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PPE Legislation Has Changed: How to Prepare Your Workforce

Posted by Xamax on 02/06/17 14:14

As we wrote about last month, the PPE regulations changed last year (2016), and the changes come into effect next year (2018). Mostly the changes define PPE and what is covered under the definition and what is not. Categories are shifting too and there’s a maximum five year certificate validity, according to the BSI PPE Whitepaper.  So, as a business owner, what PPE legislation should you be aware of?

ppe legislation


Make sure you know what’s changing, and that you have transitioned well before the April 2018 deadline. Your company doesn’t want to be caught out for non-compliance, especially when safety is at stake.


Hazard Assessment

With the old regulations being over 20 years old, it may be a good idea to look at the regulations as a fresh opportunity to prevent accidents by assessing your workplace hazards again. Over half of all construction workers suffer a serious eye injury during their career; 99% of noise-induced hearing loss is preventable with proper hearing protection; 84% of workers who sustain a head injury aren’t wearing head protection; and wearing gloves reduces hand injury by 60%. These are just a small number of workplace safety statistics, and being informed can make sure you have a safe workplace. Workplace accidents cost everyone: in time, productivity, and money. So, it’s vital that you prevent as many avoidable accidents as possible.



98% of employees have said they have seen others in their workplace not wearing the correct PPE equipment due to poor fit, lack of accessibility, discomfort, and unattractive look.  Make sure that PPE is strictly enforced in the workplace and encourage others to make sure everyone is protected. A safety brief on workplace accidents may motivate workers to realise the importance of protecting their health long term, despite potential discomfort; however, changes are being made to PPE all the time to make it more and more comfortable and safe, so you may simply need to update your worker’s wardrobes.


Category III Update

It’s important to note that hearing safety has been moved to the third category, which denotes hazards that can cause serious health damage or death. Make sure that you’re assessing your workplace risks and protecting your workers accordingly, especially any risks that fall in category three.


Know Your PPE Categories

There are seven categories of PPE protection: Hearing Protection, Head Protection, Eye Protection, Foot Protection, Hand and Arm Protection, Body Protection, and Respiratory Protection. Make sure that you assess, head to toe, what your workers need for maximum safety.


Know the Laws

As a business owner, if there are workplace hazards you must provide the equipment free of charge to your workers and replace when needed. It’s also required that you provide insurance and workers’ compensation if an employee suffers an injury on site. Of course, PPE equipment can be initially expensive (but it is less expensive if you buy in bulk), but it’s much less costly than having to pay out in compensation or lost time (or even death). The price of safety is invaluable. For full regulations, read the HSE guide here.


For an in-depth look at the new PPE regulations, check out our blog post about it here.


What Xamax Offers?

We can help you buy all your PPE safety equipment in bulk at a reduced price. Check out our Workwear Buying guide for help on what you need.


Xamax Buying Guide


Topics: Buying Workwear