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Six easy tips that will help you manage your employees' PPE so you won't have to replace it this year

by , 14 January 2015
The OHS Act says you have to give your employees personal protective equipment (PPE). And you need to do a risk assessment to find out what kinds of PPE they need to protect them.

Unfortunately though, PPE gets old and it's expensive to replace it every year.

And since your employees have to use this safety gear every day, it's not like you can risk them going without for a while.

The good news is, with some simple management tips, you can take care of your employees' PPE and make it last longer.

That means you won't need to replace it this year and you can save some money.

Here are these six tips to manage your employees' PPE to do just that...


Manage your employees' personal protective equipment with these six tips

Tip 1: Have an onsite storage area for protective clothing
Tell employees to put their equipment back in their storage lockers at the end of every work day. 
It's important that this storage has enough space to put all the safety gear in without squashing anything in. Otherwise, employees might try shove hard hats, boots and goggles all into one small space and end up breaking them. 
Do regular checks on your employees' PPE lockers to see they're storing it correctly.
Keep reading for the other five tips…
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Three tips to get your employees to comply with health and safety laws
Employees think that safety is something 'management' must do. They're wrong. Employees also have duties to comply with the OHS Act.
It's your responsibility to make sure your employees comply. Don't know how to do it? 
Tip 2: Make employees sign their equipment in and out
This helps you keep track of all the pieces of PPE you have at work. If one of your employees goes home or steals it to sell, you'll know what's missing immediately. 
If employees know you track all their protective equipment, they're less likely to try leave with it. 
Doing this will ensure you don't have to replace missing safety wear this year. 
Tip 3: Wash and maintain all your PPE at least once a month
Protective clothing, just like any kind of clothing, needs a good clean regularly. Wash overalls and gloves once a week because these get really dirty when your employees wear them every day. Remember to also mend any holes.
Clean hard hats and goggles with a cloth and warm water once a month. 
Tip 4: Train your employee to use PPE properly
If your employees know how to use their equipment properly, they're less likely to damage or break it. Make sure they know when to use their safety gear so they don't wear it out too quickly. 
Also train your employees on your rules about misusing PPE and the punishments for doing so. 
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Can you answer these four health and safety questions?
Can an HSE officer do induction training?
Why do I need to do induction training?
Do I have to give my staff refresher induction training every year?
Do I need to give contractors induction training every time they come on site?
Tip 5: Buy disposable PPE in bulk 
If your employees have to use disposable PPE, such as ear plugs or face masks, buy them in bulk. This way you can buy enough to last your employees the whole year. And you won't have to order another batch during the year. 
Tip 6: Use your onsite-supervisors to make sure your employees use their PPE properly
Supervisors must watch out for employees who don't use their equipment properly. They must remind employees about the rules and report any misuse to you. You can then discipline your employee if you need to.
These six tips will help you extend the lifespan of your employees' PPE just by managing it correctly.
Find out more about your PPE requirements in the Health and Safety Advisor

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