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What is PPE?

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) should be provided and paid for by employers to ensure the health and safety of employees. PPE should be used in accordance with PPE regulations when all other measures have been taken to prevent exposure to health and safety hazards.

PPE equipment includes: Protective headwear; Protective gloves; Protective eyewear/ face sheilds; Respiratory protection; Protective workwear; Protective footwear; Back, neck and knee support; Fall arrest.

PPE prevents exposure to harmful substances. Exposure is the uptake of harmful substances into the body via, swallowing, inhaling, contact with the skin or injection into the skin.

PPE Regulations 1992 - PPE Legislation

The following list is an abbreviated extract from the Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992. The full guide (available here) should be read for a more complete understanding of the obligations placed upon employers, employees and the self-employed. There are 11 regulations, the first 3 are introductory, the remainder are summarized below:

It is an offence for an employer not to carry out workplace safety obligations.

Regulation 4 – Provision of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Every employer shall ensure that suitable personal protective equipment is provided to their employees who may be exposed to a risk to their health or safety while at work. Personal protective equipment must be;

  • Appropriate for the risk or risks involved
  • Ergonomically sound, requirements and suit the state of health of the wearer
  • Capable of fitting the wearer correctly

Regulation 5 – Compatibility of personal protective equipment

Every employer shall ensure that where there may be more than one risk to health or safety causing their employee to wear or use simultaneously more than one item of personal protective equipment, such equipment is compatible and continues to be effective against the risk or risks in question.

Regulation 6 – Assessment of personal protective equipment

Every employer shall ensure that an assessment is made to determine the suitability of personal protective equipment provided. The assessment should include:

  • Identification of unaddressed health and safety situations
  • Level of protection matches level of risk and additional risk that wearing of
  • Safety equipment may cause.

Every employer must carry out additional assessment if:

  • There is reason to suspect that the prior assessment is no longer valid; or
  • There has been a significant change in the matters to which it relates.

Regulation 7 Maintenance and replacement of personal protective equipment

Every employer shall ensure that any personal protective equipment provided to their employees Is maintained (including replaced or cleaned as appropriate) in an efficient state, working order and in good repair.

Regulation 8 – Accommodation of personal protective equipment

Every employer shall ensure appropriate storage is provided for all personal protective equipment when not in use.

Regulation 9 – Information, instruction and training

Every employer shall ensure that adequate instructions and training is provided in a fully comprehensible manner, enabling the employee to know:the risk or risks which the personal protective equipment will avoid or limit;the purpose for which and the manner in which personal protective equipment is to be used; andany action to be taken by the employee to ensure that the personal protective equipment remains in an efficient state, in efficient working order and in good repair

Regulation 10 – Use of personal protective equipment

Every employer shall take all reasonable steps to ensure that any personal protective equipment provided to their employees is properly used.

Every employee shall use any personal protective equipment provided as specified in training and instructions which have been provided to him.

Every employee who has been provided with personal protective equipment shall take all reasonable steps to ensure that it is returned to the storage provided for it after use.

Regulation 11 – Reporting loss or defect

Every employee who has been provided with personal protective equipment shall report to their employer any loss of or obvious defect in that personal protective equipment.

 

What are my PPE Requirements?

Health and Safety Executive (HSE)
Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH)

PPE inforgraphic

 

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