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Personal Protective Equipment

Viimati uuendatud: 25.11.2016

Personal Protective Equipment

Personal protective equipment (hereinafter sometimes also referred to as PPE) is a device or appliance to be worn on the body, head, or feet, or held in hand, which protects the human life and health from the hazard.

According to a popular belief, the use of PPE hinders and slows working. Sometimes, the work process could be so brief, that the work could be done already several times during the time spent on getting the PPE. It is thought that a little exposure to noise or vibration  does not do any harm, as it is so brief.

People are often afraid of looking different from other employees – if others don’t wear PPE, then what makes me weaker than them. Sometimes, people lack the strictness and courage to ask for equipment that is necessary for the work. However, we are brave to believe that nothing will happen. “Faster, higher, further!” – the personal protective equipment rather stops us on this way and is an annoying obligation.

According to the Labour Inspectorate’s statistics, nearly 10% of serious and fatal occupational accidents occur due to the unavailability or non-use the PPE. Without the employee’s knowledge, an extended exposure could trigger a disease, for example when inhaling a hazardous chemical or being in a noisy environment. The employee is entitled to demand PPE from the employer if they feel that the hazard has not been sufficiently alleviated! 

Areas where PPE is mandatory are marked with safety signs. The employee is obliged to use the PPE following the user’s manual and employer’s instructions, and to keep it in the working order. If the equipment provided to the employee does not fully correspond to the protection need, burdens the employee too much or is unsuitable for the working conditions, the employer or direct manager must be immediately informed. When choosing the PPE and determining their order of use, the employer should also consider the suggestions of employees and working environment representatives.

Prior to distributing the personal protective equipment, the employer must train the employees to use it and, if required, show the actual use, emanating from the manufacturer’s user manual. The employee must also be informed of the health hazards of not using the equipment.

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