Who has to supply PPE? | Hasmate health and safety
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Who has to supply PPE?

Who has to supply PPE?

With summer just around the corner and winter to follow, a question that is often asked is “Who is responsible for the supply of personal protective equipment (PPE) to employees and others in the workplace?”

Here are several processes that should be considered when managing a company’s PPE, its distribution, use, and storage.

Definitions

Before we delve into the responsibilities for managing PPE, let’s consider two important definitions for hot and cold weather conditions. Both conditions can led to disorientation, and in some cases, death.

Hyperthermia

Hyperthermia is an abnormally high body temperature caused by a failure of the heat-regulating mechanisms of the body to deal with the heat coming from the environment.

Hypothermia

Hypothermia is caused by prolonged exposures to very cold temperatures. When exposed to cold temperatures, your body begins to lose heat faster than it’s produced. Lengthy exposures will eventually use up your body’s stored energy, which leads to lower body temperature.

What the Legislation Says About Supply of PPE

The following is a checklist of sections from the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015, and 2016 Regulations, referencing to the supply and use of PPE in the workplace.

The Health and Safety At Work Act 2015

The Health and Safety At Work Regulations 2016

When implementing and managing the above PPE requirements, there are several actions that should be considered.

Hazard and Risk Assessment

As part of the development of a contract Job Safety Analysis (JSA) or Site Specific Safety Plan (SSSP), the weather conditions for the contract site should also be considered, planned for, communicated to the employees, and the appropriate PPE is supplied.

Another consideration is to develop safe operating procedures, dealing with the different weather conditions the business will encounter during their contracts.

Training in the Safe Use of PPE

A key responsibility of all PCBUs when supplying and distributing PPE, is the conveying of the responsibilities of using PPE, and training of employees in the safe use of the PPE. This is important when it involves special equipment, such as breathing equipment (BA) respirators, safety harnesses, or Hazchem suits.

Storage of PPE and Checking

All PPE should be stored in a situation where it can’t be damaged or spoiled by sunlight, direct heat, oils, or solvents.

When it is required, the PPE should be checked and certified as safe on a scheduled basis (e.g. safety harness).

It is recommended that a schedule be established to ensure that the important dates are not missed.

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