Having access to personal protective equipment (PPE) in the workplace is now seen as essential for many businesses while we all work through the COVID-19 pandemic. Having quality PPE on hand ensures that we not only protect ourselves from germs and contaminants, but it also ensures that we don’t spread anything to people that we may deal with on a daily basis in the workplace, like our customers. Significant long-term damage may befall any business entering the news for becoming a transmission hotspot, as with Smithfield pork in the United States.
Demand for PPE has soared across New Zealand with many businesses looking to stock up on the supplies that they need so that their staff are protected in the workplace. PPE items like sanitiser and masks are now a hot commodity and while they’re not only popular, they’re also valuable items that help to keep staff protected.
We’ve outlined five PPE products that we think are essential to have in many workplaces. Read on to find out what these products are and to see the range available from Primepac.
Face masks are handy to use if you spend a lot of time around people in a workplace setting like a supermarket, or in an environment where you may need to regularly serve customers, like a pharmacy. Due to the nature of this type of work, it is often hard to keep a safe distance from people which is why face masks are then recommended.
There is a range of different face masks now on the market with many different variations available. The type of environment you work in will determine whether you need a simple disposable mask or something a bit more sturdy. While N95 masks have become the most known variant there are many others which may be suitable, depending on your setting.
A good starting point for many workplaces are standard disposable masks. Often available in bulk lots, they end up being quite an economical option the more you buy.
View the Primepac range of face masks here.
While you can’t beat soap and water to rid your hands of germs and contaminants, sanitiser does come in handy when you're on the go, and you need a quick solution to ensure your hands are clean.
For instance, if you’ve visited your local supermarket lately you may have noticed that hand sanitiser has been placed at the entrance so that you can ensure your hands are clean not only before you enter the supermarket, but when you exit as well. This is not only great for supermarket staff but people that are doing their shopping too.
Hand sanitiser needs to contain at least 60% alcohol in order to effectively kill germs. Most hand sanitisers on the market are at least 70% so they will do a great job of keeping those hands clean, should you not be able to wash them with soap and water straight away.
We manufacture and distribute Germogard – a 71% alcohol sanitiser that can be used both on the hands and on surfaces.
Disposable gloves are a useful PPE item to have in all workplaces as they’re a great way to ensure that we aren’t spreading germs to surfaces. Gloves also work well to ensure that contaminants aren’t spread from items that we’ve picked up.
While gloves are a great option for those of you that work in an environment that involves regular contact with things like food items you should still remember that gloves are made to be disposable. Gloves can actually gather quite a lot of bacteria so should be regularly changed and then discarded.
We have a wide range of disposable gloves available with different types suited to different workplace applications.
View our full range of disposable gloves here.
Face visors or 'face shields' are useful for workplaces where close contact with people can’t be avoided (such as healthcare settings). They are a simple way to get extra protection from things like fluid or spray.
We stock locally made full-face visors. Featuring a foam forehead band for a comfortable fit and secure front seal, prescription or protective eyewear can also be worn underneath.
Find out more about the full face visor on our website.
Making sure that not just your hands, but also the surfaces you work on are free from germs is important.
While antibacterial spray and a microfibre cloth will do the trick on most occasions, there can be times where a more convenient option is needed! Sanitising wipes are great for quick clean-ups and an ideal solution for those of you that may need to quickly clean up spills while on the go.
View our range of antibacterial wipes here.
Keeping safe at work
The Ministry of Health has outlined some general guidelines for the use of PPE to keep workers safe.
After wearing gloves
If you choose to wear disposable gloves, make sure that you wash your hands with soap and water as soon as you take these off, and for the recommended time of at least 20 seconds.
After wearing a mask
After wearing a face mask you must:
- Avoid touching the front of it.
- If the mask has ties, untie the bottom first, then the top tie.
- Discard the mask and don’t use it again.
- Wash hands with soap and water and dry hands thoroughly, or use hand sanitiser immediately after removing the mask.
Workplace hygiene practices
While PPE can be effective in keeping you safe from germs and contaminants in the workplace, it’s still important that standard hygiene practices are followed.
- Cough or sneeze into your elbow or by covering your mouth and nose with tissues.
- Put used tissues in the bin or a bag immediately.
- Wash your hands with soap and water often (for at least 20 seconds).
- Avoid close contact with people who are unwell.
- Don’t touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean.
- Clean surfaces regularly such as touch screens, petrol pumps, EFTPOS machines, conveyor belts and self-checkouts.
With the right mix of quality PPE and good hygiene practices in place, you can make sure you and your staff are as protected as possible in the workplace. If you’re looking to stock up on PPE supplies you can see what we have available here at Primepac by viewing the product page.