Gem Care Advisor

Our insights and tips for job seekers and employers.

6 Types of PPE for Manufacturing Jobs

Personal protective equipment (PPE) is essential for your safety in any high-risk environment. From head to toe, let’s take a look at six types of PPE that are common in manufacturing jobs. Note that depending on your role, you may not need all of this PPE all the time, or you might need items not listed here. Most of it should be provided by your employer, though shoes are typically up to the individual to purchase.

Sturdy Shoes or Boots

Footwear is one of the most basic types of PPE. You should always wear sturdy closed-toe shoes on the manufacturing floor. Depending on your role and the specific hazards you face, your employer may require steel-toed boots. Always ask what is expected before making a purchase.


If you work with machines, you’ll need heavy gloves to protect your hands. Like shoes, there are many different types of gloves. If they aren’t provided for you, ask which type is best before you buy them.

Safety Glasses or Goggles

Eye injuries are all too common in manufacturing jobs, and protective eyewear is an easy way to reduce the risk. Most safety glasses will fit over prescription eyeglasses. Be sure to put on your glasses or goggles before starting any machine with the potential to throw out small shards or other debris.

Earplugs or Muffs

Manufacturing facilities can be quite noisy. Earplugs or muffs are essential to protect your hearing. You should wear them at all times when working on a noisy manufacturing floor. If you spend your day primarily in the office, you typically won’t need hearing protection day to day, but always keep something at hand in case you need to go down to the floor.

Hard Hat

Hard hats are more common on construction sites than in manufacturing facilities. But your particular job or the nature of the factory may require one. It’s an easy way to protect your head from falling objects.

Mask or Respirator

Particles in the air can get into your nose and lungs, causing respiratory distress. This category of PPE runs the gamut from simple dust masks to full respirator systems, depending on the specific hazards you face. Ask your employer to demonstrate how to properly use this equipment, as an improperly fitted and placed mask or respirator will do little good.

You may also encounter other types of PPE, from full-body suits to fall-prevention harnesses. These items are less common in manufacturing than other types of jobs but may be needed in some instances. Always follow your employer’s instructions, and if you have any questions, be sure to ask.

Ready for a New Job?

At Gem Care, we specialize in all aspects of manufacturing talent. Whether your area of expertise is in production, engineering, or the skilled trades, we’re ready to help you find your next position. Check out our careers page today to get started!

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