Personal protective equipment

Personal protective equipment (PPE) consists of items of equipment and clothing designed to protect you from a variety of hazards. The type of PPE that is designed to protect you from respiratory (breathing) hazards (such as the inhalation of dust and fumes) is called respiratory protective equipment (RPE).

Your employer must ensure the following.

  • A risk assessment is carried out to identify any hazards and risks, and what can be done to remove or control them without using PPE.
  • You are supplied with PPE free of charge, told why it is needed (whenever there is a hazard that cannot be removed or minimised to a safe level by other methods), how to adjust, fit and wear it, and what to do if it is damaged or lost.
  • You use the PPE supplied as and when necessary and in line with the information and instruction given.
PPE should only be used as a last resort.