PPE is the LAST resort in protecting works onsite in the Hierarchy of Controls at the worksite, but it comes with a HUGE legal requirement to train workers on its use and limits and how to maintain it based upon the standards. Personal protective equipment (PPE) is anything used or worn by a person to minimize risk to the person’s health or safety and includes a wide range of clothing and safety equipment. PPE includes boots, face masks, hard hats, ear plugs, respirators, gloves, safety harnesses, high visibility clothing etc.
Your PPE training along with your REQUIRED COMPANY POLICY must be A C C P at all times
A general review of training “best practices” reveals four characteristics that sound training programs have in common. The best training programs are accurate, credible, clear and practical.
Accurate. Training materials should be prepared by qualified individuals, updated as needed, and facilitated by appropriately qualified and experienced individuals employing appropriate training techniques and methods.
Credible. Training facilitators should have a general safety and health background or be a subject matter expert in a health or safety related field.
Clear. Training programs must not only be accurate and believable, but they must also be clear and understandable to the participant. If the material is only understandable to someone with a college education or someone who understands the jargon, then the program falls short of meeting workers’ needs. Remember that workers may be fluent in a language other than English, or they may have low literacy in both English and their primary language. Training needs to be adjusted to accommodate all the factors that are present.
Practical. Training programs should present information, ideas, and skills that participants see as directly useful in their working lives. Successful transfer of learning occurs when the participant can see how information presented in a training session can be applied in the workplace.
Controlling a hazard at its source is the best way to protect employees. Depending on the hazard or workplace conditions, OH&S requires the use of engineering or work practice controls to manage or eliminate hazards to the greatest extent possible. For example, building a barrier between the hazard and the employees is an engineering control; changing the way in which employees perform their work is a work practice control. Employers are required to train each employee who must use PPE. Employees must be trained to know at least the following:
- When PPE is necessary.
- What PPE is necessary.
- How to properly put on, take off, adjust and wear the PPE.
- The limitations of the PPE.
- Proper care, maintenance, useful life and disposal of PPE. Personal protective equipment (PPE) must be maintained, repaired or replaced so it continues to minimise the risk to the worker who uses it. This includes by ensuring the equipment is:
- clean and hygienic, and
- in good working order.
The PPE must be maintained to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that it is used for work by the worker.
Employers should make sure that each employee demonstrates an understanding of the PPE training as well as the ability to properly wear and use PPE before they are allowed to perform work requiring the use of the PPE. If an employer believes that a previously trained employee is not demonstrating the proper understanding and skill level in the use of PPE, that employee should receive retraining. Other situations that require additional or retraining of employees include the following circumstances: changes in the workplace or in the type of required PPE that make prior training obsolete.
The employer must document the training of each employee required to wear or use PPE by preparing a certification containing the name of each employee trained, the date of training and a clear identification of the subject of the certification.
When engineering, work practice and administrative controls are not feasible or do not provide sufficient protection, employers must provide personal protective equipment (PPE) to their employees and ensure its use. Personal protective equipment, commonly referred to as “PPE”, is equipment worn to minimize exposure to a variety of hazards. Examples of PPE include such items as gloves, foot and eye protection, protective hearing devices (earplugs, muffs) hard hats, respirators and full body suits.
This will help both employers and employees do the following:
- Understand the types of PPE
- Know the basics of conducting a “hazard assessment” of the workplace.
- Select appropriate PPE for a variety of circumstances.
- Understand what kind of training is needed in the proper use and care of PPE.
Date: Name: Job Title: Supervisor: Work Site-Specific Training Inform or train the employee about applications in his/her workplace. When PPE is necessary. What PPE is required. How to wear, adjust and remove PPE. The limitations of PPE. The care, maintenance, useful life and disposal of PPE Verification by Employee I verify that I understand the requirements checked above. Print Name _________________________________ Signature ____________________________ Date_______________ Verification by Department As the department representative, supervisor, or trainer, I verify that training on items checked above was provided to the employee. Print Name _________________________________ Signature _____________________________ Date_______________ Department ________________________________
- Eye and Face Protection
- Prescription Lenses
- Eye Protection for Exposed Workers
- Types of Eye Protection
- Welding Operations
- Laser Operations
- Head Protection
- Types of Hard Hats
- Size and Care Considerations
- Foot and Leg Protection
- Special Purpose Shoes
- Foundry Shoes
- Care of Protective Footwear
- Hand and Arm Protection
- Types of Protective Gloves
- Leather, Canvas or Metal Mesh Gloves
- Fabric and Coated Fabric Gloves
- Chemical- and Liquid-Resistant Gloves
- Care of Protective Gloves
- Body Protection
To ensure the greatest possible protection for employees in the workplace, the cooperative efforts of both employers and employees will help in establishing and maintaining a safe and healthful work environment.
In general, employers are responsible for:
- Performing a “hazard assessment” of the workplace to identify and control physical and health hazards.
- Identifying and providing appropriate PPE for employees.
- Training employees in the use and care of the PPE.
- Maintaining PPE, including replacing worn or damaged PPE.
- Periodically reviewing, updating and evaluating the effectiveness of the PPE program.
In general, employees should:
- Properly wear PPE,
- Attend training sessions on PPE,
- Care for, clean and maintain PPE, and
- Inform a supervisor of the need to repair or replace PPE.
DON’T FORGET BEFORE YOU ISSUE ANY PPE, NOT AFTER YOU MUST DO A HAZARD ASSESSMENT, The hazard assessment should begin with a walk-through survey of the facility to develop a list of potential hazards in the following basic hazard categories:
- Compression (roll-over),
- Harmful dust,
- Light (optical) radiation,
In addition to noting the basic layout of the facility and reviewing any history of occupational illnesses or injuries, things to look for during the walk-through survey include:
- Sources of electricity.
- Sources of motion such as machines or processes where movement may exist that could result in an impact between personnel and equipment.
- Sources of high temperatures that could result in burns, eye injuries or fire.
- Types of chemicals used in the workplace.
- Sources of harmful dusts.
- Sources of light radiation, such as welding, brazing, cutting, furnaces, heat treating, high intensity lights, etc.
- The potential for falling or dropping objects.
- Sharp objects that could poke, cut, stab or puncture.
- Biologic hazards such as blood or other potentially infected material.
When the walk-through is complete, the employer should organize and analyze the data so that it may be efficiently used in determining the proper types of PPE required at the worksite. The employer should become aware of the different types of PPE available and the levels of protection offered. It is definitely a good idea to select PPE that will provide a level of protection greater than the minimum required to protect employees from hazards.
All PPE clothing and equipment should be of safe design and construction, and should be maintained in a clean and reliable fashion. Employers should take the fit and comfort of PPE into consideration when selecting appropriate items for their workplace. PPE that fits well and is comfortable to wear will encourage employee use of PPE. Most protective devices are available in multiple sizes and care should be taken to select the proper size for each employee. If several different types of PPE are worn together, make sure they are compatible. If PPE does not fit properly, it can make the difference between being safely covered or dangerously exposed. It may not provide the level of protection desired and may discourage employee use.