Questions and Answers Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Find answers for the top, common and general list of questions on our FAQ section for Personal Protective Equipment ()below. For more information please do not hesitate in calling our support team on 07 3205 7000.
WHERE DOES THE USE OF PPE FIT IN THE RISK MANAGEMENT PROCESS ?
The use of personal protective equipment is lowest on the list of control priorities. These controls should not be relied on as the primary means of risk control until the options higher in the list of control priorities have been exhausted.Therefore, PPE should only be used:
- as a last resort, where there are no other practical control measures available
- to be a short-term measure until a more effective way of controlling the risk can be used
- together with other controls measures such as local exhaust ventilation
- by itself during maintenance activities.
There may be specific PPE requirements for working with harmful substances or in certain work activities. Read more about PPE for working with:
- engineered or natural stone containing crystalline silica in the stone benchtop industry (PDF, 0.91 MB).
Learn more about work-related hazards.
HOW DO I SELECT THE CORRECT PPE TO USE ?
- 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.
WHAT PERSONAL PROTECIVE EQUIPMENT WILL I NEED AT WORK ?
- 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.
HOW TO SELECT PPE FOR MY WORKING 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.
HOW TO MAINTAIN PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT ?
• Look for broken or damaged components before using PPE and repair or replace it as needed.
• Replace PPE that has expired or reached its usable lifespan.
• Clean reusable PPE after use and store in a clean area such as a cupboard, drawer or resealable container.
• Report broken, damaged or contaminated PPE.
SHOULD I SHARE MY PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT ?
Most PPE is provided for the personal use of a worker. However, PPE may be shared in some circumstances, for example where PPE is only required for limited periods.
Shared PPE must be properly cleaned and disinfected before it is used again to ensure there are no health risks to the next person. Refer to the manufacturer’s instructions for appropriate methods.
WHAT INFORMTION DO I NEED TO PROVIDE TO WORKERS IN RELATION TO PPE ?
Workers must be provided with enough information, training and instruction on when to use PPE and how to:
- use, fit and wear it including any adjustments that may be needed
- carry out repair or replace parts
- clean and store it correctly.
When wearing more than one item of PPE to protect against substances, such as hazardous chemicals or biological substances, it is important to put on and remove each item correctly. If hands could become contaminated when removing PPE, it is important to wash them thoroughly to prevent accidental contamination.
(source – https://www.worksafe.qld.gov.au/safety-and-prevention/creating-safe-work/managing-risks/personal-protective-equipment-ppe)