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PPE for Small Businesses: 4 Things to Keep in Mind

Posted by PeterGarner , 12 August 2013 · 1,523 views

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All businesses in the UK are legally required to invest in and stock personal protective equipment (PPE) for the protection of their employees and visitors. The kind of PPE you should buy will depend on the nature of your business, workplace, and the hazards faced by your employees. The first step towards determining the PPE you’d need is to carry out a detailed hazard assessment at your workplace, and shop for the safety gear in accordance with the findings.

Since the PPE is going to be your go-to resource in high-risk situations, it should be CE-marked and you should only purchase it from the best PPE suppliers in the UK. Read up on the regulations to ensure you are on the right path regarding the purchase and the use of the equipment.

Here are four considerations to get you started.

1. Check the fit and comfort of the PPE

The equipment should be easy to slip on, be adjustable, and be comfortable to wear for your employees, so check these factors before you buy any. Examples of PPE include safety helmets, gloves, eye-protection, safety harnesses, safety footwear, etc.

If they do not fit well or are uncomfortable to be in, your employees would be less inclined to wear them, which would defeat the entire purpose of having the protective equipment in the first place.

2. Train your employees in the use of the PPE

It’s not enough just to buy the best quality equipment, you will also have to train your employees in its use. Educate them about the need of this equipment and explain in detail when and how it should be used.

Also explain that no risks should be taken, no matter how short the duration of a risky job, and that the protective gear is an absolute must when undertaking any work even remotely threatening to the employee’s, or anybody else’s, safety.

Cite the regulations that bind businesses and employees to be properly equipped for potentially hazardous or risky endeavours. Failure to do so on part of any employee should be properly investigated.

3. Look after the equipment

Proper storage and maintenance of the safety equipment will ensure that it works fine when it is needed. Keep the equipment clean, dry, and properly serviced. Test it regularly and replace immediately any faulty parts.

As the owner of your small business, it is recommended you carry this out yourself. If, however, that is not feasible, appoint someone you implicitly trust to look after the PPE.

4. Make sure the employees are using the equipment correctly

Since the aim of the PPE is to protect employees from potential risks or hazards, it is imperative that you ensure that your employees are using it correctly. Encourage them to give feedback on the PPE post their use of it, and report any defects to the person concerned.

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