Undertaking a Certificate IV In OHS will introduce you to the requirements under the WHS Act regarding PPE.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is basically anything used or worn by a person to minimise risk to the person’s health or safety and includes a wide range of clothing and safety equipment. PPE includes boots, face masks, hard hats, ear plugs, respirators, gloves, safety harnesses or high visibility clothing.
PPE is the least effective ways of controlling risks to health and safety and should only be used when there are no other practical control measures available. PPE can also be used as an interim measure until a more effective way of controlling the risk can be used or to complement higher level control measures.
The standard of personal protective equipment used at a workplace must be selected to minimise risk to health and safety suitable for the nature of the work and any hazard associated with the work (i.e. wearing the appropriate footwear when working in the kitchen); a suitable size and fit and reasonably comfortable for the person wearing it ( i.e. ensuring when hearing protection ( such as ear plugs) is required to be worn when noise is excessive, they are a comfortable fit and they do not keep falling out; maintained, repaired or replaced so it continues to minimise the worker’s health and safety risk; and used or worn by the worker, so far as is reasonably practicable (reasonably practicable means that which is, or was at a particular time, reasonably able to be done in relation to ensuring health and safety).
If a worker is provided with PPE they must use or wear the PPE in accordance with any information, training or reasonable instruction provided. The worker must not intentionally misuse or damage the PPE, and they must advise of any damage, defect or need to clean or decontaminate any of the PPE. Workers must notify their manager if the PPE is uncomfortable or does not fit properly.
If a worker refuses to wear or use the PPE, the Person Conducting a Business or Undertaking (the new terminology for the “employer”) can take action against the worker. A worker who does not wear or use PPE, or intentionally misuses or damages it, may also face prosecution as a result of a breach of their health and safety duty.
Ensuring that workers use PPE appropriately is an important component of the Certificate IV In Occupational Health and Safety.