Personal protective equipment (PPE) is a collective term for protective clothing, helmets, goggles, face shields, gloves, face mask; including supplies like soap, hand sanitizer, which is designed to protect the user’s body from injuries or infection.
During the COVID-19 pandemic threat, PPE is especially used to prevent infection with the COVID-19 virus.
Since the COVID-19 virus is not only transmitted from human to human directly via droplets (when speaking or coughing) but can also survive on surfaces, using adequate PPE is important and mandatory when carrying out work or personal activities where an infection with COVID-19 may be suspected.
Depending on the activity or work carried out, specific PPE might be recommended or required in addition to the following recommendations:
Always wear a face mask when dealing with others in enclosed spaces and whenever proper physical distancing cannot be kept.
It is recommended to change the face mask at least every 4-6 hours or whenever contamination is suspected.
A transparent face shield instead of a face mask can be used if wearing a face mask is not suitable.
Gloves should only be used when needed. For example when handling cash, other peoples’ luggage or items, disposing trash, performing cleaning and disinfection, caring for someone with and without COVID-19 symptoms.
In general, PPE must be changed whenever potentially contagious items were handled or cleaning or maintenance activities were being carried out.
Reusable PPE, such as face shields, must be cleaned maintaining appropriate standards after use.
Always wear PPE during any cleaning or sterilisation processes and make sure to wear sturdy shoes when handling detergents or disinfectant solutions.
It is forbidden to carry out cleaning or sterilisation unless wearing closed shoes and long trousers.
In general, employers are obliged to provide their employees with the appropriate level of PPE.
This includes as a minimum a face mask, transparent face shield (if useful), gloves, soap and water, hand sanitiser, and proper cleaning supplies.