Personal protective equipment and face coverings. PPE protects the user against health or safety risks at work. It can include items such as safety helmets, gloves, eye protection, high-visibility clothing, safety footwear and safety harnesses. It also includes respiratory protective equipment, such as face masks.
Employers are responsible for providing, replacing and paying for personal protective equipment.
PPE should be used when all other measures are inadequate to control exposure. It protects only the wearer, while being worn.
If it fails, it offers no protection at all.
Personal protective equipment is protective clothing, helmets, goggles, or other garments or equipment designed to protect the wearer’s body from injury or infection. The hazards addressed by protective equipment include physical, electrical, heat, chemicals, biohazards, and airborne particulate matter.
Why is PPE important?
Making the workplace safe includes providing instructions, procedures, training and supervision to encourage people to work safely and responsibly.
Even where engineering controls and safe systems of work have been applied, some hazards might remain. These include injuries to:
the lungs, eg from breathing in contaminated air
the head and feet, eg from falling materials
the eyes, eg from flying particles or splashes of corrosive liquids
the skin, eg from contact with corrosive materials