16 Personal Protective Equipment


Personal Protective Equipment


Personal protective equipment/clothing (PPE/C) is held or worn by an individual in order to protect against foreseeable risks to which he/she is exposed during the course of his/her work. It must only be provided where these risks cannot be adequately controlled by other means. For example, eye protection is worn to prevent debris splatter entering the eye during dental treatment procedures. The aspirator does not remove all particles at source; therefore, PPE is required as a last resort. PPE also includes clothing if the clothing is intended to protect against a foreseeable risk.


  • Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992 (as amended 2002) (exceptions apply where marked*):

    Employers are required to select, provide and maintain suitable PPE and to ensure appropriate use, where risks cannot be adequately controlled by any other means.

  • Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974:

    Employers are required to ensure, so far as is reasonably possible, the health, safety and welfare of all employees.

  • Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999:

    Employers [are] to make suitable and sufficient assessments of risks to health and safety of employees to identify the measures needed to remove the risks or reduce to an acceptable level.

  • Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002* (exceptions apply):

    Requires employers to assess risks to health from exposure to hazardous substances by employees and prevent exposure where reasonably possible, where not possible to control exposure and protect health.

  • The Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005* (exceptions apply):

    Requires employers to prevent or reduce risks to health and safety from exposure to noise at work.

  • Personal Protective Equipment Regulations 2002:

    Responsibilities are placed on designers, manufacturers and suppliers of PPE to ensure PPE complies with safety requirements and the European Union (EU) ‘CE Mark’ is clearly visible.

Range of PPE and Risk Assessment

Personal protection includes equipment and clothing (PPE/C) (Figure 16.1). In this chapter, it includes that which is relevant to dental practice; therefore, other items have been excluded as they are not relevant to the dental profession. Relevant items are as follows:

  • Gloves
  • Safety footwear
  • Safety glasses
  • Face shield
  • Masks
  • Visors
  • Armlets
  • Clinical clothing1
  • Aprons
  • Ear protection2
  • Barrier creams/hand hygiene products3

Employer’s Responsibilities – the PPE/C Process

PPE is provided as a last resort. Therefore, in order to determine the need (1) for PPE/C, risk assessments mus/>

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Jan 5, 2015 | Posted by in General Dentistry | Comments Off on 16 Personal Protective Equipment
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