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What are the working regulations for PPE (Personal Protective Equipment )?

 25/11/2015    Last Modified: 04/02/2016

Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations, 1992

What is it?

The PPE regulations require that employers provide suitable protective equipment to employees except where the risk has been adequately controlled by other means which are equally or more effective.

What is PPE?

PPE is defined as “all equipment which is intended to be worn or held by a person at work which protects them against one or more risks to their health and safety.” PPE includes the obvious elements of chainsaw protective trousers and boots etc, head, hearing and eye protection as well as climbing equipment, ropes, harness and karabiners etc. Ensure any PPE you buy is ‘CE’ marked and complies with the requirements of the Personal Protective Equipment Regulations 2002. The CE marking signifies that the PPE satisfies certain basic safety requirements and in some cases will have been tested and certified by an independent body.

Operators and managers must consider the needs of the job and the demands it places on the wearer. For example, the length of time the PPE needs to be worn, the physical effort required to do the job and the requirements for visibility and communication. If more than one item of PPE is being worn, are they compatible? PPE requirements will be dictated by specific risk assessments in relation to company operations.


The employer shall provide suitable PPE as necessary and will ensure that it is the correct size, fits properly and will provide instruction for use. The employee has a duty to use any PPE issued as instructed and to report any loss or damage to PPE that may reduce its effectiveness.

Issuing PPE

Records of the issue of any PPE should be kept by the employer. This should record the detail of any PPE issued, including manufacturer, size, serial numbers where applicable, and signed acceptance of that PPE by the employee. Chainsaw helmets should be marked with date of issue. Records of PPE issue can help refute claims for compensation, prove that the company is taking its responsibilities seriously and can identify unreasonable repeated issue resulting from abuse or careless loss of that equipment.


Make sure equipment is well looked after and properly stored when it is not being used, is kept clean and in good repair following any manufacturer’s maintenance schedule (including recommended replacement periods and shelf lives). Make sure suitable replacement PPE is always readily available.

Monitoring and Review

Periodically supervisors or other suitable management should review the provision, issue and use of PPE to ensure that it is being used correctly and meets the operational requirements of the organisation.

Further information:

health & safety, regulations, personal protective equipment, PPE