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Are Your Employees Wearing The Right PPE?

Posted By Kerry Budworth on 2016-07-31 08:48

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

As an employer it is important that you supply PPE to protect the health and safety of your employees. Many think that providing gloves, boots and other equipment is a simple exercise and once it is done, all of the requirements have been met. Unfortunately, it isn't as simple as that. 

Supplying the right PPE

When you supply personal protective equipment it is important that you undertake a thorough risk assessment to identify the tasks, the risks and the PPE that might be needed. An engineering company based in High Peak found out this to their cost.

Bad Risk Assessment Leads To Fine

The company was fined after a worker was injured, as he was manufacturing aluminium parts using a three roll bender. He was wearing gloves which became caught between two of the rollers. The employee eventually released his hand from the glove, but as a result of his injuries he lost the ring finger on his left hand and his middle finger was mangled.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) into the incident which occurred on 25 March 2015 found the risk assessment was not suitable and sufficient and did not identify the risk of entanglement from wearing gloves. There was inadequate monitoring and review of risk assessments and procedures, and no competent health and safety advice at the company.

The Gloves Weren't The Problem

In this case, the company thought it was doing the best thing possible by supplying gloves to their employees to protect their hands and make it safe to work with metal. In essence they were correct to do so, however, those gloves should have been removed before working with the machine in question.

An In-depth Risk Assessment

A thorough and full risk assessment would have identified this, they then could have changed their processes and informed staff to remove their gloves while working with this machine. This case is really an excellent example of why thorough risk assessments need to be undertaken.

Safety Equipment Putting Lives in Danger

Sometimes the improper use of safety equipment can in fact put lives in danger, not protect them. This doesn't mean that the safety equipment isn't needed. It just means that there may be some times during certain processes that it shouldn't be worn. 

Providing Equipment Isn't enough

Just providing equipment isn't enough, you need to identify when it should be worn. You then need to continuously assess if it is being worn correctly and if any changes to plant or equipment mean a change in PPE Policy. 

You need to ensure that when you supply PPE, it is the correct equipment, it fits properly and it is worn correctly at the correct times. We can help, we supply services such as Face Fit Testing for masks and respirators, we also can assist you with all of your occupational health needs. Give us a call on 01455 234600 today to get the appropriate Occupational Health Surveillance put in place! Alternatively, contact us online now

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