Personal Protective Equipment

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Shop for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in Port Stephens

Personal protective equipment (PPE) is protective clothing, helmets, goggles, or other garments or equipment designed to protect the wearer’s body from injury or infection. The hazards addressed by protective equipment include physical, electrical, heat, chemicals, bio-hazards, and airborne particulate matter.

Protective equipment may be worn for job-related occupational safety and health purposes, as well as for sports and other recreational activities. “Protective clothing” is applied to traditional categories of clothing, and “protective gear” applies to items such as pads, guards, shields, or masks, and others.

Selection

When choosing PPE consider these factors:

Worker

  • Check the PPE is a suitable size and fit for each worker. Respiratory protective equipment, for example, requires a good facial seal.
  • If PPE is comfortable to wear and workers are involved in choosing it, they will be more likely to use it.
  • Individual circumstances of workers may affect choice. For example wearing of prescription glasses, allergies such as latex allergy and some medical conditions.
  • Consider workers’ medical conditions, which can influence whether they can use certain items of equipment.

Work task

  • Match the PPE to the hazard, remembering that a work task may expose workers to more than one hazard. For example welders may need protection from harmful welding gases and fumes, as well as ultraviolet radiation, hot metal and sparks.
  • How the work is carried out and the level of risk to the worker. For example a more protective respirator may need to worn where the level of air contamination is very high.
  • How long PPE will need to be worn.
  • Work demands of the work activity. For example the level of physical activity or dexterity required.
  • Make sure PPE that is to be worn at the same time can be used together.

Work environment

  • Understand the impacts of a hot and humid work environment.

If you are protecting against exposure to a substance such as a hazardous chemical or a biological substance, consider how the substance can enter the body. For example where a chemical can be absorbed through the lungs and skin, skin protection as well as respiratory protection may be required.

Choose PPE that meets current Australian Standards.

Maintenance

Proper care and maintenance is essential to ensure PPE continues to provide the necessary level of protection.

  • Look for broken or damaged components before using PPE and repair or replace it as needed.
  • Replace PPE that has expired or reached its usable lifespan.
  • Clean reusable PPE after use and store in a clean area such as a cupboard, drawer or resealable container.
  • Report broken, damaged or contaminated PPE.

Sharing PPE

Most PPE is provided for the personal use of a worker. However, PPE may be shared in some circumstances, for example where PPE is only required for limited periods.

Shared PPE must be properly cleaned and disinfected before it is used again to ensure there are no health risks to the next person. Refer to the manufacturer’s instructions for appropriate methods.

Information, training and instruction

Workers must be provided with enough information, training and instruction on when to use PPE and how to:

  • use, fit and wear it including any adjustments that may be needed
  • carry out repair or replace parts
  • clean and store it correctly.

When wearing more than one item of PPE to protect against substances, such as hazardous chemicals or biological substances, it is important to put on and remove each item correctly. If hands could become contaminated when removing PPE, it is important to wash them thoroughly to prevent accidental contamination.

The film below show how to wear personal protective equipment (PPE) that is designed to protect your eyes, nose, mouth and respiratory system from airborne contaminants such as fibres, dust, gas and vapour.

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