H&S Policy Standard. No 23 PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT Reviewed October Introduction. Key Information. Further Advice and Information

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1 H&S Policy Standard No 23 PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT Reviewed October 2015 Introduction The Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations, 1992 (PPEWR) requires employers to provide (free of charge) PPE to workers who are exposed to risks that cannot be controlled by other means. The issue of PPE must be a last resort where risk assessment has failed to identify other means by which the risks can be adequately controlled. This is because PPE has shortcomings, in that it only protects the user, can impair performance and is seldom 100% effective! Given the breadth of work carried out by the Trust, it is not possible to list here exactly what PPE is required to cover every eventuality. However, activity risk assessments, tool / machine manufacturer s instructions and the guidance included here at Appendix 1 should provide you with the all the information you require to comply with health and safety legislation and work safely. What is PPE? PPE is equipment that will protect the user against health or safety risks at work. It can include items such as safety helmets and hard hats, gloves, eye protection, high-visibility clothing, safety footwear and safety harnesses. Hearing protection and respiratory protective equipment provided for most work situations are not covered by these Regulations because there are other more specific regulations that apply to them. However, these items need to be compatible with any other PPE provided. Cycle helmets or crash helmets worn by employees on the roads are not covered by the Regulations. Motorcycle helmets are legally required under road traffic legislation. Key Information PPE must be suitable for the risks risk assessments must be carried out, recorded, reviewed regularly and the results made known to relevant personnel Where risk assessment, safe systems of work or legislation states the need for PPE to be worn, its use is mandatory Users must comply with the manufacturer s instructions relating to PPE when using work equipment PPE must be suitable for the work activity and the individual using it Where a job specification changes, check whether the PPE being used remains suitable PPE must comply with current UK and EC standards and directives PPE must comply with any minimum standards implemented by the Trust PPE must be used, maintained and stored in a way that safeguards its long term effectiveness Where applicable, PPE users must receive adequate instructions prior to using the equipment Incorrect use or failure to use PPE, where its use has been identified as a requirement of the job may result in disciplinary action against the individual and / or the line manager / work supervisor Personnel have a duty to take reasonable car of PPE The personal issue of long term PPE, such as protective footwear, gloves, waterproofs etc to personnel must be recorded (see Appendix 2) Further Advice and Information Contact the Health & Safety Officer Jim Boyce

2 Appendix 1 GUIDANCE ON PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT USE AND STANDARDS Always refer to the work activity risk assessment and, where applicable, the tool or machine manufacturer s instructions before choosing what PPE to wear. CE MARKING Any PPE you use is must be CE marked. The CE marking signifies that the PPE satisfies certain basic safety requirements and in some cases will have been tested and certified by an independent body. HEAD Hazards include impact from falling or flying objects, risk of head bumping or hair entanglement. Options include a range of helmets, hard hats and bump caps. Some safety helmets incorporate, or can be fitted with, specially-designed eye or hearing protection. Never use head protection if it s damaged - replace it. Chainsaw safety helmet - Helmets to EN are only recommended for ground work. For tree climbing operations AFAG recommends a mountaineering style helmet complying with EN These are also suitable for ground work where risk assessment allows. Helmets which claim EN 397 or EN shell and cradle but with an EN chinstrap / retention system are also suitable for ground use where risk assessment allows it. Hard Hats - To minimum standard to EN 397. Frequently stated lifespans of three years for hard hats can be misleading. The expected life expectancy depends on several factors, principally care and storage. Always store out of direct sunlight, at a steady temperature, away from contaminants and replace after any impact. Never spray paint hard hats or attach stickers as this can compromise the integrity of the shell. This simple test should tell you if a hard hat is still safe to use - Compress the shell inwards from the sides about 1 inch with both hands. Release the pressure without dropping the shell. It should quickly return to its original shape, exhibiting elasticity. However, where a hard hat is in almost daily use for three to five years from the stamped date of manufacture, then replacement may be prudent. Cycle helmets - not legally classed as PPE and their use is not a legal requirement for cyclists. However, their use is recommended. EYES Hazards include chemical or metal splash, dust, flying debris, striking, gas, vapour and radiation. Options include safety spectacles, goggles, face-shields, visors. Note - make sure the eye protection has the right combination of impact / dust / splash / molten metal eye protection and fits properly Mesh visor - To minimum standard to EN Consider the potential risks from reduced vision when wearing this type of PPE. Safety glasses / goggles - To minimum standard is EN 166. Note, goggles are the preferred option for working at height as they are less likely to fall off. Safety glasses would normally require side shields. Corrective lenses will be required where the user has defective eyesight and is not a contact lens wearer. Safety glasses must not be worn over spectacles as they cannot be properly secured in place. 2

