Personal protection equipment refers to protective gear like clothing, goggles, helmets & other garments or protective equipment engineered to protect wearer’s body from injury or infection. It addresses physical, heat related, electrical, chemical and other possible hazards. However, one should consider the fact that these are important protective measures but don’t provide any guarantee for complete risk control in the workplace. Therefore, one should not completely rely upon PPE as a complete risk control package.
To comply with Work Health & Safety (WHS) requirements, Organizations must ensure that workers are not exposed to any health and safety risks. PPE is undoubtedly a risk control measure, but other safety measures that make the site safer for employees should be considered beforehand for workers’ health and safety at workplace.
While deciding upon using Personal Protective Equipment, one needs to consider whether risk can be controlled by following means;
- Eliminating hazard from workplace
- Substituting hazard with safer measures
- Isolating hazard from people
- Making use of engineering controls
If it is challenging to regulate risk by measures mentioned above, then it must be controlled using;
- Administrative controls
- And Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
Moreover, if required, Personal Protection Equipment must be provided by the employer with complete assessment of each gear to comply with the following;
- minimise the risk to Work Health & Safety (WHS),
- suit the nature of work and any risks associated with it,
- perfect fit for wearer with respect to its size & comfort,
- Maintained and repaired/ replaced so it continues to perform its function effectively,
- Used only until its reasonably functional.
So if you ask us if Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is a complete set to regulate risks in the workplace? Our Verdict is False!
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