Personal protective equipment (PPE)

Personal protective equipment, or PPE, is any clothing or equipment a worker uses for protection. It includes equipment such as goggles, ear plugs, respirators, safety harnesses, safety shoes, hard hats and sunscreen.

PPE can be useful, but it is also one of the least effective ways of controlling safety problems. It works best when used with other control measures – or when absolutely no other safety measures are available.

There are specific laws about using appropriate PPE in the workplace.

Employers/PCBU must provide PPE to workers and must not charge anyone for using the equipment. If contractors do not have PPE, it needs to be issued by the employer/PCBU.

Consult with your workers when selecting PPE, and show them how to use it.

PPE needs to be:

  • suitable for the nature of the work
  • a proper size and fit for the person
  • properly stored and maintained.
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