Warehouses can be hazardous places to work if the right precautions aren’t taken. A key part of any warehouse safety plan should involve Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Here’s why warehouse PPE requirements are so important and what they include.
What is PPE?
PPE is clothing and equipment that are needed to keep workers and visitors safe. Rules can vary from employer to employer about the exact items that are needed but generally they’re required to provide PPE to workers for free.
If you’re not sure that the clothing provided meets the right standards to keep you safe during work, then you should check EU regulations.
Why is Warehouse PPE Important?
Without the right PPE, workers are more at risk of sustaining injuries when working in a warehouse. They should be adopted into your health and safety policy to make sure anyone onsite is protected from the hazards you’d usually expect to find.
Detailed risk assessments should determine the hazards that warehouse workers face. By knowing the risks, you can work out which PPE items are needed to reduce the chance of serious injuries. The hazards include:
Falling heavy items.
Long periods of loud noise.
Dust or other particles.
There are safety procedures to minimise these risks but in some instances, the best course of action is to give workers PPE. Warehouse PPE requirements are important because they can keep someone safe and prevent a near miss from becoming a serious injury.
The PPE Your Warehouse Needs
Some of the most common PPE items are:
Hard hats provide effective protection against any kind of falling object. If there’s work happening high up or if there’s an outdoor area that can be affected by wind, then hard hats are essential PPE at your warehouse. They should be given to all visitors that might be spending time on site.
High visibility clothing is a must for anyone working in low-light areas of the warehouse but also for workers that are near to vehicles. For example, forklift drivers should be easily able to spot anyone close by so they can easily avoid them. Dark clothing makes it harder to see them and more likely for injuries to occur.
It’s crucial that warehouse workers wear the right kind of shoes during shifts. Not only do safety shoes offer extra protection, they also provide the wearer with the comfort and support they need to be on their feet all day.
Look for shoes that have been awarded safety certificates as they’re more likely to protect your feet, ankles and toes from any falling objects. They should also be slip-resistant to keep you safe from any slips, trips or falls.
X111081 are shoes with a steel toe, tapered outsole to minimise tripping and clog-resistant outsole, making them perfect for any kind of warehouse work.
X111081 is waterproof, CE and S3 certified and comfortable.
Needed to protect your hands from harmful substances and to prevent cuts and blisters. Available in different materials depending on the work that’s carried out, they allow you to get on with the task at hand without worrying about your hands.
Respiratory protection is needed for anyone working with airborne substances or hazardous materials. Dust masks and disposable respirators might be needed in some cases, so always determine whether there’s a risk of inhaling anything before carrying out a job without a mask.
Reviewing Your Warehouse’s PPE Policy
Your warehouse might have a PPE policy in place that’s become a little outdated. Once an assessment is carried out, it should be regularly reviewed and evaluated to ensure it’s still completing its primary purpose of protecting workers.
Risk assessments should be updated and reviewed each time a new member of staff joins the team. It shouldn’t be carried out just by the management team because they might not be aware of the specific risks faced by workers each day. By involving each and every warehouse worker in the process, you’re able to create a comprehensive assessment.
Even if you’ve been working in the warehouse for years, you should still receive regular health and safety training. Everyone should be able to identify the hazards in the warehouse, the precautions that should be taken and any PPE that’s needed.
The PPE policy should include the need for there always to be enough PPE to go around for all workers and any visitors. No one should have to go without potentially life-saving equipment because all of the hard hats are in use, for example.
PPE should be continually checked for faults and general wear and tear. For example, if a respirator isn’t working properly, then it could be allowing a worker to breathe in harmful materials. The respirator should be taken out of use as soon as it’s reported as being faulty and replaced immediately.
Workers should be encouraged to report faults as soon as possible and removed from use. They need to be cleaned and stored correctly to make sure they’re in good working condition.
How Safe is Your Warehouse?
If you’re worried that your warehouse isn’t up to safety standards and you’re concerned about the safety of your colleagues, then download our guide for more information. It features questions to ask yourself about your warehouse and tips for keeping safe while at work.
Download your free copy of our guide now using the link below.