Types of Personal Protective Equipment

Types of Personal Protective Equipment
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) - Respiratory Protection
The most important defense against respiratory hazards is to control the contamination at its source
and prevent it from entering the air. However, in some situations it may be necessary to wear
respiratory protective equipment (RPE). Respirators can be disposable or
reusable.
Relevant Standard
AS/NZS 1715:2009 Selection use and maintenance of respiratory protective
devices
Maintenance
Selection
A respirator enables inhaled air to be drawn
through a filter that will remove the harmful
substance. It purifies the air the person
breathes. The type of filter required will
depend on the composition of the
contaminant.
There are three main types of air-purifying
filters:
 Particulate canisters: these filter out only
thermally and/or mechanically generated
particles (dust, mist, smoke, fume)
 Gas filters: these filter out certain gases
and vapours, and
 Filter combination: these are used when
particulate and gas hazards exist.

with
the
exception
of
disposable
respirators,
respiratory
protective
equipment requires continual inspection
and maintenance

all respirators should be inspected at least
once per month and cleaned and examined
after each use for wear and replacement of
worn components

Record date of issue, maintenance and
visual checks in a PPE Register (see
example in folder)

face-pieces should be washed in warm
water and detergent, rinsed and air dried

respirators with activated charcoal filters
will continue to absorb contaminants in the
air even when not being worn - after use
ensure they are stored in a sealed
container
When selecting your respiratory protection;

refer to the SDS (Safety Data Sheet) in
order to select the correct respirator with
the appropriate filter for the job

disposable respirators have an advantage
of requiring no maintenance, they need to
be stored before use in a sealed container
so they are not absorbing dust, fumes etc
from the work environment


individuals that have facial hair will need to
check with the manufacturer to ensure the
product will give an adequate facial seal
against leakage
when working in a hot
environment, respirators are
available with an air valve to
increase worker comfort
Replacement

disposable respirators cannot be
cleaned and should be replaced daily or
when breathing becomes noticeably more
difficult indicating that the filter is becoming
clogged

all gas/vapour filters need to be discarded
6 months after opening regardless of being
used

respirators should
not be shared they need to be for
one
individual’s
use.
Organisational Health
Department of Education, Training and Employment
Reviewed: June 2012. V2
Uncontrolled when printed
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) - Foot Protection
Toes and feet can be injured during work through exposure to chemicals, heat, crush, cuts or
impalement. Poorly fitting or improper footwear can also cause slips, trips or falls.
Relevant Standard
AS/NZS 2210.1:2010 : Occupational protective footwear - Guide to selection,
care and use
Selection
There are many different kinds of safety
footwear on the market. To determine the
right footwear for your job you need to think
about the tasks that are going to be
undertaken.
Different footwear has different features. Steel
reinforced safety shoes protect your feet from
common machinery hazards such as falling or
rolling objects, cuts and punctures. The entire
toe box and insole are steel-reinforced, and
steel, aluminium or plastic materials protect
the instep.
Some safety boots also insulate against
temperature extremes and may be equipped
with special soles to guard against slips,
chemicals and electrical hazards.
Maintenance
Protective footwear should be inspected
regularly. Clean and condition the leather
regularly. Make sure the shoe laces are not
fraying and cannot be caught in equipment.
Replace laces that are worn out or are too
long.
Record date of issue, maintenance and visual
checks in a PPE Register (see example in
folder)
Replacement
Once safety boots have lost the protective
properties required for the job you are doing,
dispose of them and purchase new ones.
Safety boots that provide ankle protection
may be preferred to safety shoes, particularly
in grassy environments, when whipper
snipping and where snakes may be a hazard.
When trying on footwear, wear socks that
would normally be worn while working. This
will ensure a proper fit.
Organisational Health
Department of Education, Training and Employment
Reviewed: June 2012. V2
Uncontrolled when printed
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) - Hand Protection
Hand protection is required where there is the possibility of damage to the hands during work. Care
needs to be taken to make sure that wearing gloves does not introduce or increase any workplace
hazard e.g. entanglement of gloves with moving parts of machinery.
Please note: most gloves are not puncture resistant and may not protect
against needle stick injuries.
Relevant Standard
AS/NZS 2161.1:2000 Occupational Protective Gloves Part 1: Selection, use
and maintenance.
Selection
The following should be considered:

Nature or the risk to the hands/arms based
on the activity e.g. exposure to heat,
chemical burns, cuts, scratches, sharps,
blood or bodily fluids,

glove that is suitable for one application
may not be suitable for a different
application

Extent of bodily protection required (glove
length)

Level of manual dexterity required

Glove is made of suitable material to give
required protection (e.g. PVC, rubber,
nitrile). Refer to the SDS (Safety Data
Sheet) for specific type of glove as some
may dissolve upon contact with a
substance and cause harm to the wearer.

Suitable style and fit

Disposable (blood and bodily fluids) or reuseable
Maintenance
Gloves should be closely inspected to detect
potential weaknesses or defects as a result of
manufacture or wear. Common signs of
failure include:

Wear between fingers

Seam failures

Cracking or bubbling of material such as
waterproofing agents.
Cleaning should be undertaken as part of a
regular program of maintenance. Refer to the
manufacturer’s instructions for any special
cleaning procedures and/or frequency.
Record date of issue, maintenance and visual
checks in a PPE Register (see example in
folder)
Replacement
Gloves with obvious faults should be
replaced.
Organisational Health
Department of Education, Training and Employment
Reviewed: June 2012. V2
Uncontrolled when printed
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) – Eye & Face Protection
The eyes are susceptible to short-term, prolonged or permanent damage from a variety of hazards
ranging from contact with sharp objects to chemical exposure. Eye and face protectors include
glasses, goggles and face shields.
Relevant Standards
AS/NZS 1336:1997 Recommended practices for occupational eye protection.
Selection
The following should be considered:



the nature of the risk to the eyes or face i.e. impact from flying objects when
mowing/whipper snipping, chemical splash,
irritant or corrosive vapour, heat, welder’s
flash, UV protection or general irritation to
eyes such as dust
the work conditions (indoors or outdoors,
are side shields required?)
personal preference of the wearer (wrap
around, tinted or clear)

condition of operator’s eyesight (need to be
worn over glasses)

plastic generally has a higher resistance to
breakage from sharp objects and hot
materials

glass has high abrasion and scratch
resistance.
Maintenance

store correctly to minimize scratches

scratched and dirty lenses may restrict
vision

clean regularly

Record date of issue, maintenance and
visual checks in a PPE Register (see
example in folder)
When should goggles or a face mask be
selected instead of glasses?
Goggles provide a more reliable seal to keep
products out of the sensitive eye area. They
are useful for protection against chemical
splash, dust or vapour.
Face shields are appropriate when the entire
face including the eyes need protection. For
example, during activities where the worker
may be welding or exposed to other burns, or
chemicals
that
are
a
skin
irritant.
Organisational Health
Department of Education, Training and Employment
Reviewed: June 2012. V2
Uncontrolled when printed
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