Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) >> Cleaning, Maintenance and Replacement

Figure 1: Illustration of the many ship repair operations that require PPE.
Figure 1: Illustration of the many ship repair operations that require PPE: Cleaning Preparation, Rescue Teams, Ventilation, and Warning Signs and Labels.
Prep Before Cleaning Cleaning Operations Rescue Teams Ventilation Rescue Teams Warning Signs and Labels Warning Signs and Labels

Cleaning Preparation, Rescue Teams, Ventilation and Warning Signs and Labels

Clean and properly maintained PPE is important to ensure the effectiveness and proper functioning of PPE and to prevent transmitting infections (such as pink eye, respiratory illnesses).

Note: Confined space entry is one of the leading hazards associated with barge cleaning. Review Shipbreaking: Confined or Enclosed Spaces and Other Dangerous Atmospheres for information on how to protect workers from this hazard.

Potential Hazards

Some of the hazards associated with improperly cleaned or maintained personal protective equipment include:

  • Severe burns due to employees performing hot work while wearing greasy or oily clothing.
  • Impaired vision due to using eye and face protection with dirty, scratched, or fogged lenses or shields.
  • Skin irritation or chemical absorption due to contaminated PPE such as clothing, gloves, face pieces, gloves, and boots.
  • Inhalation of toxic chemicals due to damaged respiratory valves or face pieces, or saturated cartridges.
  • Inter-changing of parts that may void the manufactures approval and cause equipment failure.
  • Exposure of hazardous materials such as lead, arsenic, and asbestos due to improper cleaning of respirators.
  • Spread of infectious diseases due to shared equipment.

Requirements and Example Solutions

There are cleaning and maintenance practices for specific personal protective equipment including:

Note: There are additional PPE requirements for health related hazards (for example Lead [29 CFR 1910.1025], Arsenic [29 CFR 1910.1018], Asbestos [29 CFR 1910.1001], Cadmium [29 CFR 1910.1027]).