Introduction to this document

Personal protective equipment assessment

Prior to issuing any personal protective equipment (PPE), such as safety shoes, gloves and masks, you are legally required to make an assessment of its suitability. Use our form to record your assessment.

Legal requirement

The employer’s duty to assess PPE comes from the Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992. They make it clear that the process of selecting PPE often needs to be explained in writing. Our Personal Protective Equipment Assessment helps you do just that.

Note. If your choices about PPE are basic you don’t need to record them in a detailed risk assessment. An example would be if you provide rubber gloves for washing up and high-visibility vests for fire marshals. However, as HSE guidance explains, recording it is necessary when the selection process is more complex.

Note. You should only consider PPE when you have taken all reasonable steps to control the risks by other means, e.g. segregating vehicles and pedestrians, extracting fumes at source, etc. Therefore, before your PPE assessment, review the hazards and carry out a risk assessment to identify the risk control measures necessary.

How should you use the form?

If you have a diverse operation you will find it easier to complete one form per department or work activity. This also makes the completed assessment a more useful reference tool. By using it to target specific areas it can be filed with your general risk assessments, project documentation, departmental safety procedures, etc.

Use the completed document when instructing staff, including new starters, in the PPE requirements of their job. This might include items which they must be issued with as standard or wear, as well as protective clothing required for specialist tasks.

As with any safety documentation it’s important that you review your PPE assessments periodically.