Personal Protective Equipment, or short PPE, is according to the Hierarchy of Risk Controls the last control method used to control risk. According to the Health and Safety Authority (HSA):
“Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) means any device or appliance designed to be worn or held by an individual for protection against one or more health and safety hazards. Respiratory Protective Equipment Respiratory Protective Equipment (RPE) is a particular type of Personal Protective Equipment, used to protect the individual wearer against inhalation of hazardous substances in the workplace air.”
In other words, PPE includes any equipment or clothing intended to be held or worn by people at work to offer protection against identified problems.
Where more than one item of PPE is required to be used simultaneously, e.g. hearing defenders and safety helmet, the items must be compatible and must not interfere with the level of protection offered by the individual items. Many manufacturers offer integrated systems which might be used provided they abide to certain rules.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE ) must be provided free of charge by employers – employers cannot pass on to employees any financial costs associated with duties relating to safety, health and welfare at work.
Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (General Application) Regulations 2007 , Part 2 Chapter 3 covers Use of Personal Protective Equipment at work. Broadly speaking all Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) must:
Personal protective Equipment (PPE) must meet certain EU requirements and standards which confirm it meets specified safety and various test criteria. Generally PPE that carries CE mark will meet these criteria.
European Union (Personal Protective Equipment) Regulations 2018 provide that PPE may not be placed on the market or brought into service unless it complies with basic health and safety requirements. It is deemed to be in conformity with the Regulations if it bears the CE mark”.
It should always be remembered that PPE does not change the hazard in any way. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) offers protection for the wearer only.
When a Risk Assessment indicates that PPE should be used, it is important to choose the right type to protect different parts of the body.
Some of the types of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) are:
Personal protective Equipment (PPE) should only be used if the hazard cannot be controlled any other way.
All employees required to use Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) must be provided with suitable information, instruction and training (including training in the use, care or maintenance of PPE) to enable them to make proper and effective use of any PPE provided for their protection.
For additional guidance on the requirements of the Personal Protective Equipment Regulations, please refer to the relevant Personal Protective Equipment Guidance to the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (General Application) Regulations 2007.
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Safe Pass is a one day safety awareness programme aimed at construction workers. The aims of the programme are to raise the standard of safety awareness in the construction industry and that all construction workers after completing the one day awareness programme can make a positive contribution to the prevention of accidents and ill health while working on the site.
The Safe Pass programme is operated and managed by Solas. www.solas.ie
SafePass is a general awareness programme and does not negate the duty of the employer under the Act in regards to the provision of information, instruction and training to enable the person to carry out their work safely.
Who needs to do Safe Pass awareness training?
Under the Safety Health and Welfare at Work (Construction) Regulations 2013 Safe Pass / Safety Awareness Programmes only applies to –
(a) Craft and general construction workers,
(b) Persons undertaking on-site security work, and
(c) Persons or classes of persons as may be prescribed by the Minister.
The Health and Safety Authority in conjunction with the Construction Advisory Committee have produced a summary guide of the categories of persons to whom Safe Pass does and does not apply.
Summary checklist for Safe Pass
|Category of personnel involved in Construction Projects||Is Safe Pass or equivalent mandatory||Category of personnel involved in Construction Projects||Is Safe Pass or equivalent mandatory|
|Craft Workers||Yes||Project Managers/Site Agents not involved in construction activities||No|
|Apprentices||Yes||Site Managers not involved in construction activities||No|
|General Construction Workers||Yes||Safety Advisor’s or Safety Officers not involved in construction work||No|
|On-site Security Workers||Yes||PSDP/PSCS||No|
|Contractors Drivers On-site||Yes||Inspectors/Consultants||No|
|Delivery Drivers On-site e.g. concrete trucks||Yes||Clients & Client Reps||No|
|Students on Placement on site||Yes|
|Delivery Drivers Not On-site e.g. delivering to compounds, canteens,offices||No||Supervised Visitors||No|
|Canteen Staff||No||Archaeologists||No (see below)|
|Site Office Staff||No||Sales Representatives||No|
|Architects, Surveyors, Engineers||No||Visitors to Show Houses||No|