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Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Seminar: 18th Jan, 2022

Join us for an insightful seminar on embracing the new world of work in 2022

Our expert FD People team will provide their insight and practical solutions to approaching new ways of working.

Industrial worker in PPE

When it comes to managing risk, personal protective equipment falls to the bottom of the hierarchy of control and is regarded as the last line of defence.  This means that it is preferable to implement other types of control to eliminate or reduce the risk, and only revert to PPE if other controls are not sufficient to protect the employee.

What are the hazards?

PPE comes in all shapes and forms, from disposable gloves, masks and aprons that may be used in a care environment to fall arrest harnesses and breathing apparatus. Even when engineering controls and safe systems of work are implemented, some hazards may remain. This includes injuries to: –

  • LUNGS – breathing in contamination such as dust or fumes
  • HEAD AND FEET –  protection from falling objects
  • EYES – protection from flying particles and splashes
  • SKIN –  protection from hazardous materials such as chemicals
  • BODY – protection from extremes of heat or cold

Responsibilities

Employer responsibilities are clearly defined and include: –

  • Providing PPE free of charge to employees
  • Choosing items of PPE that are CE or UKCA marked
  • Choosing items of PPE that suit the user, e.g., consider size, fit and weight of the PPE.  When it comes to PPE, one size/type cannot be assumed to fit all.  Thus, you should involve your employees in the process of choosing and trying out PPE to get the right solution. 
  • Where more than one item of equipment is used at the same time, make sure they can be worn together and that one doesn’t compromise the effectiveness of the other.
  • Provide training and instruction to employees on why it is needed and how to use it.

Don’t forget that sometimes when we manage one hazard by using PPE, the PPE can create another hazard. For example, safety glasses can steam up in some environmental conditions. Thus, making it difficult for employees to see properly. Therefore, you must look after and store PPE appropriately when not in use.  Where the equipment is reusable, you should clean them regularly and keep them in good condition.  It is the employees’ responsibility to ensure they use the equipment properly and that they report any loss, defect or damage immediately.

Further Support

If you would like support for your business our expert Health & Safety team at FD People will be more than happy to help. Please contact enquiries@fdpeople.co.uk or call 0141 221 2984. We also have a free online ‘Health Check’, where you can easily get a quick overview of your current H&S position.

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