How to manage personal protective equipment (PPE)?

Posted on April 24 2023

Reading time: 5 minutes

Personal protective equipment (PPE) is essential to protect workers from occupational hazards. It is designed to protect the most vulnerable parts of the body from occupational accidents and illnesses. The proper use of PPE helps to ensure a safe and healthy work environment for all employees. Good PPE management is therefore essential!

Management of personal protection equipment PPE

The importance of personal protective equipment (PPE) management procedures

Workplace accidents show the importance of protection and prevention in the workplace. Employers have a responsibility to provide personal protective equipment (PPE) when there is a risk to the health and safety of employees that cannot be controlled by other means.

Personal protective equipment (PPE) is used to protect employees from hazards that may threaten their health and safety. For example: helmets, safety glasses and safety boots are designed to reduce the risk of injury in the event of an accident.

It is important to remember that this equipment is protection. They reduce the risk, but they do not eliminate the hazard. They should be used as a last line of defense.

Legal obligations

Employers must take the necessary measures to protect the health and safety of workers. Therefore, they must provide workers with free personal protective equipment that is:

  • Appropriate to the risks to be prevented
    periodically checked
  • Changed after the expiration date
  • Accompanied by instructions for use and a certificate of conformity
  • Properly maintained and stored

PPE compliance procedures

To ensure optimal worker protection, employers must develop a PPE management program. To ensure the quality and condition of equipment, rigorous procedures must be in place within the company.

Establish a PPE register

The register allows you to have an overview of the PPE and to have easy access to the history of the checks carried out. The aim is to ensure the traceability of the various controls and periodic checks that the equipment must satisfy. The register must contain the following information: 

  • Type of material
  • Brand
  • Model
  • Serial number

The log serves as a tracking sheet for PPE. It is important to attach the supplier’s information sheets for each piece of PPE. To ensure equipment compliance, the employer should look at the information in the manufacturer’s instruction manual. It contains instructions for storage, use, cleaning, maintenance, expiration date, etc.

equipment management schedule

Free 15 day trial

Management software for your equipment

Think of Hector to manage your equipment!

Hector is an equipment management software for PPE. Don’t lose track of your equipment anymore, and be alerted for verifications and expiration dates!

Try it now

Periodic verification of PPE

Periodic checks carried out under the responsibility of the employer help to verify the conformity of PPE and reduce the risk of work accidents. The frequency of the checks must be adapted to the constraints to which the PPE is subjected.

Usually, they should be checked at least once every 12 months, but some PPE must be checked more regularly. It is important to take into account the information provided by the manufacturer in the instruction manual. The results of these periodic checks must be added to the logbook.

During the checks, it must be ensured that the performance of the PPE is not impaired by age, that it is not broken and that the expiration date has not been reached. For example, a scratched or cracked safety goggle should be replaced since it is no longer safe for employees. When PPE is found to be non-compliant, it is imperative that this be noted in the logbook and the item discarded.

During audits, update the information in the PPE file:

  • The date
  • Auditor’s name
  • Condition of the equipment

A management software that facilitates the follow-up

Using inventory management software can make it easier to manage PPE compliance procedures. It allows you to keep all important documents such as invoices and information sheets in one place for easy retrieval. You’ll also have access to a complete history of checks.

You can also receive alerts when the stock quantity reaches the minimum threshold so that you can place an order in time. You will also receive alerts when it is time to perform periodic checks.

Inventory management software makes it easy to track PPE compliance procedures. Be assured that your employees’ equipment is checked periodically and according to the recommendations in the PPE manual.

Start the free trial