Keeping yourself safe at work should be a priority for everyone, no matter your industry or role. From hard hats to high visibility jackets, making sure that you have the appropriate equipment and workwear to excel and be safe in your role is paramount.
What does PPE even stand for? For those of you that are new to your industry or just not up to date with the abbreviations, PPE stands for Personal Protective Equipment.
Your business or organisation will have certain rules in place to ensure that employees are safe in the workplace, however, there is no harm in taking your own precautions. Protection against health and safety risks can be as simple as wearing a hard hat, eye protection or gloves, dependant on your place of work.
Why is PPE important?
An employer is responsible for ensuring that a workplace is as safe as it can be for their employees. This can include signs, verbal and/or written instructions, guidelines and procedures and in some cases training or inductions to make sure that all employees and visitors are aware of the health and safety risks.
Personal Protective Equipment can also be used in order to mitigate against the severity of an accident that may already be safeguarded against.
Potential risks such as inhaling contaminated air, being hit by falling items or the risk of being burnt by chemicals can all be mitigated against within the company. However, employees could easily move towards reducing the severity of risks further by wearing protective equipment such as face masks, hard hats or gloves and protective clothing as a barrier to harmful substances.
The Best Way To Utilise PPE
It is important to utilise personal protective equipment as a secondary layer of support for being safe in the workplace. Primary controls should be put in place across the company, with PPE being used alongside them but as an addition, they are still extremely important. It is vital that any PPE which is provided to employees is thoroughly checked and is in line with any associated safety standards. Employees who receive any personal protective equipment should also be fully briefed on how to use the items correctly and be trained on how to spot faults or if equipment may need replacing.
When deciding on which PPE would best suit your businesses’ and employees’ needs, there are few things to look out for to ensure that they’re up to scratch and will be effective.
Make sure that the equipment you select is fit for purpose and user. Having a loose-fitting hard hat will be of no use when protecting against heavy falling items. It may be useful to involve employees in the selection process so that the fit and purpose it perfect.
If more than one item of PPE is required to be worn together throughout the day, it is vital to ensure that neither disturbs the other. Wearing a face mask alongside safety goggles may cause gaps in either equipment, so make sure that both items fit safely and effectively on the wearers face.
Make sure that all equipment purchased and in use is marked with the CE stamp, this means that it is in compliance with the Personal Protective Equipment Regulations 2002.
Maintaining your PPE
Equipment that is responsible for taking care of employees also requires some care and attention of its own.
If your PPE is reusable, then ensure that it is kept clean and in great condition with no breakages or damage. If there is any damage, repairing your equipment with the correct replacement parts is recommended so that the standard is maintained.
To ensure that your equipment is always top-notch and ready for use, setting up a review process would be very valuable. By monitoring the condition and use of your companies’ PPE you can ensure that it is being implemented correctly and protecting your employees from risks and hazards.
To remind your employees about wearing their PPE displaying signs around your premises can be a huge help to get them into the routine. Executing any practice that is going to protect your employees and keep them safe at work, including PPE is a win-win!
Using Personal Protective Equipment should be used as part of a health and safety strategy, alongside thorough training and effective inductions for both employees and visitors.
Get in touch with us here at Intasite to talk through how we can streamline your induction process.