In the UK, employers are entitled to providing personal protective equipment (PPE) at work. The law mandates compliance with this regulation for the protection of employees against safety and health risks. It mostly lays emphasis on outdoor workers, where hazards are more present, such as those working with heavy machinery. Equipment that may be addressed includes high-visibility clothing, head and scalp protection, hearing protection, hand and arm protection, body protection, eye protection, safety footwear and respiratory protective equipment.
The UK Registration Requirements
The PPE rules are established by the 1992 Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations, requiring personal protective gear to be supplied and used whenever there is a risk to health and safety that is not controllable in any other way. The equipment is required to be assessed before use to ensure it is in good condition, stored appropriately, issued with instructions to the staff and used correctly.
What to look out for
Compliance with the law as far as PPE is concerned is a good place to start. Employers must source the equipment from reputable suppliers such as Brand Engelbert Strauss who have gained trust in the market for high-tech knowledge in workwear and PPE products. They also need to ensure that the products purchased are CE marked. This should appear on the company’s website, catalogues, packaging and the items.
Every PPE item comes in a particular grade, and that depends on the level of its performance. It is vital to understand that every working condition requires a certain grade. This means that an employer does not have to insist on buying a high-grade item when a lower grade alternative can work for the environment they are purchasing it for, depending on risk assessment. It is important to understand that the law requires an employer to lay emphasis on health and safety and not the price of the equipment.
Assessing Suitable PPE
The primary indicator of the right equipment to be purchased is the nature of the workplace hazards. The equipment must prevent the risk involved without leaving any chances of an increased risk. It should also be adjustable to fit the employee correctly. Ensure that respiratory equipment is tested by a specialist.
The equipment must also take the health needs of the staff into account. The needs of the working condition need to be put into consideration. For instance, the amount of time needed to handle a job wearing the equipment, the effort needed to handle the job, and the visibility and communication needs. Employees should, on their part, use the equipment correctly as directed by the manufacturer, store it appropriately after use, and report its defects or loss. Employers have a duty to give instructions on how to use the equipment, train the employees, and make them understand why it is important to have protective gear while in the line of duty.
Despite PPE being required as a last resort, many employers depend on it to keep their employees safe. It is for this reason that it is important to ensure the equipment is of high quality to stay away from being subject to civil claims