This article discusses the types of personal protective equipment needed on a masonry jobsite, inlcuding hard hats, eye and ear protectors, face masks, and gloves. Hard hats have either a pin suspension or a ratchet suspension.The less costly pin suspension (similar to the back of a baseball cap) can be cumbersome because workers must take the hat off to tighten or loosen it. The more costly ratchet suspension allows workers to tighten and loosen the hat when it's on their heads by turning a knob. Hard hats should be checked daily for cracks and abrasions. When replacing hard-hat parts, make sure the suspension and shell come from the same manufacturer. Eye protection also is critical to keeping a mason safe. Dust is a particular problem bacause walls sometimes deflect wind-blown dust up and back down into the faces of the masons. When cleaning masonry, masons need a full face shield and rubber gloves because a lot of wall debris comes back at them from the wire scraping and brushing. Goggles should have vent caps that prevent chemical migration. Vinyl goggle bodies are soft against the face. Polycarbonate lenses provide impact resistance. Check that the nose bridge can accommodate a half-mask respirator. OSHA requires workers to use earplugs if the average sound level for an eight-hour day is at or above 85 decibels, which is the sound of a circular saw. Judging whether earplugs or earmuffs will be effective at a jobsite isn't easy. Workers need to know the noise level they'll be working in and how long they'll be exposed to it. Plugs and muffs act only as a barrier to the sound and must be approved and rated by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) with a Noise Reduction Rating (NRR). Overall, muffs tend to have a lower rating than plugs. Muffs also aren't effective when masons chew gum or have facial hair. For respiratory protection, NIOSH- or Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA)-approved dust masks can absorb low concentrations of dust or particulates that become airborne during sawing and drilling. These disposable masks come in boxes or 10 or 20 and cost $1 to $2 per mask. Workers can avoid the disease silicosis by wearing proper protection and keeping silica dust downwind when sawing. Masons must wear gloves when sawing, and they typically wear gloves on the wall if they have sensitive skin and in winter. Masons seldom use leather gloves because they are bulky, costly, and stiffen when wet; they also wear out as fast as canvas. One contractor recommends disposable surgical gloves to protect hands from drying out and cracking.