<<

Chapter 20 PPE - Personal Protective Equipment

PPE is the last thing we consider in our risk assessment before that we must look at : elimination or substitution : Controls - either administrative or engineering : if after looking at these, the only way of bringing the Risk down to acceptable levels is PPE, then we must look at the protective equipment we are going to provide.

The legislation involved is PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT AT WORK REGULATIONS 1992 which came into force on 1 January 1994 and like the rest of the recent legislation requires us to RISK ASSESS.

There are certain main points we must consider

PPE is issued and worn depending on the circumstances of use :

PERSONAL means issued to the individual for his use only - only if it is unreasonable to consider individual PPE should PPE be shared.

ALL PPE must PROTECT in the circumstances of use.


DISPOSABLE PPE

There are advantages in giving out disposable PPE

The disadvantage is that it is expensive, but if only used occasionally it may be cost effective.


Let us consider the common PPE Groundsmen wear:

HARD HAT

If anything is liable to fall on, or projectile liable to hit, an operator then the operator should wear a hard hat. The hard hats can protect against a stated impact - but will usually have a ' use by' date - usually 5 years but see your manufacturers instructions.

COVERALL with hood

Usually used against pesticides - if used for this purpose should only be used for pesticides.

WATERPROOFS

Used to work in adverse weather conditions - if used for this purpose should not be used for pesticide application.

GLOVES

Different uses require different specification e.g.


..


WELLINGTON BOOTS

Usually extending to just below the knee and used NOT turned down.

TOE-PROTECTED BOOTS

Used in any case that it is possible damage to toes could occur e.g.


CHAINSAW BOOTS

Used when using chainsaw to protect the leg below the knee.


LEGGINGS

These are used in different circumstances to protect against different hazards


FACE SHIELD

Usually used for pesticide use


FACE VISOR

Used for use of strimmer


RESPIRATORY PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT RPE

FACE MASK or RESPIRATOR

Usually to protect against


EAR DEFENDERS EAR PLUGS.

Used to protect operator against noise


I have spoken about this before. It is law that suitable ear protection : ear plugs or ear defenders - are given above a noise level of 90 dB - to bring the noise heard by the operator down below 85 dB when in use. This is called noise attenuation. I have been in discussion with various chainsaw manufacturers and they have made it clear that they provide ear defenders to protect against their make of chainsaw. They will not guarantee that their ear defenders can be used for other makes of chainsaw. Thus a 'good chainsaw' manufacturer may have brought the levels of noise from their chainsaw down to 105 dB - their ear defenders only have to have an attenuation of 20 dB. The 'bad chainsaw may have a noise level of 115 dB - these ear defenders will NOT provide adequate protection. A noise assessment may be required.


RISK ASSESSMENT OF PPE


Consider each item of PPE individually as follows:

PPE .
Do you have a copy of the manufacturer's instructions? .
Has it a CEMark? .
Used to protect against (Hazard & Risk)? .
Likely length of exposure? .
Who is exposed? .
How is it cleaned? .
How is it maintained? .
What instructions does the operator require for its use? .
How often should it be replaced? .

Signed ............................... Date ........................................

When you have answered these questions and signed it you have gone a long way towards complying with the legislation. However, this is not written in stone, if anything changes, re-assessment will have to be carried out.


<<