(OH&S Bulletin - Friday 3 August, 2012 - By Joanna Weekes)

  1. Train your workers on how to use PPE correctly so that it isn’t being worn and used in ways it is not designed for.
  2. Ensure your workers don’t reuse PPE unless it has been properly decontaminated and sterilised – provide facilities for your workers to clean their PPE as required, e.g. proper laundering of contaminated overalls rather than allowing workers to take PPE home to wash it themselves.
  3. If there is PPE that different workers share, always provide sanitisation rather than allowing different people to use the same PPE without it being washed in-between users, e.g. lab coats that are shared should be decontaminated between one visitor using it and the next.
  4. Ensure that there are sanitary storage facilities for PPE when it is not in use – you want to prevent damage or contamination when the PPE is not in use, e.g. a worker might throw their goggles into their toolbox at the end of the day causing unnecessary wear and tear.
  5. Make sure that your workers have a designated space to change from their clothing into their PPE if necessary.
  6. Ensure that workers have more than one set of the PPE so that there is always a replacement when one set is being cleaned – you want to prevent workers from neglecting the sanitisation of their PPE due to not having a spare set.
  7. Train your workers to inspect their PPE on a regular basis and report when it may need to be replaced – do not wait for the PPE to be damaged and become ineffective before replacing it. These tips aim to increase the standard that your workers’ PPE is maintained in, by reducing the damage it undergoes and ensuring your workers know how to treat it.

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