Personal Protective Equipment includes clothing and/or equipment designed to be worn by a person to protect them from risk of injury or illness.
We all agree that PPE is the last and the least preferred risk management strategy. PPE can be your strength or your weakness. If the principles are applied correctly you can use PPE to increase your compliance If not used correctly, PPE can become your biggest nightmare.
The PPE must be identified based on a risk management process and also in conjunction with the employee where required. Once the relevant and suitable PPE is identified and decided upon, it must be made available. So be aware that if you have identified a certain PPE as a control measure in your risk assessment, safe work method statement, job safety analysis or any other document, you must make it available at the first opportunity.
With PPE, the following five requirements must be followed (along with any others that may apply):
- PPE issued must be relevant, compliant and must assist in risk reduction,
- PPE once issued to an employee, must be worn by that employee,
- The employee must be trained in the use, maintenance, and storage of that PPE,
- Worn, or damaged PPE must be discontinued and replaced with appropriate PPE,
- PPE must be fitted to the employee and must not be misused.
Do not forget to have standard operating procedure’s for all your PPE. It is advisable to also have a PPE register and an adequate and responsible “used PPE” disposal procedure.
If you need any assistance in determining your responsibilities and obligations, call us. We don’t bite and we don’t charge for simple phone advice!