What Is The Principle Behind The Use Of Personal Protective Equipment?

Personal protective equipment (PPE) is something all construction workers have in common. PPE is designed to protect against safety and/or health hazards. Hard hats, safety glasses, and safety boots, for instance, are designed to prevent or reduce the severity of injury if an accident occurs.

Other PPE, such as hearing and respiratory protection, is designed to prevent illnesses and unwanted health effects. It is important to remember that PPE only provides protection. It reduces the risk but does not eliminate the hazard.

Legal Requirements
While common to all trades, PPE varies according to individual, job, and site conditions. Legal requirements for personal protective equipment also vary and the appropriate sections of the construction regulation (O. Reg. 213/91) under the Occupational Health and Safety Act should be consulted.

The Occupational Health and Safety Act makes employers and supervisors responsible for ensuring that required PPE is worn. This does not mean that the employer must provide PPE but only ensure that it is provided by someone.

Workers, meanwhile, have a duty under the Act to wear or use PPE required by the employer. This addresses situations where the regulations may not require PPE but the employer has set additional health and safety standards, such as mandatory eye protection.

The construction regulation (O. Reg. 213/91) broadly requires that such protective clothing, equipment, or devices be worn “as are necessary to protect the worker against the hazards to which the worker may be exposed.” It also requires that the worker be trained in the use and care of this equipment.

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