Picking the right PPE for your workplace can be a difficult task if you are not familiar with health and safety practices. Carry out a health and safety risk assessment to see what PPE your business needs. However, PPE should be seen as the last resort and if the processes cannot be carried out differently to minimise risk then you should be thinking of safe equipment and clothing to keep your workers safe whilst at work. In this article, we will talk you through our guide to choosing the right PPE for your business. It should be noted that employers must provide any necessary PPE to employees free of charge.
As the economy opens up during this Covid-19 pandemic, many businesses have turned to PPE to combat Coronavirus at their workplace. It is essential to provide your workers with disposable gloves and disposable face masks during this period so they can feel safe whilst at work and this will create a comfortable working environment for everyone.
Ensure That Your PPE Matches Your Hazards
For employees in the industrial sector e.g. mining, construction, steelworkers, joiners, etc, suiting up in personal protective equipment is second nature. Therefore, how would your employer determine how to match a hazard to the right PPE you’ll need for the job to be safely accomplished?
You need to be open-minded and understand the effects of each hazard. This process needs the collaboration of different people as this will make it easier to identify these hazards and decide on the right safety clothing and equipment to get for the staff.
Do I need PPE?
As mentioned in the introduction, PPE should be seen as a last resort. Even as the government tries to introduce guidelines for all the industries, we will highlight a few common Personal Protective Clothing that can be used by most workplaces to ensure safety of staff and clients.
To back this up, every business by law must maintain a safe working environment and the only way to complying with this is to carry out a health and safety risk assessment that will identify what your business needs. However, there are exemptions and we will highlight this below:
The Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations does not apply to:
- Competitive sports equipment i.e. equipment used for playing competitive sports
- ordinary work clothes and uniforms which do not protect the health and safety of the wearer
- portable devices for detecting and signalling risks and nuisances
The PPE regulations don’t apply where other laws already oblige employers to provide PPE, for example:
- 1. Control of noise at work, 2. lead at work, 3. Asbestos, 4. Ionising radiation, 5. and control of substances hazardous to health regulations.
What should I check for?
A supplier should be able to advise on the suitability of the equipment and items of clothing use. As a rule of thumb, all PPE equipment and clothing must be:
- Appropriate to the risks and workplace conditions
- Capable of fitting the wearer correctly, eg if you work in construction or heavy machinery site you will need helmets with adjustable chin straps that fit like a glove
- CE marked to meet the standards set out in the regulations, ideally using British Standards Institution (BSI) or a Kitemark
- Suitable for the ergonomics i.e. normal body movement
- Suitable for the state of health of the employee
Make Sure Employees Use PPE Properly
A survey done by Occupation Health & Safety in 2013 showed that 70% of respondents that their PPE was either uncomfortable or too hot and this will eventually lead to non-compliance. This is why employees need to be trained on how to use the PPE properly.
With statistics indicating that airborne viruses are highly transmittable in enclosed space, the UK government has instructed businesses and its citizens to adhere to various rules like installing hand sanitising stations, wearing a facemask in public spaces mainly transport networks, retail & shops, and also the workplace, etc. As a result, the market has been saturated with products from all corners of the world which makes it hard for buyers to source the best quality from the known brands.
Therefore, if you are sourcing for PPE for your business ensure you always go for the highest quality and choose products that have met the specified standards.
Here at Loorolls, we pride ourselves to being a leading stockist of janitorial & cleaning products, feel free to browse our range of products online or call us on 0151 342 2111 to create a trade account and enjoy bulk discounts. With Loorolls.com, you can now be certain that you are picking the right PPE for your place of work. If you are looking to purchase PPE products, we stock a wide range of Workwear and overalls suitable for a variety of working professions, and if you can’t find what you’re looking for online call our team, and we’ll source it for you.