Personal protective equipment (PPE) is anything that can be worn to protect the user against risks to health and safety. Regarding protection from Covid-19, PPE items can include masks, face shields, goggles/eye protection, gloves, gowns/hooded gowns and shoe coverings. All of these items will not be required for protection in all environments, with many being needed only in healthcare settings or in areas of high risk of infection. It is however advisable to wear masks in any indoor areas, toilets and where social distancing is not possible.
What must employers know about PPE?
Employers have a responsibility to keep their employees safe, and the novel coronavirus is a significant risk to their safety. Employers should seek out medical grade PPE for their staff, this can consist of N95/FFP2 or surgical masks, gloves and face shields. Education should be provided to staff on how to use PPE and how to achieve the correct, safe fit of all equipment. Correct disposal practices for all PPE should be followed, and cleaning procedures or fresh PPE should be undertaken or supplied periodically.