Creating a Personal Protective Equipment Strategy
17 June 2019
AS PART of ensuring a safe system of work, a thorough health and safety strategy should be in place, according to Reece Safety.
Encompassing all aspects of safety in the workplace, the strategy will be made up of many different components, inclusive of things such as risk assessments, first aid training and a fully comprehensive personal protective equipment strategy.
Here we will discuss some of the top considerations when setting up a personal protective equipment strategy and why it is vital as part of a wider health and safety plan.
Personal Protective Equipment
Personal protective equipment incorporates a wide variety of different apparatus, from helmets, safety gloves, boots and goggles amongst many more. Worn in the workplace to help minimise the risk of injury occurring, personal protective equipment is not to be considered as a way to remove a hazard, but simply a way to give the wearer extra protection should an accident occur.
A personal protective equipment strategy will include certain core components to ensure it provides the highest level of safety to employees. Below are some initial considerations which should be made in the first instance as part of a conducting a safe strategy.
Prior to beginning a personal protective equipment strategy a full risk assessment of the workplace should be conducted. The risk assessment will identify any potential hazards such as high voltage, access to chemicals or loud noises, and in response to this the correct personal protective equipment can be selected. For example, in areas where there is risk of falling objects, helmets must be worn.
As part of the risk assessment process considerations such as how many employees may require personal protective equipment and the different types of equipment required should be noted. It is important that a workplace always has the right equipment on hand and has enough to cover all required employees to ensure that everyone has access to the correct equipment for them.
It is important to remember that personal protective equipment does not remove the hazard, and that as part of a wider health and safety strategy other safety controls should be implemented. This may include using things such as utilising padlocks from Reece Safety as part of a lock out tag out procedure or perhaps implementing safety signs to communicate potential hazards to workers and visitors.
It is vital that prior to any work being undertaken that all employees are fully trained to a high standard in safety techniques surrounding their job, and any equipment they may need to use; this includes the usage of personal protective equipment. Without the correct training protective equipment may not be applied or worn correctly, resulting in minimised protection and increased risk.
The Correct Equipment
Selecting the appropriate equipment for the hazard is vital to ensure maximum safety for employees. Workers should also be fitted to their equipment to minimise the chance of things such as clothing being too loose, goggles obscuring vision or even a helmet falling off; all of which could end up increasing hazards and resulting in injury.
It is the employers responsibility to ensure the safety of their employees by providing the correct safety equipment, training and knowledge to minimise risks. In order to make sure that safety is of the highest possible standard, a health and safety officer should be appointed along with a personal protective equipment coordinator. Together this personnel will ensure all aspects of safety strategies in the workplace remain safe.
In order to ensure the protective equipment strategy remains effective, all equipment should be regularly evaluated for any damage or signs of wear. Should the equipment need repair or replacement this should be done with a matter of urgency, and workers should never wear faulty equipment.
Once your personal protective equipment strategy has been put in place, regular reviews should take place. These reviews help to ensure that the correct equipment is in use for any new potential hazards, and that all workers remain knowledgeable and attend refresher training sessions as necessary.
For a personal protective equipment strategy to be a success, there must be thorough evaluations of each stage, and high levels of communications between employees and health and safety officers regarding potential hazards. With the correct personal protective equipment and training, the chance of injury occurring within the workplace will be greatly reduced.
For more information, visit www.reecesafety.co.uk