Personal protective equipment (PPE) can be any item of clothing which is either used by or worn by any person in order to help minimise a risk to their health or safety.
Please Note – Personal protective equipment is typically the least effective method of controlling H & S risks simply due to the fact that the equipment is designed to protect the user from the hazard rather than ensure that they are not exposed to the hazard in the first place. As such, personal protective equipment should only ever be considered to be a last resort.
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. Hearing protection and respiratory protective equipment provided for most work situations are not covered by these Regulations because there are other more specific regulations that apply to them.
However, these items need to be compatible with any other PPE provided. Cycle helmets or crash helmets worn by employees on the roads are not covered by the Regulations. Motorcycle helmets are legally required under road traffic legislation. The Employment Act 1989 gives an exemption for turban-wearing Sikhs working on construction sites from the need to wear head protection.
What do the Regulations require?
Wherever there are risks to health and safety that cannot be adequately controlled in other ways, the Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992 require PPE to be supplied.
The Regulations also require that PPE is:
- Properly assessed before use to make sure it is fit for purpose;
- Maintained and stored properly;
- Provided with instructions on how to use it safely;
- Used correctly by employees.
Health and Safety Executive Personal protective equipment (PPE) at work Page 2 of 6 Assessing suitable PPE To make sure the right type of PPE is chosen, consider the different hazards in the workplace and identify the PPE that will provide adequate protection against them; this may be different for each job. Ask your supplier for advice on the types of PPE available and their suitability for different tasks. In some cases, you may need to get advice from specialists or from the PPE manufacturer. Another useful source of information is the British Safety Industry Federation (www. bsif.co.uk).
Consider the following when assessing suitability:
- Does the PPE protect the wearer from the risks and take account of the environmental conditions where the task is taking place? For example eye protection designed to protect against agricultural pesticides may not offer adequate protection when using an angle grinder to cut steel or stone.
- Does using PPE increase the overall level of risk or add new risks, eg by making communication more difficult?
- Can it be adjusted to fit the wearer correctly?
- What are the needs of the job and the demands it places on the wearer? For example, the length of time the PPE needs to be worn, the physical effort required to do the job or the requirements for visibility and communication.
- If someone wears more than one item of PPE, are they compatible? For example does using a respirator make it difficult to fit eye protection properly?
Our available range of PPE equipment products includes:
- Breathing Apparatus
- First Aid
- Height Safety – Accessories
- Height Safety – Fall Arrest
- Height Safety – Harnesses
- Hire Equipment
- JCB Workwear and Footwear
- PPE Breathing Mask
- PPE –Ear Protection
- PPE – Eye Protection
- PPE – Foot Protection
- PPE – Hand Protection
- PPE – Head Protection
- PPE- Hi Vis
- PPE – Workwear
If you would like any more information relating to our range of PPE equipment, please contact us on either Tel. No. 01293 551938, e-mail – firstname.lastname@example.org or via Facebook and we will be happy to answer any of your questions.