4 steps to selecting PPE
- Consider the hazards for which protection is required
- Assess the risks by identifying the parts of the body that may be affected and the consequences
- Identify the PPE that will provide adequate protection – the level of control must reflect the severity of risk
- Consider the size, fit and weight of the PPE you choose; also take account of any pre-existing health conditions. A standard type of PPE may not be suitable for everyone
Ask yourself these questions:
- Does the PPE protect the wearer from the risks and take account of the environmental conditions where the task is taking place? For example eye protection designed to protect against chemical splash may not be suitable when cutting steel or stone; Will eye protection for working with lasers absorb light of the correct wavelength?
- Does using PPE increase the overall level of risk or add new risks? For example, by making communication or visibility more difficult
- Can the PPE be adjusted to fit the wearer correctly?
Finally, think about....
- The need to wear more than one piece of PPE at the same time – e.g. wearing a respirator may make it difficult to fit eye protection properly, so a different type of PPE will need to be ordered
- Conducting a PPE trial with different brands/models if you will be using PPE a lot, or if you order for a large team. A PPE trial will help make sure everyone is happy with what you choose
Common Types of PPE