By Euro Weekly News Media • 05 April 2021 • 12:09
It has been already more than a year since the coronavirus appeared in our lives. And although tens of thousands of people are vaccinated daily, it is not weakening. There is probably not a person in the world that has not been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic – directly or indirectly.
Countries are still introducing new restrictions and taking various measures, based on recommendations issued by the WHO, to protect their citizens as much as possible, especially the oldest ones, for whom the coronavirus is particularly dangerous. Our health and that of our loved ones has become the greatest value more than ever.
Therefore, personal protective equipment has become a part of our lives for good. Masks, disposable gloves, visors, disinfectants, etc. have become an integral part of our everyday life. Find out more about personal protective equipment and how to use it correctly.
The personal protective equipment is designed to ensure the safety of us, our relatives and our employees. It is designed to protect the respiratory tract, eyes, hands or the entire body (protective coveralls). In order to fulfil their function, they must be used properly. The personal protective equipment includes:
Disposable gloves are no longer associated only with surgeries and medical facilities. Wearing gloves has become an inseparable element, for example, when shopping. There are many types of disposable gloves on the market – foil, latex, vinyl, powdered and powder-free.
It is important not to touch your face while wearing them. To keep gloves from becoming a hazard, you must also put them on and take them off correctly. Before putting them on, wash your hands with soap and water. When putting on the first glove, touch its edge.
Take the second glove with your bare hand. When taking them off, be sure not to touch the outer surface. Grab one of them at the height of your wrists and pull them off, turning the inside out on top. Hold the removed glove in the other hand and place the fingers of your bare hand between the glove and wrist with a gliding motion.
Take off the second glove by pulling it along the palm of your hand, and then pull it over the glove in your hand. After removing the gloves, it is worth washing or disinfecting your hands again.
Goggles are another means of personal protection, but much more often used in hospitals and other medical facilities. They are designed to protect the eyes, as it has been shown that the coronavirus can also enter the body in this way. They are an additional security element while wearing the mask.
Masks are by far the most widely used personal protective equipment nowadays. They should be disposed of after use. In order for the mask itself not to be a threat, you should take precautions when using it. You cannot touch the surface of the mask, only the strings while putting it on and taking it off.
Reusable anti-virus masks are masks with FPP2, FFP3, N95 and N99 filters. They protect against many more pathogens than surgical masks. If the masks have a filter, remember to replace it frequently in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations.
It is an alternative to face masks. However, it is best to use a face shield with a mask for full protection, especially in the workplace, when in contact with customers or clients. Thanks to this, we effectively protect not only our respiratory tract, but also our eyes against infection.
Together with other means of personal protection, they provide a high level of security. The protective suit is most often made of polyethene laminate. It should be put on after putting on the mask and before putting on disposable gloves.
In order for disinfectants to fulfil their function, they should contain at least 60 per cent alcohol. They can be used to disinfect hands when it is not possible to clean them with soap and water, personal items – phones, keys, payment cards or everyday surfaces – door handles, countertops, tables, etc.
Frequent handwashing with soap and water is the primary protection measure. Hands should be washed for a minimum of 30 seconds. Begin by dampening your hands with water, then scoop enough soap to cover the entire surface of your hands, and apply the soap thoroughly by rubbing your straight fingers together.
Remember to thoroughly wash the spaces between the fingers, the back of the fingers and the area around the thumbs. Finally, rinse your hands and dry them on a disposable towel.
Autoclaving is currently the most effective way to get rid of germs from reusable items. It not only removes over 99% of pathogens but also allows you to get rid of their spore forms, impossible to remove in the disinfection process.
In the autoclave sterilization is carried out with steam at high pressure. An item that has undergone such a sterilization process is sterile and completely safe for the human body. These devices are used not only in hospitals and medical facilities but also in beauty salons, hairdressing salons, tattoo studios and many others.
The Chief Sanitary Inspectorate obliges such places to sterilize reusable tools so that they are completely safe for visiting customers. Moreover, the autoclave has been recognized by the WHO as a key tool in the fight against COVID-19. Not only metal tools can be decontaminated in the autoclave, but also reusable masks, infectious materials before disposal, and even other items such as cutlery, keys or payment cards.
Regardless of what is happening in the world, there are many other infections that we are exposed to during treatments that involve the potential disturbance of the structure of the epidermis. These include Hepatitis B and C, HIV, HPV, bacteria and fungi. Hence, it is strongly recommended (in some countries even mandatory) for the beauty salons to have an autoclave for tool sterilisation.
It is also important to follow correctly the steps of the full decontamination process, during disinfection and sterilization, to keep the appropriate documentation at hand, and to maintain other safety measures. The autoclave is an investment for years. In the workplace, it is as to dot the i’s and cross the t’s in the context of caring for safety, health and even the lives of customers and employees.
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