PPE and the law: What are your obligations if you are in construction?
There many rules and regulations a company or a firm must apply to make sure their safety equipment complies with the personal protective equipment (PPE) legislation for construction sites. Firstly we must discuss what PPE is, defined by the health working lives, PPE is all equipment (including clothing affording protection against the weather) which is intended to be worn or held by a person at work which protects them against one or more risks to their health and safety’. PPE consist of equipment such as hard hats, high visibility waistcoats, safety footwear jackets, respirators, safety footwear and safety harnesses. However, PPE such as weatherproof, waterproof or insulated clothing is subject to the regulations only when used necessarily to protect employees against harsh weather conditions that could otherwise affect their health and safety. Therefore, those that are in the business of construction must take these safety measures and ensure personal proactive equipment to their employees.
It is important to note that in terms of the OHS ACT and 2014 construction regulations, the principal contractor is required to ensure that all employees or person working or visiting site are equipped with appropriate health and safety equipment (PPE) to reduce the risks of injuries or illness due to their duties, visit or exposure to the construction conditions on site.
PPE and the Law – Employee Safety
For one to be compliant with these requirements you must ensure:
1. All employees, once after completing the safety induction course, they are issues with two or three sets of overalls, two set of safety boots and one or two high visibility and reflective tunic, which they will be required to wear at all the times while working on a site. The best way to do it is to carry out a brilliant training course for both employees and employers on the reasons why they need PPE. AT BlueCollar, we offer training courses on health and safety measure.
2. A minimum of five pairs of safety boots, high reflective and visibility jackets must be kept on site for use by visitors to the construction works.
3. It is pivotal to keep in mind that all personal protective equipment (PPE) and personal protective clothing (PPC) essential in terms of Methods statements and risk assessments for particular tasks must be made available to both employees and visitors directly involved in or affected by the task for the duration of the task.
4. It is crucial to pay attention to the fact than in an event that the equipment may be safely used by others without posing a hygiene risks, the equipment must be returned by the workers or visitor on completion of the task. It becomes the property of the owner and must return to the provider regardless.
5. At, BlueCollar we highly recommend owners of the business that their safety offices conducts a weekly inspections on the condition of PPE issued and in use on the site if the company does have a safety officer we can offer you the services. Furthermore, if the equipment no longer provides suitable protection, then we advise you to remove it and replace it. It is important to note that the decision can be made by the safety officer only.
6. With the aim of encouraging works to always wear their PPE clothes, any person found not wearing appropriate PPE must be given a written warning that must be recorded in the health and safety file. If a person is given more warnings or keeps doing the same things of not wearing PPE clothes or any other safety related issue, that person must be removed from the site and disciplined in accordance with the company’s disciplinary procedures and the Basic Conditions of the Employment Act.
7. A register of all PPE issued during the construction work must be maintained by your health & safety officer.
8. A budget for the provision of PPE must be drafted up and obtainable to the client as part of the general tender /quote cost calculated for health and safety
9. Respect and follow the above obligations, remember not to endanger your workers lives, try to avoid risks that may be hazardous in the site. This is one of the best ways to keep your construction site safe from hazards, injuries or deaths.