Every business should have a personal protective equipment strategy in place whether staff sit at a computer or handle toxic chemicals. In light of recent events, this strategy is ever-more important, and there will be a range of extra things to consider protecting your workforce.
Adapting and updating your PPE and broader health and safety processes can be challenging, depending on your industry. However, there are some key considerations that every strategy should have, and these are detailed below:
Carry out a risk assessment
Before you start to plan the strategy for your business, a risk assessment needs to be conducted. This assessment will look at every aspect of the company operations and identify hazards to the workforce. This initial look into the areas that require PPE will examine how people require safety equipment and how much you need to carry out everyday tasks safely. The added requirements for the recent pandemic also mean that extra elements need to be considered, such as face coverings and screening.
A crucial part of the PPE strategy is training. Your company may have all the right equipment, but if people do not know how to use it, it is counterproductive. Everyone needs adequate training on what they use and how to use it. It is also crucial to impart knowledge of your employees on how to identify risk and carefully equip themselves to avoid danger in the workplace.
Using the correct equipment
There are several suppliers of personal protective equipment. However, it is essential to choose the appropriate equipment for the job. Employees must have a safe and well-fitted kit to ensure they are safe at all times. Suppliers such as medical-supermarket.com have a wide selection of equipment to assist across all departments, including overalls and gowns, to face and hair covers. For the recent risks due to COVID-19, there are also thermometers, sanitizing gel and cleaners to reduce the risk for all staff.
Businesses come into contact with external risks every day, so this needs to be a part of your overall strategy. A significant part of this area will involve identifying potential risks that could come in from deliveries, outside contractors, or if your staff work off-site.
Responsibilities as an employer
Business owners have a responsibility to ensure their workforce is safe to conduct their daily duties. This aspect needs to be incorporated into the strategy, as it will detail these areas and how to ensure you comply with regulations. It is also an area that needs to be kept up to date as changes frequently occur in the health and safety arena. You should also have a plan in place in regard to changes in government policy and ensure that a health and safety officer is available to answer questions and manage the responsibilities.
After you’ve completed your PPE strategy, regular reviews need to take place to ensure you are equipped for changes that could happen quickly and without warning.
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