PPE Suppliers Advice - The Five Point Safety Strategy
But whilst PPE suppliers can provide safety clothing and safety equipment, they should not be looked on as angels of salvation, able to provide the magic spells required to banish any form of risk. The risks and dangers still exist, and whilst safety equipment can do a fantastic job of helping to safeguard people's health, they cannot and should not be relied upon completely. Safety clothing and equipment is only ever something to be considered as the last line of defence, there to protect people should the worst happen, and all other safeguards and safety measures have failed.
But even this isn't enough. Relying on the equipment and clothing which PPE suppliers can provide, and accepting this as a last line of defence can still be insufficient.
Legislation, regulations and guidelines covering personal protective equipment makes it clear that there are five distinct issues which need to be considered when using such equipment. Simply passing on the PPE equipment to employees is not enough, either in practice or in the eyes of the law. The following five aspects of safety clothing and equipment should be kept in mind at all times.
The first point is that, of course, PPE equipment should be supplied. PPE suppliers are often happy to help advise on the most suitable items, and these should be purchased well before they are actually needed in order to make sure that they are entirely suitable and that those required to use them or wear them have had the right training.
The second point is that the personal protective equipment bought should actually be suitable and appropriate for the intended use. Just purchasing heavy duty safety gloves and offering these to anyone who may be using potentially dangerous or damaging equipment is not enough. The equipment or clothing must be specifically suited to the task, dangers or risks, rather than a blanket safety measure which may be inappropriate.
The third point is that anyone who will be required to use the PPE equipment or wear the safety clothing must be adequately trained in its use. This means making sure that they are able to recognise any and all circumstances under which it will be necessary to use the equipment, the correct use of the equipment, the ability to verify that it is still fit for purpose, and the understanding of what to do if there is a problem.
This leads in to the fourth point, which is that PPE equipment and clothing does not last forever, and with time it is possible that it may become damaged, dirty, torn or worn. In such cases the equipment cannot be relied upon to provide the level of safety necessary, and so it will be essential to make sure that clearly understood and followed measures are in place to ensure that any damaged or defected equipment or clothing is removed from use and reported.
Finally the fifth point to consider is that all safety equipment must be returned to the correct location once it is finished with. If safety equipment or clothing is removed then this could deny someone else being able to benefit from its use, which could lead to an accident. Having strict control measures over the use of PPE equipment and clothing is essential.
If in any doubt about the type of PPE Equipment you should be purchasing it is always recommended to speak to one of the PPE suppliers who can offer advice and recommendations to help make sure your business is fully compliant, and your employees safe.
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