Before you just rush out and buy PPE, it's very important that you do a risk assessment
first to identify the hazards you need to protect your employees against.
Once you know what hazards are present and the risks that they pose, it'll make your job for identifying what kind of protection or PPE your employees need, a lot easier. (OHS Act Section 8.2)
But that's not the end of it!
Now, the responsibility is on your shoulders to choose the correct type of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) that'll give your workers maximum protection.
Obey the PPE Regulations with this health and safety tool
or face R100 000 in fines or jail time!
5 points to remember when you choose PPE
Don't buy PPE based on price. Remember cheaper isn't always better and expensive doesn't mean that the PPE gives the protection you need.
Companies that BUY NOW based on price – PAY LATER with injuries and illness to workers as consequences.
Ask your PPE supplier/manufacturer to provide test results on the PPE.
If they don't have test results, then test the PPE in your work environment. Consult with the Safety Department or a Consulting Company to make sure the testing is done correctly. This is done to make sure the PPE selected suits its purpose and provides you with the best protection.
The PPE must fit your employees properly and they must feel comfortable when they wear it. This means that PPE must be tried on/fitted before the final selection is made.
The question now becomes, who should be buying the PPE in your company…
Ignorance isn't always bliss… Now the DoL could shut my company down
The DoL called today, out of nowhere… They said they'd be arriving in 2 weeks for a health and safety inspection.
I can't believe how stupid I've been. I never thought it could happen to me!
I don't have a SHE file and I've never had a risk assessment done on the premises.
I need to get my ducks in row. The DoL said I could lose my business and face heavy penalties or even imprisonment if I don't pass the inspection.
What do I do?
That's when my secretary walks in, she says she's found a solution that'll make sure I comply with all my health and safety obligations
, including health and safety training templates and manuals that I can use to train all my staff on!
3 critical Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) purchasing questions to ask
Buyers and purchasing departments in your company should never be allowed to buy PPE based only on price.
The only time buyers should be given any buying power is to get the best prices from various suppliers for the brand your employer has selected.
The reasons for not allowing just anyone to purchase are simple. Ask yourself these three questions:
Does the buyer have sufficient knowledge of health and safety to make a decision regarding which PPE to purchase?
Does the buyer know the hazards in the workplace and why certain types and brands of PPE are needed?
Does the buyer know the difference between PPE that's manufactured to a standard and PPE that isn't?
But, these three questions are only the tip of the PPE iceberg.
You'll have to go to chapter P01 on Personal Protective Equipment of your Health and Safety Training Manual
for the rest of the questions.
Here's what else you'll find in this Chapter:
Training your employees on PPE
Proper storage of PPE
Removing PPE from your company site
Employee duties and responsibilities
And so much more…
Until next time,
Product Manager: Health and Safety Advisor