Wearing PPE

What is PPE?

Wearing PPE is the last line of defence, not the first and only choice for controlling hazards. Here we cover the basics of PPE.

The basics - What is PPE?

PPE is the last line of defence, not the first and only choice for controlling hazards!

PPE protects the user against health or safety risks at work. It includes items such as safety helmets, gloves, eye and hearing protection, high-visibility clothing, safety footwear and safety harnesses.

Can I charge for it?

An employer cannot charge for PPE. If an employee loses their PPE it must be replaced free of charge however often this occurs. 

Before use

PPE needs to be properly assessed - fit for purpose. It must be maintained and stored properly. Instructions and training are required on how to use it safely. Finally it will need to be used correctly by the employees themselves.

Choosing the appropriate type

This requires some thought:

  • Type and standard of protection required – e.g. goggles or full face visor
  • Suitable level of quality (CE marked) – e.g. attenuation of hearing defenders
  • Durability and length of usage
  • Cost to supply and replacement
  • Compatibility with other PPE   being worn – e.g. hard hat and hearing protection
  • Wearer acceptability – e.g. colour and style
  • Suitable for the environment – e.g. jackets and gloves
  • Workplace hazards – e.g. crushing, penetration, impact

Getting staff to wear their PPE

So you have supplied a great piece of equipment, but staff fail to use it, or take it off when not being watched - you may as well not have provided it in the first place!

Involve the user – Staff will be more likely to use it if they have been involved in its selection.

Choose equipment that suits the user – provide options especially as users vary in size, weight and fitness. If equipment is very heavy, or wearers have pre-existing health issues, standard PPE may not be suitable.

Can we help you?

Safetyboss has a lot of experience in providing PPE advice. We are experts in providing short practical training on all aspects of PPE provision and usage either as a short stand-alone option or as part of a wider health and safety induction training session.