Employer’s Guide to Designing an Effective PPE Program

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A PPE program must be comprehensive.

All levels of an organization from senior management to the front-liners must all participate and commit to the implementation of a good PPE program.

It’s more than just a general procedure, a Personal Protective Equipment program that is fully practical includes the following:

  • Risk assessment
  • Appropriate controls selection
  • Appropriate PPE selection
  • Fitting
  • Training
  • Management support
  • Maintenance
  • Program audit

STOP!! Conduct a risk assessment first.

Analysing risks at the workplace should be at the top of the list.

The first step in the development of a PPE program is to identify the hazards at the worksite.

What you can examine are as follows:

  • Work practices
  • Processes
  • Job procedures
  • Equipment
  • Products
  • Layout
  • Individual factors

Some jobs need more PPE than others.

Particular attention should be paid to job requirements as some types of hazards require more than one piece of Personal Protective Equipment.

Especially those working in laboratories exposed to chemical hazards. These lab workers require safety gloves, respiratory protection and chemical resistant PVC boots.

Browse through our lab safety gear here.


The Full Guide to Design a PPE Program

Before constructing a PPE program, the hierarchy of controls or a priority list should be written.

Safety gear is considered as the last line of defense so focus on substitution, elimination, administrative controls and engineering controls first.

Once that has been acknowledged, the employer should ensure all parties fully participate in the program, a reliable program coordinator is appointed and the PPE program is reviewed periodically.


1. Promote Awareness

  • Raise awareness to promote commitment to the program.
  • Formulate a clear and concise company policy for all parties to follow.

2. Identify Hazards

  • Revise job operations, work practices, equipment and work site plan.
  • Apply advanced hazard analysis systems that follow Health and Safety principles.
  • Review work practices, job procedures, equipment and plant layout.

Largest global provider of Integrated Risk Management software and information services: SPHERA

Eye Protection

Eye Protection

Face Protection

Face Protection

Fall Protection

Fall Protection

Gloves

Gloves

Head Protection

Head Protection

Hearing Protection

Hearing Protection

Reflective Vests

Reflective Vests

Respiratory Protection

Respiratory Protection



3. Selection

  • Match the hazard with suitable Personal Protective Equipment
  • Consult an occupational safety expert
  • Perform a workplace trial now and then
  • Consider ergonomic features of PPE
  • Calculate all costs relating to PPE usage
  • Verify PPE standards (Refer SIRIM-QAS PPE Standards)

4. Fitting

  • Enable workers for fitting of safety gear
  • Examine and observe whether PPE are worn properly 

5. Training

  • All PPE users, selectors and stock keepers must be educated and trained proficiently
  • Ensure all training is ongoing regularly


6. Maintenance

  • Confirm that all PPE users are familiar with the method of use, inspection and disposal of safety gear.
  • Affirm that every worker is able to identify PPE defects and report to the appropriate authorities.

7. Program Audit

  • Revise and review the PPE program at least one a year.
  • Analyse safety performance records.

ADDITIONAL TIPS

Upper management is responsible for the provision of safety gear for their workers.

But, workers themselves have their own set of duties for a safe and healthy work environment.

1. Use Personal Protective Equipment properly

Make sure the PPE you are wearing fits your job description. If you are not sure or require additional safety gear, confer the safety representative of your company.

2. Training

  • Take note on all parts of the training to know the accurate way to wear, maintain and dispose of PPE.
  • Participate in education and training in how to fit, wear, and maintain protective gear.
  • Ask questions to make sure you know when, why and what PPE should be worn.

3. Maintenance

  • Follow the PPE training biblically. It’s a matter of life or death.
  • Check your safety gear before and after every use.
  • Handle PPE with care.
  • Properly clean PPE after each use.
  • Replace or repair damaged PPE before next use.
  • Avoid PPE from sun or contaminant exposure.

Don’t put it off any longer, put in ON.

A PPE program is only successful if everyone involved cooperates and supports the initiative.

Once a well-structured program is designed, workers will know the right procedures relating to their safety gear. 

We as the leading safety gear and safety footwear in Malaysia can provide you with a selection of safety compliant PPE that helps ensure a safe working environment.

If you have trouble selecting, refer to How to Choose the Right PPE to know your perfect match. We can protect you from your head to your toes!

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