3 BREATHING Hazards include dust, vapour, gas, oxygen-deficient atmospheres. Options include disposable filtering face-piece or respirator, half or full-face respirators, air-fed helmets, breathing apparatus. Note - the right type of respirator filter must be used as each is effective for only a limited range of substances. Where there is a shortage of oxygen or any danger of losing consciousness due to exposure to high levels of harmful fumes, only use breathing apparatus never use a filtering cartridge. Filters only have a limited life; when replacing them or any other part, check with the manufacturer s guidance and ensure the correct replacement part is used. If you are using respiratory protective equipment, look at HSE s publication Respiratory protective equipment at work: A practical guide. The range of respirators, masks and breathing apparatus is too extensive to describe fully here. Always refer to risk assessment before selection and use. Principal uses within the Trust may include, avoiding inhalation of smoke, dust etc., working with animal samples or CoSHH materials. Disposable paper masks - Often worn to protect the sample being worked upon or for comfort against nuisance odours. Never wear for protection against a respiratory risk, as they do not provide any respiratory protection to the wearer. These are either of the fold-flat style or moulded and can look similar to the disposable masks below. However, they will never be marked up with any respiratory protection ratings. Disposable half masks - Disposable respirators (masks) to EN149: 2001 only protect against particulate, fume and oil or water based mists (all classed as particulate) - they do not provide protection against gases or vapours. Disposable respirators, or FFP - Filtering Face Piece Masks, are available in three classes P1, P2 and P3 providing differing protection factors (levels). Reusable half masks - For protection against gases and vapours, require to be fitted with filters suitable to protect against the particular hazard present. These masks can also protect against particles or a combination of particles, gases and vapours. HEARING Hazards include powered tools and machinery, general noise from vehicles and other activities.in the area Options include in-ear plugs, over-ear muffs Note - hearing loss is not the only problem. People may develop tinnitus (ringing, whistling, buzzing or humming in the ears), a distressing condition which can lead to disturbed sleep. PPE is the last resort and other methods must be used initially to reduce noise, e.g. choose quieter machines / tools. Ear Muffs - To minimum standard EN 352-1, EN AND EN They must totally cover the ears, fit tightly and have no gaps around the seals. Don t let hair, jewelry, glasses, hats etc. interfere with the seal.. Keep the seals and the insides clean. Don t stretch the headband the tension is crucial to protection. Helmetmounted earmuffs can need particular care to get a good seal around your ears. Earplugs - They go right in the ear canal, not just across it. Practice fitting them and get help if you are having trouble. Clean your hands before you fit earplugs, and don t share them. Some types are single use while others can be re-used and even washed make sure you know which type you have. Semi-inserts / Canal caps - These are held in or across the ear canal by a band, usually plastic. Check for a good seal, every time you put them on. Follow the same general advice as for earplugs. 3

