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PPE and RPE Training

The PPE and RPE course is for: Employers, employees, the self-employed, managers and any persons responsible for the correct use of Personal Protective Equipment in the work place.

The training will be provided in conjunction with appropriate instruction and training for the wear.

The DWSafety course covers:

  • Introduction of PPE and RPE and the relevant legislation
  • A brief explanation of the overall aims of the course
  • Employers' duties and their obligations to provide PPE, appropriate storage for PPE/RPE as well as appropriate information, instruction and training
  • Employees duties including the correct use and storage, use of equipment and defect reporting 
  • Most Respiratory Protective Equipment is excluded from the PPE at Work Regulations. It is included as a brief guide to an important control measure that should be used in many workplaces.

The Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992 is in place to protect workers from injury or sickness caused by their work activities where other controls have not been available.Man wearing mask using heavy equipment

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is defined in the Regulations as all equipment which is intended to be worn or held by a person at work and which protects them against one or more risks to their Health or Safety, e.g. safety helmets, gloves, eye protection, high-visibility clothing, safety footwear and safety harnesses.

PPE should be considered as a ‘last resort’ when other control measures have been considered and either implemented or proven to be ineffective. There is a recognized hierarchy of controls within Health and Safety which states that other controls must be considered before the use of Personal Protective Equipment. The hierarchy has six categories as follows:

  1. Eliminate the hazard at source, e.g. • use a non-hazardous substance instead of a hazardous one •stop using a noisy machine
  2. Reduce the hazard at source, e.g. • use a substance less hazardous than the one used at present • replace a noisy machine with a quieter one
  3. Remove the person from the hazard, e.g. • replace the person with a machine • do not allow people to work near noisy machines
  4. Contain the hazard by enclosure, e.g. • isolate the hazard • put soundproofing round noisy machine
  5. Reduce employee exposure, e.g. • four people exposed for two hours each, not one person for eight hours – applies to exposure to substances or noise
  6. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), e.g. • gloves, goggles for substances and ear defenders for noise

Personal Protective Equipment should only be used as a 'last resort' or as a short term emergency measure while other control measures are assessed. It should only be used for occasional work of short duration when there is no other alternative.

Where Personal Protective Equipment is used it must:

  • Be selected taking into account the nature of the hazard and the task
  • Be provided free of charge to employees
  • Carry a CE or BS mark
  • Be maintained in an efficient working order and in good repair
  • Be compatible with other PPE
  • Be stored in an assigned and suitable area