Updated: Dec 20, 2021
Is your PPE compliant to AS/NZ Standards?
No one can miss the bright orange glow of hi-viz being worn on the worksite but did you know you can’t just buy any old thing?
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) needs to be compliant to AS/ NZ standards.
Most PPE items in NZ undergo tests to meet AS/NZ standards. The items should have markings on the products that show this, or will be advertised in store stating that they
meet AS/NZ standards.
If product does not meet standards PCBU are at risk of not having practicable protection for your workers and should injury occur may face fines.
If you are unsure a product meets standards ask your PPE retailer, they will be able to provide documentation regarding standard certification.
“PPE - the last line of defence”
Finding the certification
If PPE is certified you will find a marking or sticker on the product. Shoes will have the marking on the tonged, jackets on the labels and glasses even have the marking on the arm bands.
Some products have addition ratings to show the performance levels.
For example gloves have a EN388 mechanical rating to show cut, puncture, abrasion, tear and impact resistance. These ratings are shown on the gloves.
If you are unsure of what you require speak to your PPE provider about the work you are doing. Most PPE providers have specialists that you can offer documentation of trials that relate to your industry.
Using PPE to manage Risks
PPE may be used or worn to minimise health and safety risks. PPE should only be used when other control measures alone can not adequately eliminate or minimise risks. PPE should not be the first or only control considered and WorkSafe expects PCBU’s to give
preference to other controls to protect. PPE is the last line of defense.
If PPE is supplied to a worker they must be trained to maintain and how to wear the equipment properly. Workers must wear the equipment if it is provided.
When selecting PPE think about:
What are workers and others are exposed to that requires PPE gear?
What tasks do workers need to carry out while wearing PPE?
What other PPE will be worn at the same time?
Do workers have prescription glasses, facial hair or other features/ religious items that could affect PPE?
Industry specific requirements
Standards for the PPE (does it have certification)
The views of the workers (is the PPE comfortable)?
Risk Consideration Hierarchy
Find out more about PPE compliancy and PCBU/ worker obligations at www.worksafe.co.nz