Personal Protective Equipment

What is personal protective equipment?

Personal protective equipment (PPE) is anything used or worn by a person to minimise risk to the person’s health or safety and includes a wide range of clothing and safety equipment. PPE includes boots, face masks, hard hats, ear plugs, respirators, gloves, safety harnesses, high visibility clothing etc.

When can Personal Protective Equipment be used?

Personal protective equipment (PPE) is one of the least effective ways of controlling risks to health and safety and should only be used:
when there are no other practical control measures available (as a last resort) as an interim measure until a more effective way of controlling the risk can be used, or to supplement higher level control measures (as a back-up).

What standard of Personal Protective Equipment is required?

The standard of personal protective equipment used at a workplace must be: selected to minimise risk to health and safety suitable for the nature of the work and any hazard associated with the work a suitable size and fit and reasonably comfortable for the person wearing it maintained, repaired or replaced so it continues to minimise the worker’s health and safety risk, and used or worn by the worker, so far as is reasonably practicable.

How do I choose the right personal protective equipment for the job?

When choosing the right personal protective equipment (PPE) for the job the selection processes must include consultation with users and their representatives and should also include: a detailed evaluation of the risk and performance requirements for the PPE compatibility of PPE items where more than one type of PPE is required (for example ear muffs with a hard hat) consultation with the supplier to ensure PPE is suitable for the work and workplace conditions, and preference for PPE that complies with the relevant Australian Standard or equivalent standard.