Importance of the Use of Personal Protective Equipment

The Veggies From Mexico community not only promotes the implementation of good practices which help preserving food safety, but it also promotes practices to protect the environment and personnel care for the people who work in the companies.

Human capital is an essential part of every company; these are the ones who perform the variety of activities in production processes and food handling, as well as providing the attention and maintenance of the various areas that make up the company.

As a responsible company, it is important to provide the protective equipment pertaining to workers, as well as training them with regards to its use, from how to put it on, use it and remove it; providing the manufacturer’s directions or procedures for its use, review, replacement, cleaning, limitations, maintenance, safekeeping and final disposal. Companies must prepare an analysis of occupational hazards, consisting on identifying and analyzing the risks to which workers are exposed for each working position and area of ​​the workplace, and report about the hazards these positions imply for their health, and the relevant prevention and protection measures; all of the above must be in compliance, based on the relevant local and domestic regulations.

The Official Mexican Standard, NOM-017-STPS-2008 “Personal Protective Equipment-Selection, use and management in workplaces,” sets out the minimum requirements for the employer to select, acquire and provide his workers with the clothing and utensils needed to protect them from the hazards in the working environment, which may endanger their physical integrity and health.

On the other hand, the Federal Labor Law (FLL) in Article 134, Section II, obliges workers to abide by the provisions contained in the regulations and the official Mexican standards in matters of safety, health and work environment; as well as those indicated by the employers for their safety and personal protection.

In the same manner, it is important to train personnel in accordance with the activities being developed, in order to improve their performance during work and to avoid damages to themselves. These trainings should be lectured to all the employees upon entering the company and perform a minimum reinforcement once per season or whenever necessary.

During the audits, the Eleven Rivers Growers team, among other subjects, conducts reviews in terms of safety, health and the working environment, taking under consideration the following items:

• Personal protective equipment (PPE) is for personal use, for reasons of hygiene and disease prevention among personnel.

• When handling chemicals, the proper PPE most be worn. All chemical substances have safety information on their safety data sheet; it describes the PPE necessary for their handling (transfer, mixing and application).

• It is essential for companies to monitor and keep the records from training, cleaning and maintenance activities or the status of the PPE being given to workers.

• In the same manner, the shelf life of the equipment recommended by the manufacturer must be taken under consideration, as well as the damages or deterioration identified by the worker in such a way that prevents its optimal operation.

• When applicable, proper preventive maintenance must be performed, particularly to the PPE.

• It is a fact that many of the workplace-related accidents occur when safety directions are not being followed, so it is necessary to supervise the personnel during the development of their activities, in order to act in time and prevent unwanted situations.

Given the current health contingency, the proper use of masks, as well as implementing good hygiene practices, help preventing the spread of SARS-Cov-2.