Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
A Guide to… Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Definition What is PPE? “all equipment which is intended to be worn or held by a person at work and which protects him against one or more risks to his health and safety” PPE includes clothing affording protection against the weather
Regulations Employers have basic duties concerning the provision and use of PPE equipment at work. This guide explains what you need to do to meet the requirements of the Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992 (as amended).
Types of PPE PPE includes… Hi-Vis Clothing Safety Footwear
Safety Harnesses Eye Protection Gloves Safety Helmets Hearing Protection
Regulations Hearing protection and respiratory protective equipment for most work situations are not covered by these regulations because other regulations apply. However, these items should be compatible with any other PPE that is provided
Regulations require that PPE: Is assessed before use to ensure it’s suitable Is maintained and stored properly Is provided with instructions on how to use it safely The main requirement of the PPE at Work Regulations 1992 is that personal protective equipment is to be supplied and used at work wherever there are risks to health and safety that cannot be adequately controlled in other ways. Is used correctly by employees
Assessing the Hazards To choose the right PPE, carefully consider the different hazards in the workplace and assess which types of PPE are suitable to protect against the hazard
Assessing Suitable PPE
Consider the following when selecting PPE… Is it appropriate for the risk involved and the conditions? Does it prevent or control the risks involved? Can it be adjusted to fit the wearer properly? Is it appropriate for the risks involved and the conditions at the place where exposure to the risk may occur? For example, eye protection designed for providing protection against agricultural pesticides will not offer adequate face protection for someone using an angle grinder to cut steel or stone. Does it prevent or adequately control the risks involved without increasing the overall risk? Can it be adjusted to fit the wearer properly? 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 and requirements for visibility and communication. If more than one item of PPE is being worn, are they compatible? For example, does a particular type of respirator make it difficult to get eye protection to fir properly? What are the needs of the job and the demands it places on the wearer? If more than 1 item of PPE is required, are they compatible?
Eye Protection Hazards: Options: Chemical Splash Safety Spectacles
Metal Splash Dust Projectiles Gas & Vapour Radiation Options: Safety Spectacles Goggles Faceshields Visors
Head Protection Hazards: Options:
Impact from falling or flying objects Risk of bumping head Hair Entanglement Gas & Vapour Radiation Options: Hard Hats Hard Caps Bump Caps The Construction (Head Protection) Regulations 1989 also specifically covers head protection regulations.
Protecting the Body Hazards: Options: Adverse weather
Impact Penetration Contaminated dust Excessive wear Entanglement of own clothing Chemical/metal splash Extreme Temperatures Options: Conventional overalls Disposable overalls Boiler suits Specialist clothing (e.g. chainmail aprons, hi-vis clothing)
Hand & Arm Protection Hazards: Options: Abrasion Gloves
Cuts & punctures Impact Chemicals Electric shock Skin infection Disease Contamination Options: Gloves Gauntlets Mitts Wristcuffs Armlets
Foot & Leg Protection Hazards: Options: Wet Safety boots and shoes
Slipping Cuts and punctures Falling objects Metal splash Chemical splash Abrasion Electrostatic build-up Options: Safety boots and shoes Protective toe caps Penetration resistant mid-sole Gaiters Leggings Spats
Hearing Protection Hazards: Options: Intrusive noise Ear plugs
Noisy power tools Noisy machinery Noise from impact (e.g. hammering) Explosive sources (such as cartridge-operated tools) Options: Ear plugs Ear muffs Semi inserts/caps Hearing protection is not covered under the Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations The Noise at Work Regulations 2005 specifically covers Hearing protection.
Breathing Protection Hazards: Options: Dust
Vapour Gas Oxygen deficient atmospheres Options: Disposable filtering respirators Half or full face respirators Air-fed helmets Breathing apparatus
No! Can I be charged for PPE?
An employer cannot ask for money from an employee for PPE, whether it is returnable or not. This includes agency workers if they are legally regarded as an employee. If employment has been terminated and the employee keeps the PPE without the employers permission, then, as long as it has been made clear in the contract of employment, the employer may be able to deduct the cost of the replacement from any wages owned.
Training PPE users should be aware of: Why PPE is needed
When it should be used Anyone using PPE should be aware of why it is needed, when it is to be used, repaired or replaced and its limitations. When it should be repaired or replaced Its limitations
Training Managers or supervisors should:
Train and instruct people how to use it properly Check regularly that PPE is being used Train and instruct people how to use it properly and make sure they are doing this. Because PPE is the last resort after other methods of protection have been considered, it’s important that users wear it all the time they are exposed to the risk. Never allow exemptions for those jobs which take “just a few minutes”. Check regularly that PPE is being used and investigate fully any reason why it is not. Safety signs are a useful reminder for workers to wear PPE Investigate if PPE is not being used correctly Position safety signs as a useful reminder
Maintenance Make sure equipment is:
Well looked after and properly stored after use Kept clean and in good repair Make sure equipment is well looked after and properly stored when it’s not being used, for example in a dry, clean cupboard, or in the case of smaller items such as eye protection, in a box, case or dispenser. It should be kept clean and in good repair – follow the manufacturers maintenance schedule (including recommended replacement periods and shelf lives). Simple maintenance can be carried out by the trained wearer, but more intricate repairs should only be done by specialists. Make sure PPE is always readily available. Always readily available
CE Marking Ensure any PPE you buy is ‘CE’ Marked and complies with the requirements of the Personal Protective Equipment Regulations 2002 The CE marking signifies that the PPE satisfies certain basic safety standards and in some cases will have been tested and certified by an independent body.
Other Regulations The Control of Lead at Work Regulations 2002
The Ionising Radiations Regulations 1999 The Control of Asbestos at Work Regulations 2002 The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 (as amended) The Noise at Work Regulations 1989 The Construction (Head Protection) Regulations 1989 The PPE at Work Regulations do not apply where the following six sets of regulations require the provision and use of PPE against these hazards. For example, gloves used to prevent dangerous chemicals penetrating the skin would be covered by the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) Regulations 2002 (as amended).
Key Points to Remember Check that… PPE is provided
It offers adequate protection for its intended use Those using it are trained in its safe use It is properly maintained and defects are reported It is returned to its proper storage after use
Questions 1. Give 5 examples of PPE equipment
2. Which 2 types of equipment are not covered by the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) at Work Regulations 1992? 3. What mark should all PPE carry to ensure it complies with regulations? Safety footwear, eye protection, hi-vis clothing, gloves, safety helmets, safety harnesses Hearing protection and respiratory protection CE Mark The different hazards in the workplace Goggles, visors, safety spectacles, faceshields 4. To select the correct PPE what do you need to consider and assess? 5. Give 3 examples of PPE that will protect the eyes from hazards.
Further Information This presentation contains notes on good practice which are not compulsory but which you may find helpful in considering what you need to do. Source: HSE
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