Making the workplace safe includes providing instructions,
procedures, training and supervision to encourage people to work safely
Even where engineering controls and safe systems of work have been
applied, some hazards might remain. These include injuries to:
The lungs, eg from breathing in contaminated air
The head and feet, eg from falling materials
The eyes, eg from flying particles or splashes of corrosive liquids
The skin, eg from contact with corrosive materials
The body, eg from extremes of heat or cold
PPE is needed in these cases to reduce the risk.
What do I have to do?
Selection and use
You should ask yourself the following questions:
Who is exposed and to what?
How long are they exposed for?
How much are they exposed to?
When selecting and using PPE:
Choose products which are CE
marked in accordance with the Personal Protective Equipment Regulations
2002 – suppliers can advise you
Choose equipment that suits the
user – consider the size, fit and weight of the PPE. If the users help
choose it, they will be more likely to use it
If more than one
item of PPE is worn at the same time, make sure they can be used
together, eg wearing safety glasses may disturb the seal of a
respirator, causing air leaks
Instruct and train people how to
use it, eg train people to remove gloves without contaminating their
skin. Tell them why it is needed, when to use it and what its
Other advice on PPE
Never allow exemptions from wearing PPE for those jobs that ‘only take a few minutes'
Check with your supplier on what PPE is appropriate – explain the job to them
If in doubt, seek further advice from a specialist adviser
PPE must be properly looked after and stored when not in use, eg in a
dry, clean cupboard. If it is reusable it must be cleaned and kept in
Using the right replacement parts which match the original, eg respirator filters
Keeping replacement PPE available
Who is responsible for maintenance and how it is to be done
a supply of appropriate disposable suits which are useful for dirty
jobs where laundry costs are high, eg for visitors who need protective
Employees must make proper use of PPE and report its loss or destruction or any fault in it.
Only use PPE as a last resort
PPE is still needed after implementing other controls (and there will
be circumstances when it is, eg head protection on most construction
sites), you must provide this for your employees free of charge
must choose the equipment carefully (see selection details below) and
ensure employees are trained to use it properly, and know how to detect
and report any faults