Selecting Personal Protective Equipment

  • Check the PPE is a suitable size and fit for each worker. Respiratory protective equipment, for example, requires a good facial seal.
  • If PPE is comfortable to wear and workers are involved in choosing it, they will be more likely to use it.
  • Individual circumstances of workers may affect choice. For example wearing of prescription glasses, allergies such as latex allergy and some medical conditions.
  • Consider workers’ medical conditions, which can influence whether they can use certain items of equipment.

Work task

  • Match the PPE to the hazard, remembering that a work task may expose workers to more than one hazard. For example welders may need protection from harmful welding gases and fumes, as well as ultraviolet radiation, hot metal and sparks.
  • How the work is carried out and the level of risk to the worker. For example a more protective respirator may need to worn where the level of air contamination is very high.
  • How long PPE will need to be worn.
  • Work demands of the work activity. For example the level of physical activity or dexterity required.
  • Make sure PPE that is to be worn at the same time can be used together.

Work environment

  • Understand the impacts of a hot and humid work environment.
  • Choose PPE that meets current Australian Standards.
  • Do not reuse single use PPE for example, disposable gloves.

If you are protecting against exposure to a substance such as a hazardous chemical or a biological substance, consider how the substance can enter the body. For example where a chemical can be absorbed through the lungs and skin, skin protection as well as respiratory protection may be required.