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What PPE do the general safety regulations require?

by , 14 January 2014
The Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) contains 50 sections and 20 sets of regulations. The different regulations specify the specific requirements you must adhere to. This includes requirements about Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Read on to find out what the general safety regulations require when it comes to PPE.

When it comes to PPE, you can't just comply with the regulations you think apply to your industry, for example, construction regulations. You must comply with all health and safety requirements.

The general safety regulations require the following when it comes to PPE

You must conduct an assessment to determine what personal protective clothing and equipment is required for your employees to work safely and in a healthy manner (General safety regulations (GSR 2).

The regulation doesn't specify the type of equipment you must issue. This is purely based on your assessment.

The Health & Safety Advisor says 'when read in conjunction with Construction Regulation 7, this assessment (for PPE) will form part of the overall risk assessment referred to in this regulation.'

In some cases, the use of personal protective clothing and equipment is the only way to protect employees, where it isn't feasible to eliminate or mitigate a risk you've identified in the risk assessment.

In other parts of the Act and regulations, specific types of personal protective clothing and equipment required are laid down.

PPE stipulated in the Environmental regulations explained…

An example of this is in the Environmental Regulations (ER2) 'Thermal requirements'.

This regulation specifies the equipment that must be issued and worn if the temperature is below 0 degrees Celsius.

In fact, the regulation goes into great detail on this. It includes the following:

  • Nylon freezer suit (if temperature is below 34 degrees Celsius, this suit must be made of a double layer);
  • Woolen balaclava;
  • Fur-lined leather gloves;
  • Waterproof outer gloves with knitted woolen inners;
  • Waterproof apron where wet or thawing substances are handled;
  • Woollen socks; and
  • Waterproof industrial boots.

Other regulations where specific requirements for personal protective clothing and equipment are included are:

  • The Hazardous Biological Agents Regulations; and
  • The Asbestos Regulations.

Now that you know what the general safety regulations require in terms of PPE, make sure you provide your employees with the right equipment to keep them safe.

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