The 8 Regulations Covering Personal Protective Equipment
Clearly if such personal protective equipment is deemed necessary there is a definite risk. Everything possible should be done to try to minimise or eliminate that risk, with PPE equipment being used only in cases where any level of risk remains in spite of any other action taken. Employers have a legal duty to provide appropriate PPE equipment to all employees who require it, with appropriate training and auditing of the use of such equipment also falling to the employer. The Regulations specifically indicate the following eight areas which employers should make a careful note of and with which they should ensure full compliance.
1. The Provision Of Personal Protective Equipment. In cases where there is any perceived level of risk or potential injury it is the employer's responsibility to supply appropriate PPE equipment. Any and all such equipment or safety clothing provided should be appropriate to the risks and the conditions, take into account any ergonomic requirements, should fit correctly, should be effective at helping to reduce or minimise the risk, and should comply with any and all CE requirements.
2. PPE Compatibility. Any safety equipment or clothing should be fully compatible with any and all possible combinations of other PPE clothing or equipment which may need to be worn. For example, eye protection should not interfere or be interfered with by the use of breathing apparatus where both may need to be worn or used together.
3. PPE Assessment. All personal protective equipment and clothing should be assessed to ensure that it is fully suited to protect against the risks involved, including the characteristics of the clothing and equipment. The PPE equipment and clothing should be compared with other alternatives to ensure the best possible selection is made, and that the use of any safety clothing or equipment should be assessed to make sure that it is still appropriate to the conditions, environment or hazards.
4. Maintenance Of PPE Clothing And Equipment. The employer is responsible for ensuring that regular maintenance and assessment checks are carried out to make sure that all safety clothing and safety equipment is still fully functional, is undamaged and is fit for purpose. Procedures should be in place to ensure that any equipment or clothing failing this assessment is removed from use and that appropriate replacements are provided quickly.
5. Storage Of Personal Protective Equipment. The employer is responsible for providing appropriate and suitable storage for any and all PPE equipment and clothing.
6. PPE Training. It is the employer's responsibility to provide adequate training and information on the risks against which the supplied PPE clothing and equipment is designed to afford protection, the purpose of the equipment or clothing and the way in which it should be worn or used.
7. The Use Of PPE Clothing And Equipment. Ultimately it is the employer's responsibility to ensure that all safety clothing and equipment is properly used, although employees are responsible for using equipment according to the training provided, and to make use of any supplied storage correctly.
8. Reporting Defective PPE Equipment. Suitable procedures should be put into place by the employer, and adequate training given so that employees will be capable of carrying out assessments of clothing and equipment, and reporting any defective, malfunctioning, worn or damaged personal protective equipment or clothing to the employer.
Should the employer fail to follow any one of these eight regulations then in the event of an accident or an injury they are highly likely to be deemed legally responsible and liable to pay compensation and or to be fined or taken to court for negligence. If an employer is in any doubt about the selection of, use of or maintenance of any PPE equipment then it is advisable to speak to an experienced supplier of such equipment for expert advice and recommendations.
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