A manufacturer’s intro to PPE
An essential line of defence against accident or illness, PPE is a vital part of most manufacturing processes. As a manufacturer, you are legally obliged to provide your employees and contractors with suitable PPE to help them carry out their tasks in a potentially hazardous working environment.
But knowing what PPE you’ll need to provide can be a minefield, especially as the manufacturing industry requires several items be used to protect employees.
In this article, we’ll discuss the various factors that affect the manufacturing industry and the types of PPE they require in order to adhere to current UK legislation.
Different PPE for different tasks
PPE can become a complex issue very quickly, as many employees working in the manufacturing industry undertake different tasks using different equipment and machinery. Therefore, their PPE needs can vary enormously from job role to job role, even within the same company and place of business.
However, there are certain standards that all manufacturers must comply with, so a general rule of thumb is that you’ll need to provide hard hats, safety footwear such a steel toe capped boots and hi-vis protective clothing so that workers can be easily seen.
In some cases, protective gloves are essential for specific tasks but not others, so it’s best to have some in stock at all times. Gloves are a a regularly misplaced item as employees go from workstation to recreation areas for breaks and when necessary, they can reduce the risk of injury to the hands by up to 60%.
If noise is a factor in your manufacturing processes, then ear protectors can help reduce damage to hearing by up to 99%, so they are a good investment should this be the case.
Many manufacturers also provide protective suits or overalls for their employees, but again what you’ll need to provide very much depends on the products you manufacture and the equipment used.
What PPE doesn’t cover
PPE does not include standard work uniforms that offer no protection from fire or chemicals including shirts, polo t-shirts, trousers and shirts, nor does it cover PPE that is used in the individuals’ transportation to and from the place of work.
If you’re looking for guidance on the appropriate PPE to use in manufacturing or need to discuss which items are necessary for a variety of manufacturing tasks, the team at Wearwell are on hand to offer expert advice and information to help you make an informed decision, so get in touch today.