Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) refers to all the types of safety clothing and equipment which needs to be worn or used to help protect workers from various risks in the workplace. It may include safety helmets and steel capped boots, respirators and masks, overalls, eye protection and ear defenders, gloves, harnesses, high visibility clothing, as well as specific clothing to protect against bad weather which can pose additional risks. There are a wide variety of accidents and illnesses which can be caused due to a lack of Personal Protective Equipment so it’s important that it is provided and used when necessary. However, employers should also implement other safety controls and only require PPE as a last resort, where dangers cannot be sufficiently eliminated without its use.
Do employers have to provide PPE free of charge?
Employers are required to provide any necessary PPE free of charge for their employees; they cannot demand any financial contribution from employees. Regulations state that all the equipment must be chosen in accordance with the Personal Protective Equipment Regulations 2002 and also be suitable for the employee (eg. the right size etc). Furthermore, it’s the duty of the employer to train their employees to correctly use any such equipment. When not in use, all PPE must be properly looked after and stored.
Types of Personal Protective Equipment
Different kinds of PPE will need to be provided to protect against specific dangers. For example, goggles, face screens, faceshields, visors may be required when there is a risk of chemical splashes, dust or projectiles. Safety boots or shoes with protective toecaps, as well as hard hats might need to be worn in conditions where there is a risk of falling objects. If multiple items of PPE need to be used at the same time, employers must ensure that it’s possible to do so. If you have suffered an accident due to the lack of PPE you may be entitled to compensation - ask a solicitor to discover mor