COSHH basics- Personal protective equipment (PPE)
Employers are responsible for providing, replacing and paying for personal protective equipment.
PPE should be used when all other measures are inadequate to control exposure. It protects only the wearer, while being worn.
If it fails, PPE offers no protection at all.
Types of PPE
When deciding about PPE ask the supplier, your trade association or the manufacturer.
- Is it suitable for the conditions of the job?
- Does it offer the right level of protection?
- What sort of training or maintenance is required?
- How do I know when it needs replacing?
It is important that employees know why they need PPE and are trained to use it correctly. Otherwise it is unlikely to protect as required.
- Does it fit correctly?
- How does the wearer feel? Is it comfortable?
- Are all items of PPE compatible?
- Does PPE interfere with the job being done?
- Does PPE introduce another health risk, eg overheating, entanglement with machinery?
- If PPE needs maintenance or cleaning, how is it done?
When employees find PPE comfortable they are far more likely to wear it.