Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is a form of special equipment that protects the user from various health and safety risks.
Each set of protective clothing includes multiple items: helmets, boots, gloves, protective goggles, high-visibility clothing, etc. Each set is specifically designed to meet the requirements of different jobs. Some PPE sets also include the RPE (respiratory protective equipment) extension.
Current regulations imply that it is the duty of the employer to provide the employees with the equipment and to supervise its correct use.
Importance of PPE
Workplace safety is crucial to every company. That means more than just handing out protective equipment. Safety measures include training, instructions, and supervision in order to ensure that your employees work in a safe environment. The newest regulations have improved quality control, but it’s always good to take extra precautions. This is where PPE comes into play.
Inhaling contaminated air, contact with corrosive materials, exposure to extreme temperatures, falling debris, and so on are hazards that can’t always be prevented by engineering regulations. PPE is used in these kinds of situations to reduce as much of the potential health risks as possible.
What should you do
If your company works with potentially harmful materials or in dangerous conditions (such as construction or demolition), you should provide your employees with PPE free of charge. Furthermore, all of your employees should be instructed on how to correctly use the PPE clothing. All construction companies should at least provide its workers with protective helmets. Moreover, professional after builders cleaning companies also provide their employees with protective equipment. Prevention is the best protection against harm.
Selecting the correct PPE for your employees
When selecting the right PPE for your employees you should have 3 things in mind: could they be exposed to hazards? For how long would they be exposed? How much hazardous material would they be exposed to. After noting the answers to these 3 questions, it’s time to find the right clothing.
First and foremost, make sure the PPE clothing is CE marked according to the latest 2002 PPE Regulations. Usually, retailers will be able to advise you.
Don’t buy a universal size. PPE clothing should suit its user. Consider asking your employees to choose their own protective equipment.
Consider the fact that some PPE can’t be worn at the same time. Safety goggles might interfere with respiratory protective equipment, and so on.
Always train your employees on how to correctly use the protective equipment that you provide. Explain the need to use it and don’t forget to mention its limitations.
Although its name suggests that it protects the user, the user should also remember to look after the equipment. Storing it in a clean, dry closet will prolong its lifetime.
Moreover, as an employer you need to make sure that you can always provide your employees with replacement parts for their protective equipment.
Always inspect the equipment on a weekly or monthly basis, depending on how often it is used during work hours.