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Personal Protective Equipment

According to the OHS Act, any employees working in a situation where they may be exposed to risk or potential risk are required to wear personal protective equipment (PPE). Examples of PPE include safety shoes, hard hats, gloves, aprons, eye protection, ear protection.

It is important to do a risk assessment of all work activities. If an employee is working in a situation where s/he may be exposed to risk or potential risk, s/he will be required to wear personal protective equipment (PPE).

Compliance

By law, the employer may not permit any employee to work "unless such an employee uses the required safety equipment or facility provided" - see GSR 2(6) below. 

It is the responsibility of the employee to obey health and safety rules and procedures

Managers / supervisors may wish to make use of the following resources to ensure compliance:

  • Signage should be in place instructing employees to make use of PPE.

  • SA Labour Guide forum: Search for info or ask a question at http://phpbb.labourguide.co.za/index.php

  • Free online course: with clear and simple explanations of PPE: http://www.free-training.com/osha/ppe/PPEMENU.HTM

  • Noise and Dust: presentation to GWG by Dr Graeme van der Meer (ENT Specialist Surgeon) 

  • Safety shoes: Rhodes University Maintenance Stores issues a standard safety boot (with protective steel cap), Lamaitre. If staff choose to wear the more expensive Hamberg or Saltilla soft safety shoe, they should discuss with their manager regarding the cost difference. [page under development, please visit again]

An extract from the Occupational Health and Safety Act (1993), General Safety Regulations - retrieved June 09, 2009, from http://www.acts.co.za/ohs/index.htm:

2. Personal safety equipment and facilities

1. Subject to the provisions of paragraphs (f), (g), (h) and (i) of regulation 5 of the General Administrative Regulations published under Government Notice R. 2206 of 5 October 1984, every employer and every user of machinery shall make an evaluation of the risk attached to any condition or situation which may arise from the activities of such employer or user, as the case may be, and to which persons at a workplace or in the course of their employment or in connection with the use of machinery are exposed, and he shall take such steps as may under the circumstances be necessary to make such condition or situation safe. (Replaced by GAR, 1994 by Government Notice R. 17403 of 6 September, 1996.)

2. Where it is not practicable to safeguard the condition or situation contemplated in subregulation (1), the employer or user of machinery, as the case may be, shall take steps to reduce the risk as much as is practicable, and shall provide free of charge and maintain in a good and clean condition such safety equipment and facilities as may be necessary to ensure that any person exposed to any such condition or situation at a workplace or in the course of his employment or on premises where machinery is used is rendered safe.

3. Taking into account the nature of the hazard that is to be countered, and without derogating from the general duties imposed on employers and users of machinery by subregulations (1) and (2), the safety equipment and facilities contemplated in subregulation (2) shall include, as may be necessary --

a. suitable goggles, spectacles, face shields, welding shields, visors, hard hats, protective helmets, caps, gloves, gauntlets, aprons, jackets, capes, sleeves, leggings, spats, gaiters, protective footwear, protective overalls, or any similar safety equipment or facility of a type that will effectively prevent bodily injury;

b. waterproof clothing, high-visibility clothing, chemical-resistant clothing, low temperature clothing, chain mail garments, waders, fire retardant or flame-proof clothing, ice-jackets, or any similar safety equipment of a type that will effectively protect the wearer thereof against harm;

c. belts, harnesses, nets, fall arresters, life lines, safety hooks, or any similar equipment of a type that will effectively protect persons against falls;

d. mats, barriers, locking-out devices, safety signs, or any similar facility that will effectively prevent slipping, unsafe entry or unsafe conditions;

e. protective ointments, ear-muffs, ear-plugs, respirators, breathing apparatus, masks; air lines, hoods, helmets, or any similar safety equipment or facility of a type that will effectively protect against harm;

f. suitable insulating material underfoot where persons work on a floor made of metal stone, concrete or other similar material; and

g. generally, such safety equipment or facilities as may be necessary to render the persons concerned safe.

4. An employer or a user of machinery, as the case may be, shall take steps to ensure that no safety equipment or facility provided as required by this or any other regulation is removed from a workplace or from premises where machinery is used, except for purposes of cleaning, repair, maintenance, modification, mending or replacement, and no person shall remove any such safety equipment or facility from a workplace or premises where machinery is used, except for the aforesaid purposes.

5. An employer shall instruct his employees in the proper use, maintenance and limitations of the safety equipment and facilities provided.

6. An employer shall not require or permit any employee to work unless such an employee uses the required safety equipment or facility provided in terms of this or any other regulation.

7. The provisions of this regulation shall not be construed as derogating from the provisions of any specific regulation prescribing specific safety equipment or facilities.

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Last Modified :Thu, 01 Jun 2017 11:33:59 SAST