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PPE - Is yours up to scratch?

The ACoP Safety and Health in Forest Operations – (s.3, page 28) states that the“…employer shall provide all appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) to protect employees from harm due to any hazard at the work area, and shall ensure it is used correctly, inspected and maintained to fulfil its protective function.”

A recent review of PPE, notably of chainsaw boots and high visibility (Hi-Vis) clothing shows that we need to give our attention to PPE… and recalibrate our thinking!

The figures above, marked (1) through (3), clearly demonstrate three important lessons:

  • Figure (1) – Shows Hi-Vis clothing that has clearly degraded, through use, to the point that the garment no longer serves as an ‘alert to a worker’s presence’. 

  • Figure (2) – Displays part of a Hi-Vis jacket fitted with ‘retro-reflective’ tape. This garment, photographed in poor light, is near new. Can you notice the difference that the Day/Night (D/N) tape makes, as it catches and reflects a light source?

  • Figure (3) – Shows a Level 4 chainsaw (cut-resistant) boot, manufactured in January 2014. It did not prevent a laceration to the operators’ foot (see Safety Bulletin #92).

The technical analysis report notes, “…the sole has worn down to the upper in parts and the upper rubber has suffered extensive cuts across the toe, vamp and forefoot.” This allowed “moisture damage to the protection system and delamination.” In short, this “…boot was compromised…” and no longer able to fulfil its protective function!

View this article in Health and Safety Bulletin 94