Are you required to wear personal protective equipment at work? Whether employed or contracted to work for someone else, you must understand the current legal requirements for providing and using PPE gear. The first requirement that everyone must thoroughly understand is that it is entirely the employer’s responsibility to provide appropriate personal protective gear in any of the above situations. Often, the employer tries to wriggle out of providing the equipment or at least paying for it, but to do otherwise is a severe breach of current health and safety at work regulations.
PPE has become common in factories and other hazardous working environments thanks to government standards and regulations. Some employers try to get around the current legal requirements in cases where the person is self-employed or works only as a contractor. Often people are unclear in such situations, but the law states quite unequivocally that even in these cases, it is still the employer’s requirement to ensure that the correct safety gear is provided.
The primary need for PPE is to minimise the workers’ exposure to different occupational hazards. Some typical PPE examples include head, eye, and foot protection, safety jackets, gloves, aprons, and fall protection. The major Personal protective equipment can be categorised as follows; here are the five major elements of PPE; continue reading!
In work environments where the noise level is consistently being contributed to by machinery, there is a significant chance that employees without ear protection will develop hearing difficulties. So ensure your workers have suitable protective ear covers and use them regularly. Earmuffs and earplugs are available to reduce the extent of hearing damage and avoid the risks.
Another area where PPE can help is eyewear. In working environments such as workshops or garages where there is always a risk of contaminating or damaging eyes due to liquids that may be hot or toxic or shards of metal or wood, which can cause long-lasting or permanent damage in a split second. This is why equipping workers with suitable eye protection is essential. Generally, plastic eyewear is treated to prevent the build-up of steam and provide adequate protection. Many designs wrap around the wearer’s face to protect the peripheries. This design is probably the most versatile as they are lightweight and represent the highest level of protection.
Many work environments have high levels of airborne particles that make the air unsafe to breathe for an extended period. These particles could be dust, glass fibres, vapours or gases. A dust respirator is an ideal solution to ensure that workers are protected from these hazards. This is held over the mouth and nose by two elastic chords. So, to improve comfort while the mask is in use, some masks have valves to make exhaling easier and prevent the build-up of hot air behind the mask.
For workers who use vibrating machinery, there is a real risk of repetitive strain injuries and arthritis if the effects of the machinery are not cushioned. Anti-vibration gloves absorb the maximum amount of shock from vibrating machinery without impeding the movement or agility of the wearer.
Access and height protection
For access and height protection, you must provide your workers with energy absorbers, lanyards, rescue lifting, body harnesses, lowering harnesses, fall-arrest systems, etc. These types of PPE require thorough training through professionals and in-user checks.
These are the essential PPE gear that every employee must-have while working. However, that does not mean that the rest of the body need not be protected. Of course, other body parts are just as important; hence, you need to provide protection materials for the chest, head, feet and legs.