Selection of PPE is dependent on the hazard identification, risk assessment and control measures implemented. Risk management is one the core elements of a Certificate IV in OHS.
The selection of appropriate personal protective equipment requires consideration of the hazards and risks of the work processes.
If, in addition to implementing control measures to eliminate or reduce the risk, it is determined that there is a need for personal protection, the next step is to ensure the provision of personal protective equipment which is appropriate to the hazard and the risk.
Personal protective equipment should be selected to best protect workers in the circumstances. In some cases, use of personal protective equipment may create a secondary risk not identified in the original assessment. These risks should be evaluated. An assessment of the effectiveness of the equipment chosen should be made to ensure it is providing the desired protection, and is not creating any additional health or safety problems.
Selection of personal protective equipment should consider whether protection is required for a specific risk or to control multiple risks presented by the same hazard or a combination of hazards. For example, using a power saw to cut wood presents risks to the eyes (flying chips, dust), lungs (dust), whole of body (electrical), hands (cuts) and ears (noise).
To ensure personal protective equipment is selected appropriately, PCBUs and workers should:
- Familiarise themselves with the potential hazards and the availability of personal protective equipment;
- Understand the criteria for selecting appropriate personal protective equipment that provides adequate level of protection against the risks present; and
- Evaluate the selected equipment to ensure it fits properly, is used appropriately, and does not create secondary health or safety risks.
Learn how to select PPE to assist in reducing risk at your business by undertaking a Certificate IV in OHS online or in the classroom.