PPE Risk Management

PPE, short for Personal Protective Equipment, is equipment or clothing that protects against health and safety risks at work. Read our PPE risk management guide, to understand when you might need to introduce it.

Legal requirements

If an employee, volunteer, or guest is injured or falls sick after an incident on your premises, you may need to show that you have met your duty of care. 
As an employer you also must comply with specific health and safety laws like the Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations. 
Under these regulations you need to provide:
  • Provide suitable PPE where required
  • Access the suitability of any PPE before use
  • Provide employees and volunteers with instructions on how to use PPE
  • Ensure PPE is used correctly
  • Ensure PPE is properly maintained and stored
Employers cannot charge for PPE in any circumstance. 

Example conditions where PPE may be required:

  • Tasks where stones or other flying debris might occur
  • Harmful dust
  • Risk of falling materials or objects
  • Corrosive liquids that could splash in eyes
  • Chemicals or pesticides being used in maintenance work
  • Existing of discarded needles and drug paraphernalia
  • Hot pots, pans or other plates being used when preparing food

Further advice to ensure correct use of PPE

  • Make sure PPE is appropriate and suitable
  • Choose equipment that suits the wearer
  • Check PPE has the CE mark
  • Take account of wearer’s health
  • Maintain and store equipment properly
  • Provide information and instructions on how to use PPE
  • Replace damaged PPE promptly

Conducting a PPE risk assessment

1. Identify all tasks where the use of PPE may be required to protect people from danger

2. Make sure that all the PPE you provide is suitable

3. Make sure people know how to use PPE properly

4. Make sure that any PPE is properly maintained and stored

5. Document your arrangements and responsibilities for the use of PPE