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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If you are in a job where you have to take risks and are working at heights, it is imperative that you are protected. It is your employer’s duty of care but it is also your responsibility too. Your employer needs to make sure that there are certain safety procedures and protocol in place. To adhere and comply with health and safety regulation.
It is also up to you to be safe and make sure your colleagues are too. Risk assessments needs to be carried out in every place of work in every sector.
There are many work procedures for working at heights and here are some:
The Work at Height Regulations require employers to ensure that:
It should include a careful examination of what harm could be caused from working at height with a view to taking the effective steps to reduce the likelihood of this harm occurring, either through avoiding the activity or, where this is not reasonably practicable, by carrying it out in a safe manner using work equipment that is appropriate to the task and the level of risk.
If you want to know more about risk assessment to decide the best, take our working at heights online course. We will be able to help you to plan and organise, give you the correct legislation and safe work procedures using a ladder, MEWP and work platforms.