Guide

Personal protective equipment

Buy the right personal protective equipment

Before purchasing any personal protective equipment (PPE), you need to carry out a health and safety risk assessment.

Under PPE laws you may need to provide:

  • protective clothing, eg aprons, gloves, footwear, helmets, high-visibility waistcoats and clothing which gives protection against the weather
  • protective equipment, eg eye protectors, respirators and safety harnesses

PPE equipment or clothing must be:

  • appropriate to the risks and workplace conditions
  • suitable for the ergonomics and state of health of the employee
  • capable of fitting the wearer correctly, eg helmets with adjustable chin straps
  • CE marked to meet the standards set out in the regulations

The British Standards Institution (BSI) is one organisation that can give a CE mark to show that a product meets the requirements of all relevant European Union directives. It can also give a Kitemark - its own quality mark - to equipment such as respiratory masks. 

What should I check?

Check that all equipment is compatible and suitable for all the jobs it's needed for. A supplier should be able to advise you on the suitability of equipment.