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Learn about products that will help you meet PPE requirements. Decisions regarding PPE are especially important for work that brings workers in contact with many people on a daily basis, or that have the potential to expose workers to hazards. To help you with your important decisions, MediDent Supplies has put together this list of five crucial factors to consider when choosing PPE.

MediDent Supplies is a trusted supplier of well-made, thoughtfully-sourced PPE.

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Five factors to consider when choosing PPE

Covid-19 threat level in your region

In May, the CDC amended its guidance so that fully vaccinated people are no longer requested to wear masks in public spaces, unless specifically specified otherwise. Recently, public health experts and government officials have begun discussing whether to shift this guidance again, in response to outbreaks caused by the Delta variant throughout summer 2021.

In July, Los Angeles County reinstated the indoor mask mandate for all, becoming the first region nationwide to retrogress to more strict guidance for fully vaccinated individuals. Officials in other regions such as Houston and New Orleans have also raised covid-19 warnings, and requested that citizens mask up to help protect the unvaccinated.

Florida, Texas and Missouri account for 40% of all new cases nationwide, with around 1 in 5 of all new U.S. cases occurring in Florida. For specific information pertaining to masking guidelines in your state, see this List of Statewide Orders or the AARP’s State-by-State Guide to Face Mask Requirements.

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Fit

Ensuring a proper fit is one of the most important factors to consider when choosing PPE, and often one of the most overlooked. Particularly in workplaces where much manual labor is performed, it is vital that workers have well-fitting clothing that offers some airflow to avoid heat stress, well-fitting gloves if needed, and masks that can stay put throughout the workday.

Ill-fitting masks, or use of “ear saver” devices can cause bruising, cuts, or swelling where the straps sit behind the ears. Mask straps are as important as the mask itself when considering regular usage by workers. It is highly recommended that you contact a trained representative who can help you select the best PPE for your workplace. Speak with a MediDent Supplies Account Manager today to determine which PPE is right for your needs.

Comfort

Consider comfort when choosing PPE. When PPE is uncomfortable, ill-fitting, or unnecessarily tiresome, workers will be much less likely to use it and this may result in injuries. The effectiveness of an item is always ultimately determined by whether or not it is actually used as intended. Wearer acceptability can be greatly improved by ensuring that workers are involved in the selection process. Whenever possible, provide flexibility in the choice of PPE available so that workers can have a say in the device(s) they wear.

PPE and other medical supplies at MediDent.

Industry

The industry being served will also affect the type of PPE required; for example, medical settings will require different masks from a construction setting.

Industry-specific tips and cautions

Be sure to research your specific industry’s needs before making a purchase- if it has unique or specialized PPE needs, it is likely that there exists a solution to overcome them.

Supplier costs and service

Some PPE suppliers will attempt to sell you whatever will make them the most profit, at the expense of your organization’s true needs. Work with a trusted team of experts with experience in providing wholesale products to a wide variety of workplaces. A secure supplier will have plenty of experience with wholesale and a solid customer base to back up their claims.

Quality and quantity must both be carefully considered. In addition to stated and shipping costs, it is important to consider the potential cost of a product not fitting well and needing to be returned, or the cost of choosing a cheaper, lower-quality product that could result in accident or injury.

MediDent Supplies account managers are industry professionals who have undertaken product training on the ins and outs of our products and current industry insights. Connect with an experienced rep today.

More PPE usage tips

A hazard analysis is an important first step to assess risk in the workplace. A job hazard analysis can be conducted in any setting, but should be prioritized in workplaces with high rates of injury or illness or work that has the potential to cause a severe accident.

Base purchase decisions on a thorough risk assessment. Both the degree of protection required and the practicality of the PPE design for the setting must factor into this decision because both will contribute to its overall effectiveness.

Education and training should cover why the protection is important, fitting guidelines, any adjustments that can be made, and care for the items. Workers who will use the PPE regularly and others who might be exposed on an occasional basis should all attend the training.

Help keep your workplace safe by considering these five factors for choosing PPE, and don’t miss out on great deals from MediDent Supplies, an FDA-registered medical device importer and trusted supplier of PPE for tens of thousands of customers. Browse our PPE Shop for great deals on trusted sources for masks, face shields, gloves, N95 respirators, and more.

For more resources, visit OSHA’s full guide to PPE.