According to O*NET, 100% of assemblers, which make up the largest occupation in automotive manufacturing with over 367,000 workers, have emphatically confirmed the need to wear PPE 100% of the time while on the job.
The O*NET program was developed and is maintained under the sponsorship of the U.S. Department of Labor/Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA) through a grant to the North Carolina Department of Commerce.
Its extensive database provides comprehensive information about occupations across the country and is continually updated to provide the most accurate picture of how work is changing and the impacts on the country’s workforce and economy. The database contains hundreds of standardized and occupation-specific descriptors on almost 1,000 occupations covering the entire U.S. economy. Updates to the database are made thanks to the input of workers around the country.
Assemblers, an occupation that makes up the largest portion of all automotive workers, contribute to the O*NET database
This blog addresses occupations whose workers have stated that they are required to wear PPE most, if not all, of the time that they are working. Since we're currently focused on the automotive industry, we highlight 16 occupations found in manufacturing. We’ll also talk about why workers wear PPE, why many aren’t wearing it, and why this should be concerning to workers and their employers.
Why do workers wear PPE?
This short answer to this question is everyone wants to be safe while they work. Who goes to work with a desire to be seriously injured or lose their life in the course of doing their job? The answer is clearly nobody… at least nobody who is in their right mind.
Body shop grinder is one of the top 25 occupations that require PPE 100% of the time.
Wearing the right PPE on a job site can mitigate the impact to workers of potential hazards. Boots, eyewear, ear protection, gloves, face shields, and full-body garments may all serve a purpose in keeping workers safe. But, that doesn’t mean that workers always wear the best or even the required PPE.
So what’s the issue?
Most workers skip wearing PPE when they feel it’s unnecessary for the work they perform or because they believe an injury will never occur to them. Although most of us would like to think that we fell off the bike enough as kids to realize that protection does, indeed, help prevent us from getting hurt, not everyone received that message. Industrial workers often feel impervious to injury, but on-the-job hazards injure and kill employees every year.
Other reasons we hear from users as to why PPE isn’t worn include: it’s damaged or defective (e.g., fogged glasses, scratched lens, etc.), it’s uncomfortable to wear, it limits hand dexterity, it’s too hot during summer months, it’s not offered by their company, it decreases productivity, and, oh yeah, don’t forget – PPE is not stylish enough.
Automotive workers handle a lot of small nuts and bolts. Lightweight, cut-resistant, comfortable gloves, like the 92718PU shown above, are highly preferred in this industry. Uncomfortable PPE should not be a concern when wearing this glove.
The reasons mentioned above underscore that nuisances may take precedence over safety when it comes to workers deciding whether to wear PPE. They want to wear PPE that is comfortable, that fits correctly, that looks attractive, and that does not impede their ability to do tasks, especially if they are in an occupation like the 25 we are going to discuss below. In any one of these occupations, PPE has to be worn for the entire duration of a shift, all year round, no matter the weather, the working conditions, or the task being completed. No excuses.
Top Occupations That Require PPE 100% of the Time
Here is one of the questions posed to all workers on O*NET:
“How much does this job require wearing common protective or safety equipment such as safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hard hats or life jackets?” Their answer choices include the following:
Of 964 documented occupations included on O*NET, 66 (7%) of them require PPE 100% of the time, every day. Another 13% (about 128) require workers to wear PPE at least 90% of the time that they are on the job.
Below is a list of the top 25 occupations requiring PPE, with a brief description of the work undertaken by individuals in each occupation. As we’ve highlighted, the automotive industry involves dangerous work. 16 of the top 25 occupations requiring PPE that we’ve chosen to highlight are affiliated with the automotive industry. And MCR Safety offers gloves, glasses, and garments that can help keep these workers protected.
Occupations found in the Automotive Industry
Lots of objects can injure an automotive worker. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that over 66,000 cut injuries occur annually due to contact with objects and equipment.
- Automotive Glass Installers and Repairers
Aka Glass Technician
These workers replace or repair broken windshields and window glass in motor vehicles.
- Cleaning, Washing, and Metal Pickling Operators
Aka Parts Cleaner
Employees in these occupations operate or tend machines that wash or clean products, such as tin plate and rubber, to remove impurities.
- Cutting, Punching, and Press Machine Operators
Aka Die Setter and Punch Press Operator
These workers set up, operate, or tend machines to saw, cut, shear, slit, punch, crimp, notch, bend, or straighten metal or plastic material.
Press Operator Handling Sharp Metal
- Extruding, Forming, Pressing, and Compacting Machine Operators
Aka Extrusion Operator
Employees in these occupations set up, operate, or tend machines, such as glass forming machines, plodder machines, and tuber machines, to shape and form products such as rubber.
