Personal Protective Equipment


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Personal Protective Equipment at Work


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REMEMBER - The use of PPE must be considered as a last resort for the control of risks, to be used only after all other practicable measures have been taken.


What is Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)?


PPE is defined in the Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations as: ‘All equipment (including clothing affording protection against the weather) which is intended to be worn or held by a person at work which protects them against one or more risks to their health and safety’.


PPE includes equipment such as safety footwear, hard hats, high visibility waistcoats, goggles, life jackets, respirators and safety harnesses.


Waterproof, weatherproof, or insulated clothing is subject to the Regulations only if its use is necessary to protect employees against adverse climatic conditions that could otherwise affect their health and safety.


Why Wear PPE?


PPE has saved countless of limbs and lives. Not wearing PPE can place an individual or individuals at  risk of:


    Loss of senses (normally, but not limited to sight and hearing)

    Burns and abrasions

    Crushed limbs

    Loss of body parts (digits, limbs etc)

    Chronic diseases

    Lifelong disabilities

    Brain damage

    Death (sometimes long and slow, as with asbestos diseases)


Where PPE is required it should be identified in a as part of a task based risk assessment with the specific requirements for PPE identified.


In the UK The Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992 place a duty on every employer to ensure that suitable personal protective equipment is provided to employees who may be exposed to a risk to their health or safety while at work.


There are also a number of other UK regulations detailing specific requirements for the PPE:


    Control of Lead at Work Regulations 2002 (regulations 2, 6. 8 and 12)

    Ionising Radiations Regulations 1999 (regulations 8, 9. 10, 18, 34 and 41)

    Control of Asbestos at Work Regulations 2002, (regulations 2, 10, and 22) also see our help page

    Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002, (2, 7, 9, and 13) also see our help page

    Construction (Head Protection) Regulations 1989 (regulations All)

    The Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005, (5, 6, 7, 8, 10 and 11) also see our help page


Further guidance on the PPE


INDG174 Personal protective equipment at work


INDG174 Personal protective equipment (PPE) at work

L25 Personal protective equipment at work


L25 Personal protective equipment at work

Approved Personal Protective Equipment must be worn sign



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