The bodyguard - Your guide to PPE

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Guide

Personal protective equipment (PPE) is often the last line of defence to protect employees against injuries and health hazards when they are working in high-risk environments and there are now more products than ever before to cater for every job role and eventuality.

The PPE at Work Regulations 1992, require employers to provide PPE that must be used or worn whenever there are health and safety risks that cannot be adequately controlled in other ways. Under the regulations all equipment and clothing should also be properly stored, well-maintained, come with instructions and be assessed before use to ensure it is suitable for the task. Another key point of the legislation is that it must be provided by employers and employees should not have to buy it themselves.

There are also some shocking statistics surrounding workplace clothing and equipment, with some research suggesting that up to 90% of workplace injuries occur when employees aren’t wearing their PPE – so it’s clearly in the best interests of both employees and employers to ensure it’s used at all times.

Providing PPE that is both comfortable and up to the job is key to this and it’s vital that all clothing and footwear is the correct size and meet the needs of the wearer. For example there is a wide range of different footwear available from boots with steel toecaps to shoes with slip resistant soles, it’s vital that the correct ones for the job are used. There are also many products on the market that are specifically designed for the female form so women no longer have to endure ill-fitting men’s clothing.

These ranges will often feature feminine cuts, higher and smaller waste lines, larger hip measurements, narrowly-cut legs and smaller bibs.

Lots of workplace clothing is now designed to look great, as well as being functional, with a whole host of leading brands entering the market to create stylish designs that workers actually want to wear. There are also new and advanced materials being introduced all the time that are highly effective in all types of environmental conditions including hot, cold, wet and dry surroundings.

If PPE ticks all the boxes above, it’s also highly likely that it will help to improve the overall performance and efficiency of your workforce - as well as keeping them safe.