Personal Protective Equipment

How to Effectively Oversee Your PPE in the Workplace

It's your legal obligation to uphold the health and safety of all staff in your workplace. And one of the ways to do this is to issue Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to them.

Failure to do this could see you facing massive fines and penalties, and even shut down!

For example, an inspector from the Department of Labour could give you a prohibition notice forcing you stop work until you comply.

Not only will this severely hamper your business's productivity, but you'll also be liable for maximum penalties and even criminal prosecution!

So be warned! Don't take PPE lightly.

If you haven't implemented PPE usage in your workplace already, follow these five important steps today...

Step#1: Identify any workplace hazards and choose PPE that suits the hazard

The PPE must reduce the risk of your employees experiencing any negative health effects.

TIP: Your PPE must fit your workers properly and must be comfortable for them. Make sure this is the case with all your employees when issuing PPE to them.

Step#2: Record the PPE you provide.

You must record all the PPE you issue to your employees.

This can help show that PPE was in fact issued to any particular employee.

When recording this information, include:

  • the name, surname and ID number of the employee;
  • the date of issue of the PPE;
  • the type of PPE issued; and
  • preferably the signature of each employee who's issued with PPE.
NOTE: Here, you can use a paper or an electronic system to record this information.

TIP: If you use a paper-based system, keep electronic copies for backup purposes.

Step#3: Provide training

You must train your staff on how to use the relevant PPE properly. After all, there's no use in issuing health and safety equipment which your staff have no idea how to use!

Step#4: Hygiene

Ensure that your PPE is washed regularly so as to avoid any transmission of infections because of workers sharing dirty PPE.

Step#5: Get rid of expired or used PPE

Any PPE which is for single use, or PPE which has reached the end of its indicated lifespan, mustn't be re-worn! Instead, it should be discarded.

NOTE: The way in which you dispose of PPE must depend on the hazards it was used for.

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Alexandr Grigorev

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