PPE Storage In the Workplace: Are You Breaking The Rules?

Over recent months you will no doubt have heard a lot about PPE - from shortages in supply chains to innovative businesses pivoting their products to produce PPE equipment. And as many businesses think about returning to work, amongst their primary concerns is keeping their teams, visitors and customers safe. Yet many of those businesses believe that just by ordering PPE they've done enough to meet their legal requirements without realising that the on-going storage and maintenance is just as crucial. Read on to discover why storing your PPE safely is vital for your business.

WHAT IS PPE?

PPE refers to a whole host of kit and equipment intended to minimise the risk of infection and injury to people working or visiting a place of business. Items often included in PPE are goggles, masks, aprons / overalls, jackets, boots but may also include hygiene items such as wipes and sanitisers for personal use.

DO BUSINESSES HAVE TO PROVIDE PPE?

Yes. As far back as the Health & Safety at Work Act (1974), businesses were given responsibility for ensuring that they provide, free of charge, any and all equipment required to keep employees and visitors safe, as identified by the nominated Health & Safety official on site. Employers have a clear duty of care to ensure that the provision of PPE in the workplace is known, understood and adhered to by all employees (click here for details of the HSE guidelines).

However, PPE is seen as the 'last resort' and especially in the current circumstances the provision of PPE alone will not be enough to satisfy an employers duty of care. All other appropriate risk management solutions must be taken in conjunction with the use of PPE, for example using social distancing and split shifts to manage interaction between teams. There are a number of other precautions which could and should be taken prior to, and in conjunction with PPE to minimise the risk to employees.

WHY DOES PPE NEED STORING SAFELY?

The sole purpose of PPE is to minimise the risk of injury or infection and this can only be effective if it is in optimum condition, as intended at the time of manufacture. Safety goggles stored on a window ledge can risk getting cracked from items falling onto them, or damaged by sun glare. Open boxes of gloves stored on a desk can be a magnet for germs as people touch and move the box. And from a resource perspective, overuse of PPE against agreed parameters can quickly rack up costs.

The new EU Regulations for PPE released in 2016 made it explicitly clear that employers must ensure ''that PPE is maintained in an efficient state and that there is appropriate accommodation for storage'' (click here for more details) . The UK HSE recommendations are that when not in use PPE should be looked after in a clean, dry cupboard.

BENEFITS OF STORING PPE SAFELY IN THE WORKPLACE

  1. SAFETY : More than anything, by securely storing PPE equipment in a specified cupboard all employees and visitors can be confident that they are using items that are fit for purpose and offer maximum effectiveness.
  2. CONSISTENCY: By training all employees on the use, storage and procedures for PPE in your specific workplace YOU can be confident that your team are protected, minimising waste and reducing the risk of transmitting infections to the wider workplace.
  3. ACCESS CONTROL: with all PPE stored in one place you have the complete overview of what is being used and when so you can better plan for the future about which PPE is most valuable for your team.
  4. HYGIENE: storing PPE in a specific cupboard ensures it can be kept neat, tidy and as hygienic as possible to minimise any further contamination from different areas of the workplace.

HOW JAMES BEDFORD'S PPE CABINETS PROTECT YOUR TEAM:

Here at James Bedford we've been manufacturing PPE cabinets for industry for over 40 years. Our full range of standard PPE cabinets offer:

  • A variety of sizes across small, medium and large with either single or double doors
  • A choice of solid steel or mesh door options
  • Combination of shelves and hanging rails depending on they type of PPE storage required
  • Reinforced rebated doors secured by a 3 way locking chrome lever handle
  • PremierShield coating that kills 99% of bacteria on contact
  • Grey body and Sky Blue doors with the appropriate labelling for easy identification
  • Application of casters for mobile options or floor stand for raised positions
  • 20% DISCOUNT WHEN PURCHASED ON LINE UNTIL THE END OF JUNE 2020

View the full range of PPE cabinets and order here or call the sales team on 01924 442048 if you have a specific requirement.