There are eight key areas that you should check to ensure you follow personal protective equipment (PPE) rules:
- Assessment of need - carry out a risk assessment. See does your business need personal protective equipment?
- Compatibility - where more than one piece of PPE is worn or used the items must be compatible.
- Maintenance - all equipment must be regularly maintained and replaced. You should follow the manufacturer's maintenance schedule, such as recommended replacement periods.
- Storage - all equipment should be well looked after and stored properly. For example, pegs for weatherproof clothing or a dry, clean cupboard for overalls. Keep smaller items like goggles in a protective case or box.
- Use - themake the user aware of why they need to use PPE what its limitations are. Make regular checks to ensure workers are wearing PPE. You should also learn and show employees how to spot signs of wear and tear in equipment.
- Training - employers, employees and the self-employed have duties to use PPE properly and make sure it does not increase the risk of an accident.
- Records - keep records of all PPE equipment on your premises and a schedule for when checks and replacements should be made.
- Reporting loss or damage - employees must notify their employer if equipment is lost or damaged. Ensure they are aware of this.
If you do not comply with the PPE regulations, you could face:
- a fine of up to £20,000 and prison sentence of up to six months (magistrate’s court)
- an unlimited fine and/or two years in prison (crown court)