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What personal protective equipment does your workforce need?

Making the workplace safe for employees is not only good for business, it’s a legal requirement too. Safety at work can include training, supervision, equipment maintenance and hazard management, and in some situations a certain amount of PPE, or personal protective equipment, may be necessary.

PPE should be a last resort for employers, as the first port of call will be to implement safety measures to reduce risks as much as possible. If you’ve done everything possible to reduce the risks in your workplace but some still remain, PPE should be used to keep workers safe. Here’s what you need to know about which PPE to keep in your lockers.

Deciding which PPE you need

To uncover which PPE is best for your workers needs, you’ll need to ask yourself some questions:

  • Who is at risk and what are they are risk from?
  • How long or how often are they at risk?
  • How great is the risk?

Once you’ve identified who needs PPE and what sort of PPE they might need, you can begin selecting the items you’ll keep in your metric lockers. Always choose products that are CE marked and consider the fit and weight of the product in relation to the worker. If they need more than one type of PPE at the same time, ensure they are compatible with each other. Make sure every person using PPE is trained in safe use, including fitting and removal.

Rules for using PPE

When you’re using PPE in your workplace, there are a few ground rules and guidelines you’ll need to keep in mind to ensure it is effective. For example:

  • Never allow exemptions; even if the job will ‘only take a moment’
  • Ensure you have the right PPE for the job
  • Store and maintain your PPE correctly to keep it effective
  • Regularly review the PPE in use to ensure it’s still effective

If PPE is not being used when it should be, find out what barriers there are to your employees. Signage can be a helpful reminder, as can regular briefings during staff meetings.

Types of PPE to consider

There is a huge range of PPE available to protect different parts of the body from different hazards. Your risk assessment should have identified what could go wrong, which will inform the types of PPE you’ll need to put in your metric lockers:

  • Eyes

Eyes could be affected by chemical splash, dust, loose projectiles, gas or vapour. You can choose safety specs, face screens, visors, full face shields or goggles as protection.

  • Head and neck

Heads and necks could be damaged by falling objects, hair becoming tangled in machines, chemical drips, or by bumping the head on low objects. Helmets, bump caps and safety hats can help.

  • Ears

Noisy environments can be detrimental to the hearing. Depending on the level of sound encountered you may need to get ear defenders, ear plugs or muffs for the job.

  • Hands and feet

As our most exposed extremities, injuries to the hands and feet can be caused by anything from heavy objects to hot or cold liquids, electrostatic shocks to sharp objects. PPE ranges from gloves, gauntlets and arm sleeves to steel capped boots and industry specific footwear.

  • Lungs

Working in oxygen deficient atmospheres or in places with excessive dust or dangerous gasses and vapours will call for lung protective PPE. In some cases, simple facemasks can be enough, but in others full respirators may be needed.

Any type of PPE should be stored in a clean, dry location where it can be easily accessed by anyone needing it. It should be kept safe from potentially damaging contaminants or conditions. Our metric lockers offer the ideal storage solution for your PPE, and are available in coin return, full welded and punched door variants to suit your needs.

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Last Modified / Updated on: July 10, 2018 at 6:55 pm