Personal Protective Equipment - PPE
Personal protective equipment, commonly referred to as PPE, is used as the last line of protection for workers against hazards or for temporary protection until more effective hazard control techniques can be used. The PPE used will depend on the work environment, the work conditions, and the process being performed.
It is also important to remember that wearing the right PPE is important. Each piece of PPE has a specific use and may be made of specialized materials appropriate for one use, but not appropriate for another. PPE does not reduce the workplace hazard nor does it guarantee permanent or total protection for the wearer. Simply having it available is not enough. In order to ensure the required level of protection personal protective equipment must be:
- Selected considering the type of hazard and the degree of protection required.
- Useable in the presence of other workplace hazards.
- Used by workers that are trained in proper use and fit of the PPE.
- Properly stored and maintained.
- Discarded and replaced if it is found to be defective.
PPE is not a substitute for more effective control methods. When engineering, work practice and administrative controls are not feasible or do not provide sufficient protection, employers must provide personal protective equipment (PPE) to their employees and ensure its use. PPE must be used in conjunction with other controls unless no other means of hazard control exist.
- Practice & Procedures