Personal protective equipment (PPE) is equipment worn to minimize exposure to a variety of hazards. Examples of PPE include such items as gloves, foot and eye protections, protective hearing devices (earplugs, muffs), hard hats, respirators, and full body suits. Learn more about PPE in this blog post.
You’ll need different types of PPE for different jobs. Evaluate each job individually to determine if additional PPE is required. Each job and job site will have its differences and may require extra equipment to keep you safe.
Here are the common types of PPE required for typical sewer and drain cleaning jobs:
PPE for a Typical Cable Machine Job
Goggles enclose and protect the area surrounding the eye. They prevent foreign matter, including harmful liquids and flying debris, from striking the eyes. A face shield over safety glasses may be worn in some circumstances.
Drain cleaning techs should wear two pairs of gloves: a nitrile glove to protect the skin from harmful chemicals or germs, with a textured glove (such as Rubber Ugly® gloves embedded with PVC chips or metal-reinforced leather gloves) on top. The textured glove increases the technician’s grip on the cable, and reduces the risk of fingers or hands getting entangled.
PPE for a Typical Jetting Job
Coveralls should be worn to protect your skin from contact with sewage. They’ll also help protect your uniform. A thick rubberized raincoat provides extra protection for your body while jetting, but also keeps you dry and is easy to clean off should raw sewage spray out of the line.
Safety goggles should always be worn to protect the eyes from germs, chemicals, and high-pressure water. A hydrojet operating at 4,000 PSI can literally tear an eyeball from its socket. Water pressures above 2,000 PSI require you to wear a full-face shield in addition to safety goggles.
We recommend a full plastic face shield when jetting, and OSHA requires one over 2,000 PSI. But even on the smallest jetter, you should be wearing one. Face shields are easier to wear than protective glasses, tend not to fog up as much, and provide a much larger area of protection – the whole face rather than just the eyes.
When hydrojetting, you should wear two pairs of gloves: nitrile gloves to protect the skin from harmful chemicals or germs, and gauntlet-length cut-proof rubber gloves on top. These rubber gloves have grip patterns molded into them that will help you maintain control of the jetting hose.
Rubber work boots with metatarsal guards are highly recommended.
Hard hats are necessary in confined spaces or in environments where falling objects are a potential hazard.
You should evaluate each job individually to determine if additional PPE is required. Each job and job site will have its differences and may require extra equipment to keep you safe. Remember: when in doubt, wear the PPE.