In the UK there are a stringent set of regulations that have been put in place to protect both workers and the general public alike. It was under the Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992 that new laws surrounding the uniform of those working in high-risk dangerous conditions were introduced.
Despite the importance that has been placed on wearing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) at work, few are actually aware of all the outdoor workwear regulations that could affect them. From the use of dangerous tools to ear protection to safety standards, today we will be taking a look at all the UK outdoor workwear regulations you might not know about – but definitely should.
The Use of Dangerous Tools Outdoors
Using power tools such as chainsaws and drills presents serious risks in the workplace, both indoors and outdoors. For those working with such tools, it is legally required that workers must be provided with and wear the correct PPE which includes chainsaw boots, trousers and helmets as well as face visors and ear protection.
It is also of the upmost importance that all workers have been properly trained before using dangerous tools and can also asses the risks around them prior to completing any tasks. Upon health and fitness training, workers found to have conditions that affect their mobility, vision or balance may not be suitable to carry out this particular type of work or handle such equipment.
Below is a list of PPE that must be worn when handling dangerous tools and the safety standards each piece of equipment must conform to:-
- Trousers must conform to EN 381-5 standards
- Gloves must conform to EN 381-7 standards
- Helmets must conform to EN397 standards
- Boots must conform to BS EN ISO 20345 standards
- Hearing protection must conform to EN 352-1 standards
- Mesh visors and safety glasses must conform to EN 166 standards
Full Body Protection
There are a number of hazards that workers face on a daily basis, and therefore the appropriate PPE must always be provided to protect from such dangers – from head protection to foot protection. We will be taking a look at the different areas of the body which must be protected when completing dangerous tasks, as well as when these hazards are likely to occur and the safety equipment which should be worn.
Head Protection – Helmets and bump caps are the most popular form of head protection. It’s important that when working in conditions with falling debris, a strong safety helmet is worn to protect the head from blunt force.
Ear Protection – Industrial machinery can make work places very noisy and it is therefore important that employees are provided with earplugs and earmuffs if they are being exposed to loud sounds for a long period of time.
Face & Eye Protection – From splashes, gases, vapours and just plain old dust, there are a number of different elements that can irritate employee’s eyes when working on outdoor sites. Suitable forms of eye and face protection include goggles, spectacles, face shields and visors.
Hand & Foot Protection – Broken glass, nails and machinery all pose a threat to the hands and feet of workers in tough, industrial, outdoor environments. Safety boots featuring toe and midsole protection as well as protective gloves should be worn as an absolute minimum.
Personal Protective Equipment Safety Standards
Under the Personal Protective Equipment Regulations 2002, all safety equipment must now be CE marked to indicate that the equipment has been tested to withstand the toughest environments and also conforms to European Union standards.
It is also the responsibility of the employer to ensure that all PPE worn is of a high-quality and regular wear and checks should be made. PPE must also be stored in an environment where it won’t become damaged and all employees should be made aware of where and how such equipment is stored.
As an employee, if you’re concerned that PPE is not being supplied free of charge, or is not suitable for all members of staff, then you can get in contact with an occupational safety consultant or seek advice from the HSE guidance online.
On the flip side, employers worried about their role in providing PPE should speak to a health and safety lawyer to ensure all the appropriate measures are being taken in order to comply with the law.
After all that, you should be fully up-to-date with all the UK outdoor workwear regulations that affect you.
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