PPE Essentials - Part 1: What is PPE?
Choosing the right PPE (personal protective equipment) can be a complicated and time consuming task. With so many different products to choose from and frequently updated regulations, it can be a daunting task picking the right equipment for yourself or your employees.
In this series of weekly articles I will be exploring the key areas of PPE selection, the regulations surrounding them, and correct usage to ensure you are kept informed and most importantly kept safe.
What is PPE?
|"PPE is equipment that will protect the user against health or safety risks at work. It can include items such as safety helmets and hard hats, gloves, eye protection, high-visibility clothing, safety footwear and safety harnesses." - Health & Safety Executive (HSE)|
The key areas covered by the Personal Protection at Work Regulations 1992 are:
- Head Protection
- Eye Protection
- Hand Protection
- Foot Protection
- Hi-Vis Workwear
- Working at Height
Respiratory and Hearing protection have their own regulation which we will look into later on in the series.
What do the regulations require?
The Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992 require PPE to be supplied when a health and safety risk presents itself that cannot be adequately controlled in other ways. The Regulations also require that PPE is:
- Fit for purpose and properly assessed before use
- Stored correctly and regularly maintained
- Instructions on safe use must be provided
- Correct usage by employees
Choosing suitable PPE
By identifying the different hazards in the workplace we can choose the correct protection against them, which may differ from job to job.
When assessing suitability:
When selecting PPE:
Using and distributing PPE to your employers:
That wraps up this article and hopefully shed some light on what PPE is and some of the regulations surrounding it. Next week we will be looking into Head Protection, what risks to identify and what to look for when choosing your products to keep you or your employees safe at work.
This article contains public sector information published by the Health and Safety Executive and licensed under the Open Government Licence. The information in this article is for guidance only and by following it you do so at your own risk. For further information on safety at work and the topics covered in this article please visit http://www.hse.gov.
Image courtesy of Blaklader Workwear