Risk at Work – Personal protective equipment (PPE)

Why’s PPE important?

Making the workplace safe includes providing information, procedures, training and supervision to encourage people to operate safely and responsibly.

Even where engineering controls and safe and sound systems of work have been applied, some hazards could possibly remain. These include injuries to:

  • the lungs, eg with breathing in contaminated air
  • the head and feet, eg from falling materials
  • the eyes, eg from flying fibers or splashes of corrosive liquids
  • the skin, eg through contact with corrosive materials
  • the body, eg from extremes of warmth or cold
  • PPE is needed in these cases to reduce the risk.
  • What do I have to do?
  • Only use PPE as a last resort

If perhaps PPE is still needed after implementing other controls (and there will be circumstances when it is, eg head protection on most engineering sites), you must provide this for your employees free of charge
You ought to choose the equipment carefully (see selection details below) and be sure employees are trained to use it properly, and know how to recognize and report any faults
Selection and use

Make sure you ask yourself the following questions:

Who is exposed and to what?
How many years are they exposed for?
How much are they exposed to?
When deciding on and using PPE:

  • Choose products which are CE marked in agreement with the Personal Protective Equipment Regulations 2002 – suppliers might advise you
  • Choose equipment that suits the user – obtain the size, fit and weight of the PPE. If the clients help choose it, they will be more likely to use it
  • If many item of PPE is worn at the same time, make sure they usually are used together, eg wearing safety glasses may discompose the seal of a respirator, causing air leaks
  • Supervise and train people how to use it, eg train drop some weight remove gloves without contaminating their skin. Tell them the key reason why it is needed, when to use it and what its limitations will be
  • Other advice on PPE
  • Never allow exemptions from dressed in PPE for those jobs that ‘only take a few minutes’
  • Check with your supplier on what PPE is appropriate – discuss the job to them
  • If in doubt, seek further information from a specialist adviser
  • Maintenance
  • PPE must be properly maintained and stored when not in use, eg in a dry, wash cupboard. If it is reusable it must be cleaned and kept be well protected.Get more info visit on www.trendebut.com

Think about:

using the right replacement parts which match the original, for example respirator filters
keeping replacement PPE available
who is the boss of maintenance and how it is to be done
having a supply of right disposable suits which are useful for dirty jobs where washing laundry costs are high, eg for visitors who need appropriate clothing
Employees must make proper use of PPE and document its loss or destruction or any fault in it.

Observe and review

  • Check regularly that PPE is used. If it turns out isn’t, find out why not
  • Safety signs can be a useful souvenir that PPE should be worn
  • Take note of any changes in machines, materials and methods – you may need to update what you deliver
  • Types of PPE you can use
  • Eyes
  • Hazards
  • Chemical or combination splash, dust, projectiles, gas and vapour, radiation
  • Solutions
  • Safety spectacles, goggles, face screens, faceshields, visors
  • Take note of
  • Make sure the eye protection chosen has the right combination of impact/dust/splash/molten metal eye protection for the task and fits you properly