Tips for Buying the Protective Clothing Your Workers Need
Protective work wear, otherwise known as personal protective equipment or PPE is anything worn by workers to protect them from work-related hazards.
It should also be worn by contractors and visitors. As an employer operating a potentially hazardous workplace you are obligated to provide appropriate safety clothing and equipment. Here are a few tips to help you do that.
PPE is a last resort
Yes, that does sound odd, but essentially what it means is that safety gear is not to be viewed as the answer. First you need to analyse the workplace itself and do whatever is necessary to minimise risks.
Safety gear is only designed to supplement these precautions, not replace them.
Types of PPE
- Respiratory protection - disposable, cartridge, air line, half or full face
- Eye protection - glasses, goggles, shields and visors
- Hearing protection - ear muffs and plugs
- Hand protection - gloves and barrier creams
- Foot protection – shoes and boots
- Head protection - helmets, caps, hoods and hats
- Heights protection - harnesses and fall arrest devices
- Skin protection - hats, sunburn cream, long sleeved clothes
Other personal protective equipment - disposable clothing for working with chemicals, radiation hazards, welding, painting.
Choosing the right PPE
This can be tricky as your workforce comes in all shapes and sizes, and PPE generally doesn't. In fact, it can be downright uncomfortable and cumbersome. The best advice is this: when a worker complains of ill-fitting PPE, find a better fit fast.
While your workers are obliged by law to wear it, comfort can be a very tempting thing when the wrong eyes aren't watching.
Make sure your PPE complies
All safety equipment must comply with current Australian Standards. So check to make sure it's stamped or labelled with an AS compliance marking.
If you're not sure about your PPE choices and their compliance, seek professional advice on the right gear for your circumstances.
Workplaces change, circumstances change, and so do risks. So make sure you re-evaluate the dangers on a regular basis to make sure your safety equipment still complies. For a detailed rundown on your obligations, see Section 19 of the Occupational Safety and Health Act 1984.
Have your say...
The approval of your comment is at the discretion of this article's publisher. Write your comment with the following in mind to ensure the highest likelihood of it being approved:
- No promotional undertones
- No use of profanity
- Good spelling, grammar and layout
- Check punctuation, language and missing words
- No use of aggression
- No unsubstantiated claims
We reserve the right to remove comments at our discretion.
Your name is used alongside Comments.