The importance of PPE is crucial in the construction industry and health and safety must be always at the forefront of people's minds to keep themselves and the people around them safe. The construction industry reports the highest number of fatal injuries due to accidents each year, so it's crucial to have the correct safety equipment to minimise the chance of accidents happening. Unfortunately, there will always be risks and hazards in any work environment (especially construction sites) - no matter how many safety measures you take! Learn more about our guide to PPE in construction so you can keep safe at all times.
What is PPE?
PPE stands for Personal Protective Equipment and includes all equipment that is used to protect employees from health and safety risks they might encounter at work. This includes equipment including helmets, goggles and any other garments or equipment designed to protect the lungs, head, eyes, ears, face or skin.
To find out more about potential risks on construction sites, click through to our blog post here.
Important Things to Remember With PPE
Well-fitting and the correct type of PPE equipment could be a matter of life or death in the event of an accident. Any worker should be properly trained and instructed on how to use their PPE - they must know why they have to wear it and when they should wear it and if multiple items of PPE have to be worn at once they must all fit to get and work effectively worn simultaneously, for example, safety goggles should not interfere a seal of the respirator.
Do note that from the 1st January 2023, all new PPE supplied to England, Scotland and Wales must be marked with the UKCA marking, or be accompanied by documentation that is marked with it. The supply of other PPE equipment with CE marking is allowed in England, Scotland and Wales until December 2022.
Head protection is required on pretty much all construction sites, it is important for construction work to always be organised to minimise risks at all costs.
To comply with the Personal Protective Equipment Regulations 1992, employees must be supplied by their employers with the correct head protection and ensure it is worn. Safety helmets or hard hats are used at work on construction sites, bump caps only protect from non-moving hazards and are not adequate protection for construction workers.
Acceptable head protection should:
- Be in good condition and not damaged - if head protection is damaged then it must be thrown away
- Fit each employee well
- Always purchase head protection from a trusted supplier
Those that work around noise hazards must wear ear protection, with both the exposure to loud noise and the duration of it too can contribute to serious, long term and even permanent ear damage. Even for short durations, loud sounds can be damaging and a hazard to the ears.
All workers exposed to any loud sound should be provided with the correct type of ear protection for the type of sound they are exposed to.
Ear protection comes in the form of earplugs, earmuffs and semi-insert/canal caps, all ear PPE must not be compromised in terms of safety. All workers must be made aware of how to wear their ear PPE properly to ensure correct and maximum protection.
Construction sites can kick up nasty dust, gases and vapours, and exposure to these harmful factors can cause life-affecting diseases later on in life. Examples of lung protection include:
- Filtering face pieces
- Power-assisted respirators
- Self-contained breathing apparatus
- Fresh-air hose
It is important to remember that some lung PPE has a limited lifespan and it should never exceed the lifespan if you want it to work effectively and keep people safe.
Eye and Face Protection
For the importance of protecting your eyes and face when at risk of chemicals, metal, dust, gas, vapours, radiation or any other harmful substance that can affect your eyes or skin - eye and face protection should be worn. Examples of eye and face protection include:
- Safety goggles
- Face shields
If you need Beaconrisk for any help or advice then contact us and we will be sure to get back to you. We have various courses and accreditations such as Constuctionline available to ensure your construction business remains health and safety compliant.