- Grinding, Lapping, Polishing, and Buffing Machine Operators
Aka Deburrer and Grinder
These workers set up, operate, or tend grinding and related tools that remove excess material or burrs from surfaces, sharpen edges or corners, or buff, hone, or polish metal or plastic work pieces.
- Metal-Refining Furnace Operators and Tenders
Aka Furnace Operator
Metal-refining furnace operators and tenders operate or tend furnaces, such as gas, oil, coal, electric-arc or electric induction, open-hearth, or oxygen furnaces, to melt and refine metal before casting or to produce specified types of steel.
- Model Makers
Aka Template Maker
Model makers set up and operate machines such as lathes, milling and engraving machines, and jig borers to make working models of metal or plastic objects.
- Molding, Coremaking, and Casting Machine Operators
Aka Mold Setter
These employees set up, operate, or tend metal or plastic molding, casting, or coremaking machines to mold or cast metal or thermoplastic parts or products.
- Die Cast Makers and Patternmakers
Aka Layout Technician
Patternmakers lay out, machine, fit, and assemble castings and parts to metal or plastic foundry patterns, core boxes, or match plates.
- Rolling Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders
Aka Calendar Operator and Tube Mill Operator
These workers set up, operate, or tend machines to roll steel or plastic, forming bends, beads, knurls, or rolls. They may also set up, operate, or tend machines to plate or to flatten, temper, or reduce the gauge of material.
- Welders, Cutters, and Welder Fitters
These individuals use hand-welding or flame-cutting equipment to weld or join metal components or to fill holes, indentations, or seams of fabricated metal products.
Welding a Trailer
- Chemical Equipment Operators and Tenders
Aka Process Operator
These workers operate or tend equipment to control chemical changes or reactions in the processing of industrial or consumer products. Equipment used includes devulcanizers, steam-jacketed kettles, and reactor vessels.
- Mixing and Blending Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders
Aka Mixer and Stock Preparation
Employees in these occupations set up, operate, or tend machines to mix or blend materials, such as chemicals, liquids, color pigments, or explosive ingredients.
Chemicals and paints are always being mixed in body shops.
Other Top Occupations Requiring PPE
- Derrick Operators, Oil and Gas
Aka Floor Hand
Derrick operators rig derrick equipment and operate pumps to circulate mud through the drill hole.
- Electrical and Electronics Repairers, Powerhouse, Substation, and Relay
These workers inspect, test, repair, or maintain electrical equipment in generating stations, substations, and in-service relays.
- Hoist and Winch Operators
Hoist and winch operators operate or tend hoists or winches to lift and pull loads using power-operated cable equipment.
- Petroleum Pump System Operators, Refinery Operators, and Gaugers
Aka Head Operator and Pumper
These workers operate or control petroleum refining or processing units. They may specialize in controlling manifold and pumping systems, gauging or testing oil in storage tanks, or regulating the flow of oil into pipelines.
Regulating Oil in a Refinery
- Refuse and Recyclable Material Collectors
Aka Garbage Man and Trash Collector
Refuse and recyclable material collectors collect and dump refuse or recyclable materials from containers into truck. They may also drive trucks. Extreme cut protection is a necessity for these workers.
- Sailors and Marine Oilers
Aka Boat Crew
These employees perform a number of tasks; one is to perform a variety of maintenance tasks to preserve the painted surfaces of the ship and to maintain line and ship equipment.
- Structural Iron and Steel Workers
Aka Ironworker and Fitter
Structural iron and steel workers raise, place, and unite iron or steel girders, columns, and other structural members to form completed structures or structural frameworks.
Our automotive industry pages cover the hazards workers should be on the lookout for and the PPE they should consider wearing to keep themselves protected.
Examples of Automotive Hazards
We must reinforce that having a local MCR Safety representative visit your facility is recommended to assist you in determining your site’s PPE needs. Our exclusive 360° Protection Program can help you find the exact PPE that you need.
We Protect People!
Regardless of the level of protection you require, we want to protect you. For PPE protection worn 40% of the time to 100% of the time, MCR Safety’s products will help keep you safe on the job. Do you have questions about protecting against specific hazards? Are we missing product offerings for the protection you require to feel safe and protected? Please reach out to us and let us know.
MCR Safety protects workers across hundreds of industries, each just a little bit different from one another. Many of the top 25 occupations requiring PPE find work across a wide variety of industries. We cover all PPE in-depth on our industry pages. Just click the image below to start navigating across other automotive PPE options.
MCR Safety’s Home Page for All Industries
For over 45 years, MCR Safety has proven to be a world-leader in gloves, glasses, and garments. Whether it’s on the shop floor, an oil rig, or a construction site, we are there providing solutions to workplace hazards. It’s all part of our commitment to protect people.
No matter your industry, we have the personal protective equipment you need. We Protect People!
Learn more about MCR Safety by checking out our most recent video. For more information, browse our website, request a catalog, find a distributor, or give us a call at 800-955-6887.