous substances in order to minimize worker exposure [Ref. 1 & 2; also http://www.ilo.org]. However, it may be emphasized that engineering measures (see section XIX) should always be the primary measure, to be reinforced by deployment of personal protection equipment (PPE). The choice of the type of PPE should be commensurate with the type of likely exposure (inhalation, contact, etc) and designed to provide effective protection against exposure. Examples are summarized below:

  • Respiratory protection: specify adequate masks and the filter type
  • Eye protection: specify the type of protective equipment, such as safety glasses, safety goggles, face shield
  • Hand protection: specify the type and material of gloves to be worn when handling the substance or preparation. An example of the importance of choosing the right material is that polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) provides good protection against toluene diisocyanate but offers poor resistance to trichloroethylene.
  • Skin protection: specify the type and quality of equipment required, such as an apron, boots or full protective suit. Indicate also the specific hygiene measures, such as eating or smoking prohibition during handling, or washing methods.
  • Additional protection / mitigation from emergency situations: specify safety showers, eyewash stations, fire extinguishers, etc.