Personal Protective Equipment PPE Safety


Introduction to Personal Protective Equipment PPE

The definition of PPE equipment is comprehensive and covers all protective equipment such as helmets, footwear, clothing, overalls, gloves, life jackets and safety harnesses. Ordinary working clothes or clothing provided which is not specifically designed to protect the health and safety of the wearer is not within the definition.

Safety PPE Personal Protective Equipment
Safety PPE Personal Protective Equipment

Requirements of PPE Regulation

The primary needs of the PPE regulations are:
  • The employer provides that protective equipment where it is necessary to protect against one or more risks to the user where that risk cannot be adequately controlled by other means. The protective equipment should be suitable for the use for which it is provided and be capable of fitting the wearer.
  • That where different types of PPE are used at the same time that they are compatible.
  • That a specific assessment to be made by the employer of the uses for which PPE is required and the characteristics of the PPE required is made to ensure that sufficient protection is given to the user.
  • That all PPE is to be maintained, replaced, or cleaned as appropriate.
  • That appropriate accommodation should be provided by the employer when PPE is not being used. 
  • All accommodation should protect from contamination, loss or damage.
  • That information, instruction and, training is given to those required to use it.
  • For All Reasonable steps to take by the employer to ensure that PPE is being used properly and employees are needed to use it in accordance with the training and instruction.
  • That employees report any loss or defect of that equipment to their employer.

Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment

Head Protection and Head protection risk Checklist

  1. Head injury due to being struck.
  2. Abrasions to scalp due to striking against obstructions.
  3. Scalping due to the entanglement of hair.
Hazard Level
Hazard Level

Control measures:

  • All employees are required to wear safety helmets when on construction sites (unless otherwise advised) and in other locations where there is a risk from falling objects or restricted head room.
  • Persons with long hair should ensure that it is suitably tied or tucked under the helmet.
  • All safety helmets should conform to BS 5240 or an equivalent standard.
  • Due to the deterioration of helmet material caused by exposure to weather all helmets should be changed three years after issue or immediately after any damage or impact.
  • Helmets should not be stored in direct sunlight.
  • Helmets need not be worn in any office or canteen or other designated areas
  • A receipt form should be signed on the issue of a helmet.

Eye Protection

Eye protection risk checklist or injury from:

  • Dust
  • Molten metal splashes
  • Conjunctivitis, arc eye or other injuries due to welding other injuries
  • lying particles

Control measures:

  • Any person involved in or sufficiently close to any process where there is any risk of eye injury should be issued with and wear suitable eye protection.
  • Eye protection will be provided to the requirements of BS 2092.
  • High impact goggles (Grade 1) offer protection against chemicals, dust, and molten metal splashes will be marked BS 2092 CDM available in standard or non-mist form.
  • Safety spectacles will be issued to BS 2092 (Grade 2) where necessary.
  • Full facial protection is provided by clear acetate 200mm screen on a fully adjustable harness, also available with a green (anti-glare) screen, conforming to BS 2092 (Grade 2).
  • Visor guards can be fitted to a safety helmet with swivel side joints allowing the anti-glare polycarbonate screen to be raised and lowered. Conform to BS 2092 general purpose.
  • Eye protection is issued on a personal basis. Suitable facilities for storage and maintenance should be provided.
  • If any doubt for eye protection and suitability, contact the Safety Adviser.

Respiratory Protection

Respiratory protection risk checklist:

  1. Exposure to asphyxiating or toxic atmospheres.
  2. Exposure to concentrations of fumes, dust or mist liable to cause ill health effects.

Control measures

  • All respirators or breathing apparatus should be of a type approved by the HSE.
  • Respirators are only suitable for protection against dust, fumes, and chemical contamination.
  • In oxygen, deficient or toxic atmospheres breathing apparatus should be used.
  • To assess the degree of protection determine the contaminant concentration and the maximum exposure level (MEL). See section on COSHH.
  • All equipment, requires cleaning, disinfecting and inspection before use and after use to utilize. 
  • Expert advice, training, and information should be provided before any RPE is worn, and emergency procedures established.
  • The wrong choice of equipment could seriously affect the health of the worker or even lead to asphyxiation. If in doubt contact your Safety Adviser.


  • Filtering disposable face piece covering mouth and nose.
  • Rubber or plastic half mask respirator covering nose and mouth with replaceable filter cartridges. Various types of cartridge are available.
  • Full-face respirator, as above but also covering eyes.
  • Positive pressure powered respirators, full face, and suit or ventilated visor.

Breathing Apparatus (BA)

  • Fresh air hose supplying clean air from many the need source.
  • Compressed air line apparatus, as line filtered half mask, full face or hoods used.
  • Self-contained breathing apparatus, air delivered from cylinders worn by the user.
  • HSE type approved BA are detailed in F2501 (certificate of approval).
  • Respirators or BA required for substances under COSHH, Lead, Ionizing Radiation and Asbestos Regulations should be a type approved and are listed in HSE publication RPE. 
  • Legislative requirements and lists of HSE approved standards and type approved equipment.

Hand Protection

Hand protection risk checklist:

  1. Cuts and abrasion.
  2. Infectious materials.
  3. Temperature, hot and cold. (Extreme)

Control measures:

Hand and arm protection can be provided by some different types of glove or gauntlet.
The type will be decided by identification of the hazard and the resultant risk for example:
  1. Cut and abrasive resistant.
  2. Heat or cold resistant.
  3. Low vibration and impact are resistant.

Foot Protection

Foot protection risk checklist:

  1. Cuts and abrasion.
  2. Solid materials.
  3. Extremes of electrical shocks.
Safety Shoes
Safety Shoes

Control measures:

Safety Shoes can provide foot protection.

Ear Protection

Ear protection risk checklist:

  • Hearing exposure to the high levels of continuous noise.
Ear Protection
Ear Protection

Control measures:

  • Suitable ear defenders conforming to BS 5108 should be provided when there is a risk of damage to hearing.
  • Guidance on determining whether an environment is hazardous is contained within the section on noise.

Fall Protection

Fall protection, safety rescue equipment risk checklist:

  1. Falling from the height.
  2. Exposure to gases or oxygen deficient atmospheres.
  3. Drowning.

Control measures:

  • When a working platform cannot be provided and where there is no facility to fix safety nets or the rapid movement of work would not sensibly permit the use of other protective measures then safety harnesses should be utilized where persons can fall more than 2 meters.
  • All harnesses should be in good condition and inspected prior to use.
  • Suitable fixing points should be established such that, so far as is possible, persons have free movement without the need to unclip and re-fix the harness. A running line may be preferable.
  • Inertia reels may be used provided that the maximum free fall distances are not exceeded.


The following are the only type of harnesses permitted within the Company as classified in BS 1397:

Type C - Chest Harnesses

These are harnesses used in connection with safety lanyards for attachment to anchorage points. They incorporate a chest belt with shoulder straps linked together by a strong fabric, either at the front or rear, capable of providing support for the torso.

Type D - Safety Rescue Harnesses

Are worn by persons working in confined spaces where there is a risk of being overcome by noxious gases or fumes. These should be used in conjunction with rescue lines, to the requirements of BS 3367. Rescue harnesses although intended for withdrawal in the event of an accident, are also intended for a maximum drop of 0.6m.




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HowGear: Personal Protective Equipment PPE Safety
Personal Protective Equipment PPE Safety
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