Consider whether your crew is walking through areas where the chemical is applied, or whether they will be applying the chemicals above the height of their shoulders. For example, they may need to wear rubber boots for turf applications, and a hard hat if they will be spraying pesticides on trees or other tall surfaces. Chemical Protective Ensembles Chemical protection often requires an “ensemble” of protective clothing and equipment which are combined to provide adequate protection while allowing the user to maintain mobility. Factors to take into consideration:
- Is the PPE compatible?
- Does the PPE fit correctly?
- Does the PPE reduce dexterity?
- Is the donning time appropriate?
Considering the above, you may choose the combination of equipment that provides the most protection. Complete chemical protection usually calls for a set of equipment including:
- Body covering such as coveralls, pants, and jacket, or a Tyvek suit
- Safety glasses and/or face shields
- Chemical resistant gloves
- Chemical resistant shoes
Keep in mind that the level of protection provided varies by equipment, and by exposure. Factors such as the thickness of the material and exposure times need to be taken into consideration when evaluating equipment, and no materials can provide permanent and complete protection from all chemicals. An important note about gloves – the thicker they are, the more protection they provide. However, do not use latex or polyethylene gloves to handle chemicals. These types of gloves can actually absorb the chemical and allow it to continue to damage the skin.