How to avoid PPE failures

To avoid Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) failures during a work in progress inspection carried out by our utility partners we have provided useful information about the importance of working with the appropriate PPE. Please feel free to cascade this information to your contractors and staff as appropriate.

Introduction  Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) is to be used as a last resort within the hierarchy of control measures for controlling risks. Therefore, once all other forms of control measures have been exhausted and there is still a risk to personnel then PPE must be considered.

What is PPE  Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) is equipment or clothing worn to protect the user from known hazards in the workplace.

Employers have duties concerning the provision and use of PPE at work. It can include items such as safety footwear, hand protection (gloves), head protection (hard hat), eye protection (goggles, visors or spectacles), hi visibility vest or jacket, safety harnesses, respirators, ear defenders and wet weather gear. Items are to be worn at all times unless risk assessed out.

Limitations and Rules  There are limitations with Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) and rules to ensure that it is suitable for the task for which it is to protect against.

  • PPE is “PERSONAL” it does not protect others.
  • It must be used in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions and any training provided including its limitations.
  • Levels of effectiveness are difficult to assess.
  • PPE must be in good condition to be fully effective.
  • Store in safe environment and keep clean.
  • Maintain PPE where appropriate.
  • Check before use and ensure statutory inspections are in date.
  • Never misuse PPE.
  • Most items of PPE have differing protection values so ensure that the risks are assessed correctly before selecting PPE to ensure that safe levels are met.
  • Certain items will have shelf lives so ensure that it is in date.
  • It must suit the wearer and be ’CE marked’.
  • Ensure compatibility if more than one item of PPE is worn.
  • Report loss or damage immediately.
  • PPE should not be shared.
  • Wearing PPE can create its own hazards.

Points to Remember for Utility Site Inspections

  • The PPE required for each task undertaken must be detailed within the Construction Phase Plan.
  • All PPE should be provided to your installers free of charge.
  • Users should ensure that the PPE provided remains in good order, free from damage or wear, to ensure this does not impact the effectiveness of each item provided. Is storage adequate?
  • Defective PPE should be replaced at the earliest possible opportunity.
  • Inspectors will check the relevant PPE is available and being used for the install taking place.

If you require further information, please contact your business development manager or the ECO team on 0845 894 4444.

(Released 19th June 2019)


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