In the last few years, a lot of people have become familiar with the phrase PPE or personal protective equipment. This is a legal health and safety requirement in workplaces across America.
However, the type of PPE you need depends on where you work. If you work on a wind farm in or near Houston, Texas, then you will need a lot of PPE. Employers who fail to provide this could be liable for workplace accidents and injuries.
So what sort of PPE should your employer provide for you and why is this so important? Read on to find out everything you need to know.
What Is PPE?
PPE stands for personal protective equipment. This is the equipment used in the workplace to protect employees from serious accidents or injuries.
In some cases, PPE works to prevent accidents, such as slips, burns, or falls. In others, it acts to minimize serious damage caused by accidents, such as falling objects. So it can provide valuable protection for you if an accident does occur.
Why is PPE for Wind Farming Important?
There are currently more than 16,000 wind turbines across Texas providing energy for more than 9 million homes. That’s more turbines than any other state in the country! So Texas is clearly doing its bit to go green and good on you for helping with that.
However, running and maintaining these wind farms can be dangerous work, especially if you don’t have the proper PPE. While working on a wind farm you can encounter a variety of hazards, including:
- Working at great heights
- Being exposed to high noise levels
- Working in confined spaces
- Working with heavy machinery
- Working with hazardous substances
On top of this, you also run the risk of encountering common workplace injuries. These include slips and falls, being hit by falling objects, muscle strains, and repetitive strain injuries.
While working on a wind farm, you can also encounter hazardous weather conditions, such as high winds. These can increase your risk of having an accident.
Workplace accidents on wind farms can be incredibly serious. They may leave you unable to work or with life-long health complications.
This is why it is so important to use PPE while at work. So what sort of PPE do you need to protect yourself?
Which Types of PPE Do You Need for Wind Farming in Houston?
As you can already see, there are plenty of things you need protection from while working on a wind farm.
Because of this, you need to use a range of PPE. Let’s take a closer look at what you should be using at work.
Proper head protection is a must-have for anyone working on a wind farm. This protects you from falling objects. It can also protect your head if you slip and fall while working.
Hard hats with secure straps should be worn by everyone working on a wind farm. These need to be strong enough to withstand mechanical impacts. They should be available in a range of sizes to ensure that everyone finds one that fits perfectly.
Some hats are available with visors for added face protection as well.
Footwear to Protect Against Slips and Falls
If you are working at a height you want to wear footwear that prevents slips and falls.
You should wear sturdy boots with a broad sole and deep treat to provide maximum grip while you are at work. These will help to keep you safe no matter the weather.
Your boots should also protect your feet from falling objects. Because of this, it is a good idea to wear boots with a steel toe cap.
Of course, being on your feet all day can also lead to injuries. This is why your boots need to provide proper support for your feet. So if, for example, you have a high arch, your boots should support this properly.
Your hands can be exposed to a lot while working on a wind farm. As well as harsh weather conditions, you may come into contact with hazardous chemicals or electrical hazards.
This is why it is important that you have a range of safety gloves on offer to suit the weather conditions and the type of work you will be doing. This should include:
- Wet safety gloves
- Cut protection gloves
- Thermo gloves
- Chemical protection gloves
These will protect your hands and make it easy to grip whatever you are working with.
Anti-Fog Safety Goggles
If you are working with electricity or hazardous chemicals, you also need to protect your eyes. Rogue sparks or splashes of chemicals could cause irreversible damage.
Your safety goggles should sit close to your face and provide great clarity so that you can see what you’re working on. You can also get tinted safety goggles that are ideal for working in bright, sunny conditions.
Working on a wind farm can be very noisy. You may work with loud machinery or you might be exposed to deafening wind speeds.
Prolonged exposure to sudden loud noises can cause serious long-term damage to your cochlea. This can lead to irreversible hearing loss.
Loud noises can also make it difficult for you to hear other important sounds at work, such as alarms. If you cannot hear safety warnings then your workplace safety is immediately compromised.
Because of this, you need to wear specialized hearing protection when working on a wind farm. This might be earmuffs or earplugs.
These will quieten any background noise and protect your ears. They’ll also make it easier to hear emergency alarms.
Exposure to dust, fumes, and aerosols can cause serious lung damage, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. So if you are working in this type of environment, your employer should provide protective face masks.
These are available in a number of different classes to suit each condition and filter out dangerous debris in the air.
Of course, if you are carrying out engineering work on a wind turbine, you’ll need to get pretty high up. For any of this work, you should be provided with:
- A safety harness
- Twin lanyards
- Positioning lanyards
- A Kong Frog
- Carabiners to secure your lanyards
This equipment will catch you if you do happen to fall from a height while working on a wind farm.
Who is Responsible for Providing PPE?
Your employer has a legal responsibility to provide PPE for you to use in the workplace. So you do not have to buy this yourself.
They should also:
- Keep an inventory of the PPE they have
- Regularly check their PPE to ensure it is in safe working condition
- Replace old or damaged PPE
- Provide training on how to use all of your PPE
If an employer fails to do this, then they are putting all of their employees in serious danger. If an accident does occur then they could be liable.
What is Your Responsibility When Using PPE?
As an employee, you also have a responsibility to use the PPE provided while at work.
Failure to use PPE properly doesn’t just put you and your colleagues at risk. It could also result in you getting a written warning or suspension from work.
You also have a responsibility to attend all of the training provided by your work. If you aren’t sure how to use a piece of PPE, make sure you check with a manager before starting work.
How Can PPE Affect a Wind Farm Accident Case in Texas?
If you have sustained a wind farm injury then you could make a claim against your employer. Before doing this, your lawyer will want to know about the circumstances of your accident.
A whole range of things can cause accidents on wind farms but your PPE plays a vital role. If you were wearing the correct PPE at the time, then this acts in your favor. This shows that you were doing everything possible to stay safe in the workplace.
If your employer failed to provide proper PPE or your PPE malfunctioned, then they could be liable for your accident. Getting photos of your PPE and records of the PPE maintenance will help to support your case.
Talking to your lawyer about your accident can help you figure out whether or not you have a case. They will also be able to help to gather evidence to support this so that you get the compensation you deserve.
Get Support With Your Accident Case Today
As you can see, PPE plays a vital role in safety on wind farms in Houston, Texas. Your employer should provide up-to-date PPE and training on how to use this. This can help to prevent serious accidents and injuries.
If you have been involved in an accident on a wind farm that wasn’t your fault, you could be owed compensation. Get in touch with the Morgan Legal Group today to discuss your case. We offer free consultations and are happy to help.