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Mohan Sharan
Industrial Safety Consultant


NEED Chemical handling and use at workplace in Industry are associated with Health Hazards and can cause Occupational Injuries or Diseases. The body must be protected if there is any risk of coming into contact with chemicals. Chemicals can enter in the body by three routes- Through the Mouth, Through the Skin & Through the Inhalation. Personal protection involves avoiding exposure by using appropriate Personal Protective Equipment. LEGAL REQUIREMENT The supply and use of personal protective equipment by the employee in the Factories, under different situation, has been made statutory under Section 32, 35 and 36 for the Factories Act. Further, under Section 87 of the Act, State Governments have been given power notify any particular process/ operation as dangerous and special rules regarding use of personal protective equipment of appropriate type.


Head covering in the form of safety helmet is generally necessary for comfort in hot climates and protection against chemical splashes, chemical exposure, impact and penetration due to fall of objects or striking objects. Helmets of each type should confirm to IS: 2925-1984 Industrial Safety Helmets


Safety Goggles and face shield

The common hazards encountered during handling and use of chemicals causing injury to eye and face are chemical splashes, irritation, and absorption of airborne chemicals In such situations, provide chemical safety goggles and face shield to the workers to protect eye and face respectively Chemical safety goggles should always provide a close fit to the face and its material should not irritate the skin. IS : 8521 (Part-I) 1977.

GLOVES AND GAUNTLETS The hands are the most commonly used parts of the body in handling chemicals. To protection hands from chemical hazards, gloves should be worn for all chemical handling operations. Gloves are made of Nitrile Rubber, PVC, Polyethylene, Neoprene,etc.

PVC gloves may also be suitable and are reasonably resistant to abrasion & Polyethylene gloves are resistant to many solvents.
IS 8807-1978


SAFETY BOOTS To protect the workers from the hazards arising out of the handling and use of chemicals or when dealing with leakage or accidental spillage of hazardous chemicals, suitable protection to foot and leg is essential. Protection to foot and leg is provided by wearing gum boots made of impervious material such as rubber, neoprene, PVC etc. IS 15298 -1983

Approns, Jackets and Coveralls Safety clothing in the form of Apron, Jacket or Coverall based on the need should be used for protection against Chemical Splashes, and Exposure to airborne Toxic Chemicals. The body protectors are usually made of rubber , neoprene, polyurethane, polyethylene or PVC.

Coverall provide protection during a wide range of operations minly against particulate matter and light spray.
IS : 8519-1977

The basic purpose of any respirator is to protect the respiratory system from inhalation of hazardous Chemicals. Respirators provide protection either by removing contaminants from the air before it is inhaled. A respirator that removes contaminants from the workroom air is called an Air Purifying Respirator. A respirator that provide breathing gas from a source independent of the surrounding atmosphere instead of purifying the atmosphere is called Air supplying respirator.

Disposable Mask Disposable mask provided protection against particulate matter These masks are made of paper, synthetic material, surgical gauze or cellulose. The mask does not offer effective protection against very fine dust and toxic chemicals Mechanical Respirator Mechanical Respirator with ultramicroscopic particulate filter are usually used against dust hazards. The two stage filter consists of a cotton pre-filter to trap large particle and a resin impregnated wool filter to retain very fine particles. This type of respirator filter out particles less than 5 micron.

Chemical respirators are suitable for protection of workers in a situations where concentrations of air borne chemicals exceeds their respective permissible Limit of Exposure. Chemical Cartridge Chemical cartridges usually consists of a half-mask which covers the nose and mouth only. Gas Mask This Respirator consists of a full face place, which covers eyes, nose and mouth connected This respirator protect workers from Chemicals at Workplace. Air supplying Respirator Air supplying respirators are suitable for use in Oxygen-deficient atmosphere.


The supplied air suit is a form of continuous air line respirator. Air line respirators may be half-mask, full race piece, ;hood or helmet, or complete suit. The restorable air is supplied to the user through a hose connected to a central source, either a compressed air cylinder or a compressor. Self contained Breathing Apparatus Self contained breathing apparatus are specially designed to afford respiratory protection during escape in emergency situations.