What is Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) ?
PPE is defined in the Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations as: "All equipment (including clothing affording protection against the weather) which is intended to be worn or held by a person at work which protects them against one or more risks to their health and safety". PPE includes equipment such as safety footwear, hard hats, high visibility waistcoats, goggles, life jackets, respirators and safety harnesses.
The purpose of personal protective equipment is to reduce employee exposure to hazards when engineering and administrative controls are not feasible or effective to reduce these risks to acceptable levels. PPE is needed when there are hazards present. PPE has the serious limitation that it does not eliminate the hazard at source and may result in employees being exposed to the hazard if the equipment fails.