PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) is an essential safety component across various industries, from manufacturing to commercial catering, healthcare, engineering, and automotive.
For every role within your company, a risk assessment should be undertaken. Within the risk assessment, you should consider all possible options to remove risks to worker’s health and safety. Wherever a danger or hazard cannot be removed entirely, PPE and safety workwear is required to keep mechanics, healthcare workers, engineers, and chefs, safe.
However, PPE has its fair share of terminology, and it is paramount for you to understand this to ensure you meet your health and safety obligations and prevent injury from accidents, hazards, and illness.
The Arc Rating for PPE clothing is a vital specification that denotes how much energy the particular garment or fabric can absorb before there is a fifty percent likelihood of the wearer sustaining a second-degree burn through the PPE.
Arc Flash PPE is especially important for employees that work around low and high-voltage electricity. An Arc Flash can generate temperatures of up to 19,400C, and this level of heat can melt undergarments and burn the skin, so layers of Arc Rated workwear are always the best safety practice.
The standard for protective clothing that protects against the thermal hazards of an electric art is BS EN 61482.
CE Marked safety workwear is produced in accordance with the Personal Protective Equipment (Enforcement) Regulations 2018.
Flame Resistant (FR) identifies safety workwear that will not catch fire when it is exposed to flames. Flame Resistant workwear is essential for any professional working in environments with fire hazards. Roles where Flame Resistant garments are vital include welders, firefighters, engineers, mechanics, machinists, and electrical, chemical, fabrication, industrial plant, foundry, and sheet metal workers.
FR workwear has various classifications, including:
- BS EN 11611:2015 – Protective clothing for welders awarded a Class 1 or Class 2 rating
- BS EN 11612:2015 – Protective clothing that protects individuals from heat and flame, rated A1 to F
- BS EN 14116 – Protective clothing that limits flame spread, awarded a rating of one to three
- BS ISO 13506 – Denotes how protective the clothing is against flash fire
Head, Foot, Hand, Eye, & Face Protection
These are the different types of PPE and include items such as gloves, helmets, goggles, face masks, and steel-capped boots or shoes.
Occupational Noise Exposure
Machinery or equipment that creates loud noise can permanently damage an individual’s hearing. Occupational Noise Exposure PPE provides different levels of protection and includes earplugs and earmuffs. If your workers are exposed to 85dB(A) on a daily or weekly average, then you must provide hearing protection and hearing protection zones.
Personal Fall Protection Systems
Personal Fall Protection Systems are vital for professionals that work at height. Solutions include safety harnesses, self-retracting lines, and lanyards.
Respiratory Protective Equipment
Respiratory Protective Equipment (RPE) aids breathing for workers where this may be a problem. RPE ranges from air-filtering equipment to respirators and breathing apparatus.
Site Safety Audit
Your Site Safety Audit is a risk assessment for all activities and roles in your workplace. Before you can ascertain if and what PPE might be required, you should identify all risks and hazards. You can then determine the PPE and safety workwear you will need to provide for your employees.
When conducting a Site Safety Audit, you should look for hazards and risks to the:
- Head and feet – such as falling objects and tools
- Lungs – such as contaminated air
- Eyes – such as splashes of corrosive liquids, flying particles, and vapour
- Body – such as extreme cold (BS EN 342:2004), heat, visibility (BS EN ISO 20471:2013), or biocontamination (BS EN-14065:HACCP)
- Skin – such as contact with corrosive materials or electric shock
To find out more about PPE or arrange a safety workwear rental and laundry service, please get in touch with our team.