It is the responsibility of the Employer (or the individual, if a self-employed person) to adequately assess the risks to health and safety of all personnel in the workplace according to the current UK health & safety legislation. Once a risk assessment has been done, it needs to be decided whether measures can be taken to reduce the risk to an acceptable level by engineering the hazards out, or whether some form of PPE must be issued to the personnel affected.
PPE stands for personal protective equipment. This can take various forms, according to the nature of the hazard. Typically, PPE includes such items as safety eyewear, respirator masks, hearing protectors, hard hats, gloves, safety footwear, coveralls, etc.
RPE stands for Respiratory Protective Equipment. This will include such items as disposable masks, respirators with repaceable filters, powered respirators, or air-fed breathing apparatus. Each of these will have an Assigned Protection Factor (APF) which is the level of protection expected to be achieved when using the RPE correctly in the workplace. In each circumstance, the risks will need assessing to decide which form of RPE is the most suitable to protect against the contaminants involved.
This is the level of contamination (which is set by the HSE and normally measured in parts per million) of the concentration of an airborne substance, above which level precautions must be taken if exposure takes place. A full list of WEL’s is published (and updated regularly) by the UK Health & Safety Executive (HSE).
No, there are 3 levels of performance set out in the EN standard for filtering facepiece respirators. FFP1 is suitable for non toxic dust and particulates at concentrations up to 4 x WEL. FFP2 is suitable for fine toxic dust/mist/fumes at concentrations up to 10 x WEL. FFP3 is suitable for very fine toxic dust/mist/fumes at concentrations up to 20 x WEL. However, none of these are suitable if working in a confined space where there may be an oxygen defiency. For further advice, please consult your Health & Safety Advisor, or DGSA.
This is a form of activated carbon filter, which is designed to protect against a combination of hazards, which may include organic vapours (A) inorganic vapours (B) acid gases (E), and ammonia (K).
According to the 2002 COSHH (Control of Substances Hazardous to Health) Regulations, face fit testing of tight fitting RPE, such as disposable respirators and negative pressure half-masks, should be carried out to determine the suitability of the masks selected. Quite simply, if the mask doesn’t fit the face properly, it’s performance will be impaired. A simple to use Betafit face fit test kit is available, which when used by trained personnel, will enable you to quickly establish the effects of inward leakage of a particular mask for each individual user.
There are basically three categories of industrial eye protectors. (1) Safety spectacles which are suitable for general eye protection in low hazard areas. (2) Safety goggles for protection against impact, dust or even molten metal particles. (3) Face visors which will protect the wider area of the face (as well as the eyes). All of these are available in clear polycarbonate, some in clear acetate (for greater chemical resistance) and some in various tints for protection against glare.
This will depend entirely on the lighting conditions. There are too many variations to list here, so for further details on the choice of tinted lenses available, please consult our safety eyewear brochures accessible in our Safety Eyewear product categories. The VLT given is the Visible Light Transmission as a percentage.
This is designed to protect the head against bumps and scrapes, when working in a confined space (such as under a vehicle). They will not protect against falling objects in the same way as a hard hat does.
Most helmet manufacturers recommend that helmets should be stored out of direct sunlight (to protect from UV damage) and to avoid extreme temperatures. In normal use, a helmet should last for up to 3 years provided that it is not damaged or weakened by receiving a heavy impact, or excessive exposure to bright sunlight. Always check the condition of your helmet at regular intervals, and if in doubt, replace it with a new one. The cost is insignificant compared to it’s value as a head protector.
By using a professional sound level meter, such as the one shown in our Noisebeta product range. Noise is measured in decibels, and there are recommended limits for exposure to continuous noise levels above a threshold of 80 (average) dBA. For more details, consult our Noisebeta brochure under the Noisebeta Hearing Protection section of this website.
This requires a full sound level spectrum analysis by a competent person to do the job properly. In general terms, the greater the SNR (single number rating) of a hearing protector, the better the protection it will afford. However, the type of noise (in terms of high or low frequency) and the task involved will often be a determining factor in deciding which hearing protector is the most relevant. If in doubt, we suggest that you get professional advice from a trained Health & Safety advisor.
The Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations (amended 2005) state that “Every employer shall ensure that where the presence of more than one risk to health or safety makes it necessary for his employee to wear or use simultaneously more than one item of personal protective equipment, such equipment is compatible and continues to be effective against the risk or risks in question” This means that compatibility between masks and eyewear, for example, is essential if the wearer is going to be adequately protected in the workplace. For this reason, all Betafit safety eyewear is designed to work in harmony with our disposable respirators, for maximum comfort and protection at work.