Why wearing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is Essential
In 2015/16 in the UK alone, 621,000 workers industry-wide sustained a non-fatal workplace injury and 144 workers sustained fatal injuries at work. With this being said, the modern workplace can be a dangerous place to work.
As a standard in many UK industries, the Health and Safety Executive recommends implementing controls to reduce the risk of incident, however, when this is not possible in its entirety, personal protective equipment (PPE) is required.
In the construction industry, the use of PPE is extremely prevalent as although many regulations are put in place to reduce the risk of construction sites, it can be an unpredictable place to work with falling debris and heavy plant machinery in many cases.
The most popular PPE is the use of hard hats, eye protection, steel toe-capped boots, high visibility vests and gloves. Although these may seem to be an inconvenience when it comes to jobs that ‘only take a few minutes’ they can ultimately end up saving your life or reducing serious injury.
It’s essential, for this reason, that employees are trained in the correct maintenance and storage of PPE and exactly how to use it. This ensures that employees wear the equipment exactly how is required.
If you are an employer and tasked with choosing PPE for your employees, there are numerous things that you will need to take into consideration, such as:
- Choose products that are CE marked in accordance with the Personal Protective Equipment Regulations 2002
- Always consider the size of the end user – choose PPE that is an appropriate fit so that you can ensure maximum protection for your employee.
- If more than one item of PPE needs to be worn at one time, make sure that they are compatible with each other (eg. Respirator and safety goggles may not work as protection in unison)
- Train employees on how to use equipment safely – such as removing goggles without contaminating skin, etc.
At the end of the day, investing in PPE is absolutely essential and in accordance with the law. It also could make the difference between going home healthy and going home in ill-health or worse.