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Four instances when you must issue your employees with PPE

by , 25 May 2015
Employers give every reason in the book as to why they don't issue staff with PPE.

It's your responsibility to issue your employees with the right PPE. And make sure they use it. Because if any one of your employees gets injured, the DoL won't accept any excuse from you.

According to Ray Saf, there are five instances when you must issue your employees with PPE...

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Your 1 527 health and safety duties as an employer

When was the last time you checked what disinfecting agents and cleaning materials your company uses?

Do you comply with the Hazardous Chemical Regulations?

There are over 1 500 items you must evaluate in your workplace according to the OHS Act and hundreds more from SABS 0400: National Building regulations.

Health and safety laws apply to EVERY company, if you have more than 20 employees you have even greater obligations.


Four instances when you must issue your employees with PPE

1.Respiratory protection to protect their lungs
You must issue PPE to protect your employees' lungs when:
•    The employee uses or has exposure to toxic materials in a confined space;
•    A toxic or corrosive gas connection breaks (whether or not in an open area); and
•    There's a need for a self-contained breathing instrument in an emergency response situation.
2. Hearing Protection to protect their hearing
Many employees don't like wearing hearing protection, but you must issue PPE when there's:
•    A high noise level in employee work areas;
•    A need for employees to raise their voices at distances up to 2m; and
•    Any high noise level in areas where employees and visitors enter occasionally.

Read on for two more instances…
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Two additional instances when you must issue your employees with PPE

3. Body Protection to protect their body
This is the most common form of PPE. The quality, size and type of material needs to be taken into consideration depending on the types of hazards employees are exposed to. Issue body protection when there's:
•    Potential for chemical splash;
•    A chance of them getting burnt by a fire;
•    Potential for toxic dust contamination (like pesticides);
•    A chance of them handling chemicals;
•    A likelihood of hot sparks; and
•    Any form of hazardous chemical handling.

4. Face Protection to protect their faces
Although face protection can be uncomfortable, you must issue your employees with PPE for this when:
•    They are exposed to intense heat;
•    There's a possibility of something falling on them;
•    There's intense light that could hurt their eyes;
•    Employees are involved in welding, burning and brazing;
•    There's ultraviolet light; and
•    Employees work with any form of chemicals (chemical lines or any chemicals you store).

This is only a selection of the instances you need to issue PPE. As a rule of thumb, when in doubt, issue PPE! Conduct Toolbox Talks regularly to educate employees on how to look after their PPE. For 97 additional Toolbox Talks, click here.

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