straight forward health and safty advice
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) must be used when there are risks to
health and safety that cannot be adequately controlled in other ways
The Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations defines PPE as “all equipment (including
clothing affording protection against weather), which is intended to be worn or held by a person at
work and which protects him against one or more risks to his health and safety”.
The main requirement of the regulations is that PPE is supplied and
used whenever there are risks to health and safety that cannot be
adequately controlled in other ways. Because PPE may not be used
properly, it should always be considered as the last resort and only
used when other precautions cannot adequately reduce the risk of
injury. Test yourself on the following page to see if you can decide
what PPE is required.
To allow the right type of PPE to be chosen, the different hazards
in the workplace need to be considered carefully. The following factors should be considered:
is it appropriated for the risks involved and the conditions at the place of work?
does it prevent or adequately control the risk, without increasing the overall risk?
can it be adjusted to fit the wearer correctly?
has the state of health of those who will be wearing it been taken into account?
what is the needs of the job and the demands on the wearer?
if more than one item of PPE is being worn, are they compatible?
Make sure that the wearer is aware of why PPE is needed, when it is to be used, repaired or
replaced and its limitations. Instruct, train and supervise its use. ask are able to provide guidance
on appropriate PPE for a range of regular work activities.