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Sorted4Safety strive to help you work as safely and efficiently as possible. We do this by providing you with the answers you need today.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
See our PPE store here.
What is PPE?
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) refers to protective clothing, helmets, goggles, or other clothing or equipment which is designed to protect a person's body from injury or infection. The hazards protected by PPE may include physical, electrical, heat, chemicals, biohazards, and airborne particulate matter.
When should I wear PPE?
PPE should be used as a last resort. Wherever there are risks to health and safety that cannot be adequately controlled in other ways, the Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992 require PPE to be supplied. The Regulations also require that PPE is:
Properly assessed before use to make sure it is fit for purpose;
Maintained and stored properly;
Provided with instructions on how to use it safely;
Used correctly by employees.
When must I wear high-visibility clothing?
If a construction site has a high-visibility policy, then you must follow it.
High-visibility clothing should be worn in all construction locations where vehicles are operating.
Is maintenance important?
Clean and properly maintained PPE is important to ensure the effectiveness and proper functioning of PPE and to prevent transition of infections.
Who’s responsible for my PPE?
Your employer must ensure that suitable personal protective equipment is provided for you if you’re at risk of being exposed to a danger to your health or safety while at work. Your employer must also, therefore, provide you with appropriate training of usage of said PPE.
What risks are there to not wearing the right PPE?
There are many risks to not wearing the correct PPE, an example of that is Silicosis. Respirable crystalline silica (RCS) is found in stone, rocks, sands and clays. Exposure to RCS over a long period can cause fibrosis (hardening or scarring) of the lung tissue with a consequent loss of lung function. Sufferers are likely to have severe shortness of breath and may find it difficult or impossible to walk even short distances or upstairs. The effect continues to develop after exposure has stopped and is irreversible. Sufferers usually become house- or bed-bound and often die prematurely due to heart failure.
What are EN standards?
Standards have been defined as "an agreed, repeatable way of doing something" (BSI). Normally they are published documents containing technical information to guide or define practice in a consistent way and are usually used by designers and manufacturers of products.
For example, EN 388 is the European Standard governing gloves that provide protection against mechanical risks. The EN 388 standard requires gloves to be scored on a scale of 1 to 5 for blade cut resistance and 1 to 4 for abrasion resistance, tear resistance and puncture resistance. The test results will vary according to the fibres, materials, stitching and coating used to make a particular glove.
Working at Height
See our Height Safety store here.
Here’s a helpful hand of Do’s and Don’ts of working at height:
· as much work from the ground as you possibly can
· ensure you can get safely to and from where you work at height
· ensure equipment you’re using is suitable, stable and strong enough for the job, and is maintained and checked regularly (see our CLiC-iT®PRO 60)
· ensure when using equipment, it is fitted/used properly and with care
· be cautious when working on or near fragile surfaces
· have protection from falling objects
· consider emergency evacuation and rescue procedures
· overload ladders – check the pictogram or label on the ladder for information
· overreach on ladders or stepladders
· rest a ladder against weak upper surfaces, e.g.glazing or plastic gutters
· use ladders or stepladders for strenuous tasks, only use them for light work of short duration (recommend a maximum of 30 minutes at a time)
· let anyone who is not competent or confident to work at height
See our Hearing Protection store here.
Do I have a noise problem?
You will probably need to do something about the noise if:
· The noise if worse than intrusive, for most of the working day
· You have to raise your voice to have a normal conversation when about 2 metres apart for at least part of the day
· You or your employees use noisy powered tools or machinery for more than half an hour a day
· Your area of work is known to have noisy tasks, e.g. construction, demolition or road repair, woodworking, plastics processing, engineering, textile manufacture, general fabrication, forging or stamping, paper or board making, canning or bottling, foundries, waste and recycling
· There are noises due to impact, e.g. demolition, hammering
Does my employer have to do anything about the noise problem?
The Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005 requires employers to take action to prevent or reduce risks to health and safety from noise at work. Reducing noise at work cannot also reduce the risk of hearing difficulties, but also reduce stress in the work place
What if I’m self-employed?
If you are self-employed, you still need to take the same precautions that an employer would for their employees. You also need to use PPE on the same basis as an employee.
All information used is sourced from HSE, unless stated otherwise.