This personal protective equipment toolbox talk:
This personal protective equipment toolbox talk provides practical guidance on the selection, introduction, training, use and storage of personal protective equipment (PPE) with consideration to the applicable risks involved.
Personal protective equipment can be described as any clothing, equipment and substance designed to be worn by a person to protect against the risk of injury or illness.
Personal protective equipment may include full body protection, safety boots, head protection, gloves, face shields, hearing protection, high-visibility clothing, respiratory protection, thermal wear, eye protection, safety glasses, sunscreen, safety belts and harnesses, etc.
Personal protective equipment is the necessary equipment that is required to be worn to minimize exposure to serious workplace injuries and illnesses. These injuries and illnesses may result from contact with electrical, physical, chemical mechanical, environmental or other workplace hazards.
The employees, contractors and visitors at a workplace have an obligation to always wear the mandatory PPE, to protect themselves from actual or potential health and safety risks.
Note: When risk assessments are undertaken always aim for a higher level of protection, as PPE is the lowest control on the hierarchy of risk management.
When selecting personal protective equipment all the specific hazards encountered in the workplace and work practice must be considered; comfort should also be factored into the selection process.
All types of PPE supplied for use at the workplace must comply with the applicable standards. If there is ever any uncertainty with PPE standards, confirmation must be sought from the supplier(s), or other competent person.
PPE should not restrict movement, vision or interfere with the function of any other PPE that is required to be worn. Wherever possible, workers who are required to wear PPE should be consulted on the selection process and where appropriate, pilot trials should be established to optimise the selection process.
In most workplaces, the use of mandatory PPE is not negotiable and is required to be worn by all workers, visitors and contractors, as is necessary to protect against harm. The exception to a requirement for mandatory PPE obligations can only be achieved via a formal and detailed risk assessment that adequately justifies the exemption.
Damaged or defective PPE should always be reported and it must be repaired or replaced, as required.
Note: Elimination of a risk should always be attempted before using personal protective equipment or an administrative control measure.
This 1-page toolbox talk on personal protective equipment provides practical guidance for a person conducting a business or undertaking on the selection, introduction, training, use and storage of personal protective equipment with consideration to the applicable risks involved.