Is your business PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) compliant?by Natasha Christou Digital Marketing Consultant
In a bid to improve workplace health and safety, the PPE directive 89/686/EEC was replaced by the Regulation 2016/425 in April 2018. The world has witnessed a number of changes to working practices, with new technology leading to new production methods, including changes to workwear and machinery.
The previous PPE directive only focused on manufacturers who places products into the market, the new directive is targeted at the whole supply chain. This means that every business involved in the distribution or supply chain must meet the requirements.
Making sure PPE complies with the essential health and safety requirements.
Making sure technical documentation has be drawn up.
When compliance has been demonstrated the EU declaration of conformity has been drawn up and a CE mark affixed.
Retention of documents for ten years.
Duty to take action in relation to non-conforming PPE.
Providing instructions and cooperating with the national authority.
The three key categories associated with PPE are as follows:
Category I (simple design) – where workers assess the level of protection needed against minimal risks. This could include the use of garden gloves, footwear or ski goggles for example.
Category II (neither simple or complex) – clothing within this category do not fall in either Category I or Category III and can include the likes of dry and wet suits.
Category III (complex design) – any item that falls under this section is complex in design and is intended to protect workers against mortal dangers and any irreversible harm that could impact a person’s health. To give you an idea, this could potentially include harnesses and respiratory equipment.
Looking after your workers:
Employers are responsible for ensuring that all of their workers are equipped with the proper protective equipment – but do workers want to comply? Figures have suggested that 98% of employees have seen colleagues not wearing PPE when they were supposed to, with a further 30% saying this happens on a regular basis. Excuses varied as to why employees were not wearing the appropriate workwear with some suggesting that it looked unattractive, made them too hot, was a poor fit and was not very practical which should most definitely not be the case for such corporate wear.
There are many statistics that highlight the importance of PPE. Did you know that 9% of all injuries are head injuries because 84% of such occurrences have not been wearing the proper headwear? Or that 50% of construction workers experience a serious injury during their career? If workers wore proper safety eyewear, injury could be reduced by up to 90%.
As well as this, 25% of all workplace injuries involve a person’s fingers and hands which could be reduced by 60% if safety gloves are worn. 25% of employees are exposed to noise that are higher than the recommended level too, but such damage can be reduced 99% by wearing the right type of hearing protection.
From the figures above, it’s evident that workers across all industries need to be better educated on PPE and how it can protect them any physical threat. However, businesses must also take away from this article that workers feel uncomfortable in the PPE workwear that has been distributed to them – you must strike a balance between safety requirements and comfort to ensure that staff wear such equipment when needed.
Created on Mar 24th 2020 08:58. Viewed 272 times.