It is no accident that PPE is the last item on the list within the Hierarchy of Control. It should always be considered as the last line of defence against injury, damage, or disease.
Wearing safety glasses or steel capped boots will not protect you from inadequate procedures or inappropriate tools, however it will increase your safety if all other considerations are taken into account and actioned appropriately.
When assessing any task to identify the potential for injury or damage, in the first instance the Hierarchy of Control should be applied.
Can the task or any of its elements be:
PPE is equipment or clothing worn to protect the user against health or safety risks at work.
Its principal responsibilities are to:
PPE is only used as a last resort after other control measures have been considered.
It is important that employees issued with PPE are aware of why it is required and what their responsibilities are.
Training should include:
PPE is the final remedy and should not be used to replace other methods of control.
Always ensure that any PPE issued is worn properly, correctly maintained and never misused.
If in doubt, always complete a Risk Assessment. This will help to identify any potential risks or hazards where additional PPE may provide more protection.
PPE CAN SAVE LIVES. USE IT PROPERLY AND LOOK AFTER IT, AS YOU WOULD WANT IT TO LOOK AFTER YOU!