Safety Spotlight: PPE & Lock Out, Tag Out

For the month of February, we are putting in the spotlight two key areas relating to our Hazard of the Month, Unsuitable Equipment & PPE.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

A pair of orange ear muffs hanging off a post.Personal Protective Equipment is protective clothing, helmets, goggles, or other garments or equipment designed to protect the wearer’s body from injury when undertaking works. It is essential PPE is put to use correctly; if it is employed for unsuitable tasks or in incorrect ways, it can be rendered ineffective, such as when using respiratory masks that are not face fit tested.  Because of this, employers have duties concerning the provision and use of PPE at work as per the Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992, due to its important role in keeping employees safe in the workplace. PPE should also be provided, used, stored and maintained in the correct ways as determined by the type of PPE it is, the task it is being used for and the environment in which it is being used.

PPE can be a literal lifesaver when undertaking potentially harmful activities – for example, 50% of construction workers will suffer a serious eye injury during their career but 90% of all workplace eye injuries are preventable with the use of proper safety equipment. This is the same for the 25% of workers who are regularly exposed to noises at or above recommended limits – 99% of noise-induced hearing loss is preventable if proper hearing protection is used.

If you would like to learn more about this, our PPE course is perfect for any business which is aiming to improve the occupational health and safety of employees in the workplace. It is suitable for both employers and employee, as well as anyone with an interest in Health and Safety when performing work at home where PPE may be required.

Learn more about the course HERE.

Lock Out, Tag Out

A man completing work in a factory with protective gloves on.Work procedures are formed and adhered to, to keep people safe at work. However, many accidents occur during non-routine operations such as when equipment is being maintained, cleaned, fixed or unblocked. To prevent accidents, equipment should be made safe before such work takes place, and correct procedures followed to reinstate the equipment. Lock Out, Tag Out (LOTO) is an isolation process and one part of the effort for making equipment safe. Locking Out and Tagging Out should follow a five-step process, from planning to trying out, before work is carried out to help ensure a safe system of work. Specific steps should also be taken after work has finished but before restoring power.

The critical importance of this procedure cannot be overstated – serious workplace injuries are constantly occurring when workers go to repair or inspect machinery that has not been put in a proper safe or ‘off’ position. Just the other week the HSE reported on an incident where a worker’s arm was amputated after a rotating drum was restarted when his arm was in close proximity to it. It was found that the company had no risk assessment or safe system of work in place and they were fined a hefty £400,000.

If you are an employee or contractors involved with operating or maintaining machinery or plant, our Lock Out, Tag Out course would be hugely beneficial as part of either an induction process or as refresher training.

Learn more about the course HERE.

If these topics and their relevant courses are of interest, for this month only you can get a 10% DISCOUNT with the code ‘EquiPPEd20’! But be quick, as it will expire at the end of this month!