Safety in 30 Days, Personal Protective Equipment in the Workplace
There are ways that employers should identify and assess risks with a view to preventing and reducing them. There should be a hierarchy of prevention and control measures starting with prevention of the risk, and if this is not possible, technical/engineering controls, safe systems of work and information or training should be used instead. Personal protective equipment should only be used as a last resort.
Unfortunately, some employers encourage workers to use personal protective equipment without ever considering the introduction of prevention and control measures that could eliminate the use of personal protective equipment. This leads to a number of problems:
Personal protective equipment protects only the person wearing it, whereas measures controlling the risk at source can protect everyone at the workplace
Theoretical maximum levels of protection are seldom achieved with personal protective equipment in practice and the actual level of protection is difficult to assess
Protection is often ineffective because the personal protective equipment is not suitable, incorrectly...