Why is PPE a Last Resort?
It can be a common misconception amongst both employees and management alike that Personal Protective Equipment, or PPE for short, can be issued to prevent harm coming to workers, and that by doing this they have satisfied their health and safety requirements. In fact, as anyone who has received health and safety training will be able to attest, the issuance of Personal Protective Equipment should be done only as a last resort when it has proven to be impossible or impractical for the potential hazard itself to be removed. In other words an employer must tackle the situation itself and endeavour to make a task or the workplace safer before resorting to protective equipment or clothing to protect the worker from coming to harm.
This is because no protective equipment can be guaranteed to be effective 100% of the time. For starters a worker may fail to wear or use the provided clothing or equipment, either at all or doing so in an incorrect manner (e.g. wearing a protective hardhat backwards). This can be accidental through little or no proper training in how to use it correctly or the importance of doing so, or deliberately by a person choosing not to make use of it either to save time, because they could not be bothered or to try and show off to their fellow colleagues, particularly amongst young or inexperienced employees (Related Article at ATC Risk Management: Health and Safety Training and Young People)
Not only should the hazard itself be addressed before considering the issuance or use of Personal Protective Equipment, but this equipment or protective clothing itself could also present further dangers to the health and safety of workers. This is particularly the case when machinery is involved as loose protective clothing such as gloves or overalls can become entangled or drawn into a machine and so have the potential to cause a serious injury to the wearer.
Need an Accredited Course?
Along with designing bespoke health and safety training programmes, we also run the accredited NEBOSH, IOSH and ConstructionSkills (CSkills) health and safety courses as open courses at selected venues across the UK, as well as in-house for those companies who have a number of employees requiring the training, as it will be much more cost effective than sending them all onto a scheduled open course.
For more information please call 0115 984 9940 to discuss the options or send us an online contact form. Alternatively, use the "Courses" menu at the top of the page to view the courses and qualifications for the various awarding bodies.
These courses form the basis for our in-house training programmes. They can either be run as they are if the outline is exactly what you want, or can be be modified to suit the individual requirements of your organisation. Two or more can also be combined to tailor a bespoke training session for you.
Please click on a course title to find out more about what each one entails: