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Do you know the minimum requirements for PPE on your construction site?

by , 09 July 2014
Construction sites are dangerous places. Workers could fall, have something fall on them or even slice themselves open with a power tool.

This is why personal protective equipment (PPE) is so necessary. But what happens when you're not the one directly in charge of supplying PPE? For example, what if a client hired your company to oversee a building project and you hire a contractor to do the actual building work?

He may refuse to supply PPE and argue that it's not in his health and safety plan. The best way to get around this is to know and enforce the legal requirements for PPE on a construction site. After all, your contractor can't ignore his legal obligations...

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PPE requirements on construction sites are risk driven

 
There aren't any specific regulations around PPE requirements for construction site, but what is required is that you do a risk assessment and supply PPE based on that.
 
After all, there's no point in giving workers heat proof jackets if they never work with or near fire is there? But there is a need to supply fall harnesses if they work at heights.
 
You must tell your contractor that it's his legal obligation to do a full risk assessment and supply workers with safety wear based on his findings.
 
Here's what he should look for and supply...
 
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Take this quick quiz to find out if you can handle the DoL hot seat
 
Which risk assessments have to be checked by an approved inspector every two years?
Is it absolutely necessary for your company to appoint and train someone as a risk assessor?
When was the last time you did a risk assessment? (Is that too long?)
Have you checked and double checked the less obvious health hazards?
If you can't answer even one of these questions you're not only putting your employee's lives at risk; you're also putting yourself in danger of massive fine from the DoL.
 
Don't wait until it's too late.
 
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Your contractor must supply PPE that fit the hazards involved

 
Falling object hazards: Your contractor is required to supply hard hats anytime there's a danger of something falling on the workers.
 
Equipment and hand tool hazards: If the workers use hand tools or moving equipment, they must get safety gloves to protect them from the tools.
 
Moving equipment and slipping hazards: If the workers could slip or have their feet crushed by moving equipment, they need safety boots or safety shoes.
 
There you have it: Ensure your contractor does a thorough risk assessment and provides the workers with the right protective clothing. 


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