4 THE UPPER BODY Hazards include temperature extremes, adverse weather, ticks, chemical or metal splash, spray from pressure leaks or spray guns, impact or penetration, contaminated dust, excessive wear or entanglement of own clothing. Options include conventional or disposable overalls, boiler suits, specialist protective clothing, e.g. chain-mail aprons, high-visibility clothing. Note: The choice of materials includes flame-retardant, anti-static, chain mail, chemically impermeable, and high-visibility. Also, safety harnesses and life jackets etc. Hi-visibility clothing - To minimum standard EN 471. Must be worn where risk assessment, machine / tool manufacturer s instructions or best practice dictates. Wear hi-vis clothing when working in close proximity to other people using tools that may present a risk, when working in an area where potentially hazardous activity is being undertaken by others, when working near vehicles of any kind and when using tools that may present a risk to others, including passers-by. Hi visibility clothing must be kept reasonably clean to maintain its effectiveness. Chainsaw jackets To minimum standard EN Provides additional protection where operators are at increased risk (e.g. trainees, unavoidable use of a chainsaw above chest height). However, this needs to be weighed against increased heat stress generated by physical exertion (e.g. working from a rope and harness). Lifejackets - The minimum standard for leisure and work activities organised or managed by the Trust is 150 Newtons. All lifejackets must carry a CE or ISO marking. See separate Working in Boats policy for full details. HANDS AND ARMS Hazards include abrasion, temperature extremes, cuts and punctures, impact, chemicals, electric shock, skin infection, disease or contamination. Note - avoid gloves when operating machines or using hand tools where the gloves could get caught or grip / hand dexterity is reduced and potentially increases the risk of an accident. Some materials are quickly penetrated by chemicals so be careful when selecting suitable gloves. Wearing gloves for long periods can result in skin problems; using separate cotton inner gloves can help prevent this. Also, be aware that materials used in gloves, e.g. latex, may agitate allergies. Types of Gloves Always use the most appropriate gloves for the task as identified by the risk assessment and / or the equipment manufacturer s instructions. Use gloves only for the duration required. Always wash and dry your hands thoroughly after use. Using creams can prevent dryness and irritation occurring. Latex (powder free only) - Recommended where there is a risk of contamination with blood. However, latex can cause skin and respiratory problems so keep use to a minimum and always seek suitable alternatives. Nitrile - Provides protection against organic chemicals and is ideal for certain disinfectants; a very good alternative to latex gloves Rubber - Suitable for most heavy cleaning purposes. Can be washed and dried after use. Vinyl - Loose fitting gloves. Not normally associated with skin reactions but are prone to leaks and hand contamination. Chainsaw gloves - Type will depend on the activity risk assessment and the equipment used. Must be to minimum standard EN

5 Specialist gloves - Certain tasks / jobs require the provision of specialist gloves, these can include, heavyduty rubber, anti-vibration, PVC, Butyl, Viton TN and neoprene. Using anti-vibration gloves, however, does not increase the permitted exposure time. General gloves - A range of other work gloves are available for use with hand tools and manual handling tasks etc. They should be worn where risk assessment, tool manufacturer s instructions or best practice requires but avoided where wearing gloves may make using the machine or tool safely more awkward. FEET AND LEGS Hazards include adverse weather, rough terrain, electrostatic build-up, cuts and punctures, falling objects, metal / chemical splash and abrasion. Options include safety boots and shoes with protective toe caps and penetration-resistant mid-sole, walking boots with ankle support spats, wellingtons gaiters, leggings and chainsaw trousers etc. Chainsaw boots - To minimum standard EN ISO Protective boots with grip and protective guarding at front vamp and instep. Leg Protection - To minimum standard EN AFAG (Arboriculture & Forestry Advisory Group) recommends type C leg protection for aerial work. Where this is impractical because of the higher risk of heat stress, it may be appropriate to use Type A, where it can be justified by risk assessment. All-round protection is recommended for arborists working in trees and occasional users, such as those working in agriculture. Chainsaw gaiters - To minimum standard EN For occasional users working on even ground where there is low risk of tripping or snagging on undergrowth or brash, worn in combination with steel toe-capped or safety boots. General safety boots / shoes - To minimum standard EN ISO For work including manual handling etc. where there is a risk of falling objects / striking / trapping. Recommend protective toes to minimum 200 joules impact with mid-sole penetration protection. Walking boots - For work on rough terrain where there is a risk of slips, trips and falls. Good ankle support is essential. Walking poles - Recommended for use on uneven or steep terrain ground. However, be aware walking poles can present a trip hazard when walking on slatted boardwalks (where the pole is stuck between slats in mid stride) SKIN Sun cream, insect repellant and barrier creams - All fall into the category of PPE. However, take care as some individuals may be allergic to a particular product 5

6 PPE ISSUE RECORD Site Manager / Supervisor IN SIGNING BELOW THE RECIPIENT ACKNOWLEDGES RECEIPT OF THE NAMED ITEM OF PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT ON THE DATE SHOWN AND AGREES TO WEAR IT WHENEVER THE WORK TASK OR TRUST POLICY REQUIRES. PPE ITEM ISSUED TO DATE SIGNATURE Appendix 2 (PPE policy standard) 6

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