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What should your HSE rep be checking when he does a PPE inspection?

by , 07 March 2013
It's impossible to remove all the health hazards in your workplace, but you can minimise them. That's where personal protective equipment (PPE) comes in. It's there to help reduce the health risks of your employees. But your employees' PPE is only as safe as the inspection procedure you have in place to check it. Here's what your HSE rep needs to look out for when conducting a PPE inspection...

Most employees know that there're several fines that you, as an employer, may be charged if your staff doesn't have or use PPE!

But did you know that if your employees' PPE is faulty, you could face the same fines?

It's so serious, in fact, that an Inspector from the Department of Labour can actually issue you with a prohibition notice and make you stop work until you comply.

That's why it's imperative you get your HSE rep to conduct frequent PPE inspections to ensure your employees' PPE is in good working condition and up to standard.

Here's what they need to look out for….

Here's what your PPE inspection checklist should include

According to the Health and Safety Advisor, when your HSE rep conducts a PPE inspection there're three main things he needs to:

#1: He must make sure there are records: 

  • All PPE used in your company must be listed on his inspection register
  • And an Issue Control Register must be available

#2: He then needs to inspect how and where the PPE is stored:

To do this, he must check your allocated PPE storage area for problems – such as contamination and whether PPE has been demarcated to the correct employees. If, on the other hand, employees are responsible for their PPE storage – which makes sense when it comes to ear plugs and safety goggles – he must check the owner identified storage area to ensure it's being stored correctly.

At the same time, he'll be required to check whether or not spare PPE is available for visitors to your workplace.

#3: And finally, he must inspect each piece of PPE for damage and wear and tear.

When he does that, he must check that:

  • Fastening devices are in good working condition
  • There's no damage to straps or belts
  • Visors aren't scratched and vision clear when you look through them
  • That none of the PPE has expired

By creating a PPE inspection checklist that contains these elements, you'll be able to guarantee your PPE is in good working order and that your HSE rep is checking everything he needs to.

This will keep your employees safe, prevent accidents in the workplace and prove to the Department of Labour that you take PPE requirements seriously.

Turn to your Heath and Safety Training Manual to read more on how you can train your employees on proper use of Protective Personal Equipment 

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