Personal protective equipment (PPE)

Types of PPE: clothing


Personal protective equipment (PPE) to protect the body and legs includes a range of safety clothing.

Risks to the body and legs

Certain work activities and situations may put workers at risk of harm to their body and legs. These include:

  • work in extreme temperatures - eg in a cold store
  • work in adverse weather
  • work where there's a risk from contact with chemical or metal splash
  • construction and other outdoor work
  • food processing
  • welding
  • work where there is a risk of electrocution
  • work in laboratories
  • work on roads, railways or quarries

Types of protective clothing

The type of equipment you need depends on the type of hazard that your business deals with. Equipment which protects the body and legs includes:

  • overalls
  • boiler suits
  • specialist protective clothing, such as chain-mail suits, high-visibility clothing and insulating/conductive clothing
  • leggings
  • gaiters

If your employees need PPE, you must give it to them free of charge. Self-employed people must get it for themselves.

Consider the health and safety risks for people working outdoors. Take measures to prevent damage to the skin and eyes from sunlight.  

What should I look for?

You need to check the equipment is suitable for the job. Does the material need to be waterproof or chemical-proof for example?

You should also ensure any protective clothing and equipment meets PPE laws.

Ongoing considerations

You should carry out regular maintenance to ensure any protective equipment and clothing is still suitable for the job. Check for rips and tears in the material and regularly wash items such as overalls.

See maintain personal protective equipment.