Personal protective equipment (PPE) includes: 

  • safety glasses, goggles or face shields
  • ear muffs and ear plugs
  • masks, respirators and cartridge filters
  • gloves
  • protective clothing
  • a hard hat
  • steel-capped boots/shoes
  • harnesses attached by cables to anchors (for working at height).

Wear appropriate PPE when you are:

  • cutting, sanding or grinding materials
  • using corrosive chemicals
  • exposed to fungi or mould
  • exposed to other airborne pollutants such as dust, fumes or vapours
  • working with noisy equipment.

While protective equipment is important, it should be regarded as the last line of defence. Eliminating or minimising risk are the first priorities. For example, if your work is producing a great deal of dust, try to control it:

  • Spray work areas with water where possible to stop dust getting into the air.
  • Don’t sweep up dust – use a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter.
  • When buying new cutting or grinding equipment, look for models with a dust collection device or a water system to the blade.