Personal Protective Equipment
Personal protective equipment, or PPE, is essential on any construction site. SCAFCO has several recommendations for PPE use in construction, which are outlined below.
Following these instructions will greatly reduce the risk of injury on your construction site.
Cut-resistant gloves are the most important piece of PPE when working with sheet metal. Recent technological advances have greatly increased the safety, durability, and dexterity of safety gloves. In other words, while wearing such gloves, you can safely grip sharp-edged sheet metal and still be able to handle small hardware with ease. If no gloves are worn, or gloves with little cut resistance, a piece of sheet metal can easily cut through the skin, muscles, and tendons in the hand.
It is a very worthwhile investment to purchase and use cut-resistant gloves during the construction process to keep your employees safe, healthy, and productive.
Whenever handling sheet metal, SCAFCO recommends wearing gloves that meet or exceed a cut resistance rating of 3 on the CE/EN388 scale OR a rating of 2 on the ANSI/ASTM scale. See the images on the left to determine the cut rating on a glove. Some brands mark their gloves with a four-digit combination of numbers, as seen on the left.
Others just indicate the cut resistance, as seen in the diagram on the left. Know what you are purchasing to ensure you are getting a sufficiently protective product.
Another important piece of sheet metal PPE is a cut-resistant arm guard or sleeve. Similar function to the glove, the arm guard protects the skin, muscle, and tendons of the arm from lacerations caused by sharp edges. Not all sleeves have a cut resistance rating. However, if a rating is given, SCAFCO recommends a minimum CE/EN388 rating of 2 OR a minimum ANSI/ASTM rating of 3 for cut resistance on arm sleeves.
Safety glasses should be worn at all times during construction. Flying debris and other airborne objects are both common around the worksite and dangerous to your eyes. SCAFCO recommends ANSI Z87 approved glasses, which will have this designation imprinted somewhere on the safety glasses.
General Safety Information
Wear close-fitting clothing, free of holes and tears. Never wear shorts while at the construction site
Remove all jewelry
Tie long hair up and back
Wear a hard hat at all times
Wear safety-toed boots, and tuck in long shoelaces
Use a respirator if entering an area with dust or toxic fumes
Use appropriate fall protection equipment when working at elevations greater than six feet (2 m)