Personal protective equipment is a very broad subject and includes multiple regulations and legislation that dictates how to use it correctly. Understanding each line of each page can be a task in itself, that’s why in this article we will be explaining the 5 most important things you need to know about Personal Protective Equipment. We will be focusing on information based on how PPE is used in the workplace and what responsibilities employers and employees have.
Without further ado here are the top 5 things you need to know about personal protective equipment…
1. Personal protective equipment is the last resort
Most do not know this important piece of knowledge, although PPE is designed to protect the wearer from particular hazards, PPE should only be worn if the hazard cannot be removed. In most environments the hazard cannot be removed, in which case wearing the appropriate personal protective equipment is the best possible solution. However, where possible if the hazard can be removed in a safe way, then it should be done before more individuals reach the hazardous area.
2. Employers have a huge part to play
Under HSE regulations employers should supply their employees with the correct protective equipment, not along that but that cannot charge them for the use or the initial purchase of this equipment. Not providing the correct equipment can result in injuries and casualties in the workplace. The equipment needs to be easily accessible and each employee needs to know exactly how they are used.
3. Training should be provided
Employees need to be shown how to operate their personal protective equipment ensuring they can fit and remove the product when necessary. Training can provide through agencies or by employers as long as the employees have the correct knowledge.
4. It’s not just employers
Working safely cannot be forced and employees must ensure they take the correct precautions. Most workplaces will have guidelines and policies to ensure you are told you must wear PPE, however, if the employee doesn’t obey by these rules, it can injure both the employee and others around them.
5. PPE needs to protect
When looking for Personal Protective Equipment, you need to ensure two things. Firstly, that you wear the appropriate equipment based upon the hazards in the area, and secondly that you purchase equipment that is correctly rated and tested. Purchasing equipment which is not correctly rated can decrease the protection for the wearer.