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Dummies Guide to PPE in the Workplace
Posted by David Cant on March 4, 2011

If you’re planning to enter an industrial occupation known for its hazards, chances are you’ll already have heard the term PPE. However, if you’re new to your industry it will prove useful to learn a bit more about PPE and the role it will play in your everyday safety. Below are answers to some common questions on the subject:

What is PPE?

PPE stands for Personal Protective Equipment; this refers to any sort of clothing worn to reduce the risks posed by a variety of hazardous work environments. PPE could include anything from protective coveralls and steel-toed safety footwear to hard hats, ear plugs and safety goggles.

When should PPE be Used?

Protective equipment that meets acceptable standards of quality should be worn to preserve the health and safety of employees with dangerous occupations. Construction workers, electrical contractors and fire fighters are just a few examples of those who would need to wear PPE on a daily basis. Other types of PPE may be worn by workers who handle hazardous chemicals or asbestos.

How is PPE Tested?

Before PPE workwear or safety equipment can be sold by suppliers, the products must undergo rigorous testing at a reputable technology centre. Here the equipment will be exposed to the hazards encountered in the relevant work environments. This may include exposure to heat, flames and chemicals, impact testing, cut and snag testing or blunt trauma testing. Once it meets safety regulations, all PPE sold should carry the appropriate official mark to prove that it meets or exceeds the industry standards.

Some common examples of PPE are: high visibility clothing, flame-resistant clothing, Haz-Mat suits, heavy-duty safety gloves and waterproof safety boots. Before you start work in any type of hazardous environments, be sure you are well-informed and supplied with the appropriate PPE to help you perform your daily tasks with confidence!



Director at Veritas Consulting. The SME's favourite go-to consultant for health and safety know-how. Bucket loads of experience. Fluent in practical advice. Solutionist with a brain you can pick.

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This post has been filed in: Guest Blogger, Health and Safety Management


  1. July 24, 2012 at 7:54 pm

    It is always worthwhile to draw attention to safety e.g. this article about PPE.

    I would comment that PPE is a last resort following process analysis and taking out as much risk from a process as possible (i.e. risk assessment).

    Your readers may be interested in an exclusive discount we have with Protec Direct They offer 5% off when you go online or call 0870 333 3081 quoting our Voucher Code PPEORG5.

    Follow us @ppeorg

  2. Chris George
    November 1, 2016 at 9:24 pm

    Education is key. An employer can provide all the PPE that’s more than necessary, but it’s up to the employee to use it. As they day you take a horse to water but you can’t make it drink.

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