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PPE and the law: What are your obligations if you're in construction?

by , 12 March 2015
There are several important rules you must apply to make sure your safety equipment complies with the personal protective equipment legislation for construction sites.

Here's what you need to know to make sure you're not violating safety law:

Take these safety measures if your construction site employees needs personal protective equipment!

Note that in terms of the OHS Act and 2014 Construction Regulations, the principal contractor is required to ensure that all persons working or visiting site are equipped with appropriate health and safety equipment (PPE) to reduce the risks of injury or illness as a result of their visit, duties or exposure to the construction site and conditions.

To be compliant with these requirements you must ensure:

a. All your employees, once completing the safety induction course, are issued with two sets of overalls, one set of safety boots and one high visibility tunic which they will be required to wear at all times while working on site.

(This is a general accepted amount in the industry.)

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b. A minimum of five pairs of safety boots and five high visibility jackets must be kept on site for use by visitors to the construction works.

(This is a general recommended amount in the industry.)

c.  Keep in mind that all other PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) and PPC (Personal Protective Clothing) necessary in terms of the Risk Assessments and Methods Statements for particular tasks must be made available to employees or visitors directly involved in or affected by the task, for the duration of the task.

Pay attention to the fact that in the event that the equipment may be safely used by others without posing a hygiene risk, the equipment must be returned by the employee or visitor on completion of the task.It becomes the property of the provider and must be returned to the provider regardless.

d. We highly recommend you that your Safety Officer does weekly inspections on the condition of PPE issued and in use on the site. In the event that the equipment is no longer provides suitable protection, you need to take it away from the employee and replace it. This decision must be made by the Safety Officer only!

e. Any person found not wearing appropriate PPE must be given a warning and that warning must be recorded in your health and safety file.

In the event that a person is warned more than three times for failing to wear PPE or any other safety related issue, that person shall must removed from site and disciplined in accordance with their employer's disciplinary procedures and the Basic Conditions of the Employment Act.

f. A register of all PPE issued during the construction work will be maintained by your health & safety advisor.

g. A budget for the provision of PPE must be drawn up and presented to the client as part of the overall quote/tender cost calculated for health and safety

Respect the above impositions and don't risk your employees' lives! It's one of the best ways to keep your construction site safety from injury.

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