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PPE Inspection Checklists

Ensure employees are protected in the workplace with personal protective equipment (PPE) checklist templates

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Published September 16th, 2020

What are PPE Inspection Checklists?

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) inspection checklists are used by safety officials and supervisors to help identify tasks that require PPE, ensure staff is using the right equipment, and reduce overall harm. Inspections ensure that all PPE are of the correct specification and fitting, which also helps identify the “weakest link” in a safety and risk prevention program. Regular PPE inspections are vital to every organization involved in hazardous industries because PPE can become damaged or lose its effectiveness due to wear and tear, improper use and handling, and exposure to dirt, grit, chemicals, and other elements. Inspections ensure compliance and that PPE will last for a long time with minimum degradation.

What are the Maintenance Requirements for PPE?

There has been growing awareness and focus on the proper use of PPE, but even if workers in hazardous industries are trained on their proper usage, there’s still the problem of  proper care and maintenance. Even if workers wear PPE at all times during working or when exposed to certain hazards, this diligence means nothing if the PPE used has deteriorated or isn’t up to quality standards. In the US, OSHA puts the responsibility of ensuring workers are protected from harm and that PPE is always maintained on the employer’s shoulders. Aside from PPE maintenance, employers are also responsible for:

  • performing a hazard assessment of the workplace to identify and control hazards;
  • identifying and providing appropriate PPE to employees;
  • training employees in the use and care of PPE; and
  • periodically reviewing, updating, and evaluating the effectiveness of the PPE program.

Proper maintenance of PPE, unfortunately, is something that can still fall through the cracks if companies aren’t careful. It’s a consideration that should always be a top priority, especially for companies in hazardous industries like construction. Below are the main considerations in the proper maintenance of PPE.

For helmets:

  • Keep helmets clean by regularly washing them with warm water and soap.
  • Check headbands to ensure a comfortable fit.
  • Store helmets and other head protection gear away from extreme temperatures and conditions.
  • Replace helmets that are cracked, have dents, or are showing signs of wear and tear.

For protective eyewear:

  • Regularly clean eyewear with water and mild soap.
  • Always wash lenses with water before wiping them to prevent scratches caused by foreign objects.
  • Store eyewear in a durable dustproof case and keep in a safe place to avoid damage.
  • Replace any eyewear immediately if they are pitted, scratched, or worn out to the point that they impair vision.

For gloves:

  • Always keep gloves clean and dry.
  • Always check gloves for holes, cracks, and other damage before use.
  • Ensure whether gloves are reusable or not and, if reusable, take note of how long they can be reused safely before requiring replacement.
  • Replace damaged or worn gloves immediately.

For footwear:

  • Wipe wet or soiled footwear with a clean cloth before storage.
  • Air out footwear after work to keep dry.
  • Regularly check for signs of mold and fungus.
  • Users of protective footwear should change socks during breaks to keep feet and footwear dry.
  • Replace footwear at the first sign of damage and regularly check ones in use to ensure they are in good working condition.

What are the Types of PPE?

There are different types of PPE depending on the nature of work and the types of hazard present in the worksite. In some situations, disposable PPE may be provided. Regardless of the type of PPE, employers responsible for providing their employees with the proper PPE and ensuring that their working conditions are safe and ideal. Common PPE provided to employees include gloves, safety helmets, protective goggles, hazmat suits, safety harnesses, and ear plugs. Probably the best way to define the types of PPE is to know what clothing or equipment is not considered PPE. The following are not considered PPE:

  • Ordinary working clothes not designed to provide protection or to provide for workers’ safety
  • Clothing designed for food hygiene
  • Protective equipment used while traveling on public roads, such as motorcycle helmets and bicycle kneepads
  • Protective equipment used by players during competitive sports competitions
  • Weapons used for self-defense or as deterrent equipment, such as batons and CS gas canisters used by the police or military
  • Portable devices used for detecting risk, such as radiation-detecting badges and personal gas detectors

PPE Checklist Templates for Easy Inspections

The best PPE monitoring checklists are the ones that get filed out and filed regularly; these are the ones that provide insights that help avoid potential hazards and ensure that workers are always protected from the hazards of the job. By using a powerful inspection app like iAuditor by SafetyCulture, regular PPE inspections become easier with automated reports and easy access to your inspection data in real-time via the cloud. Use iAuditor to conduct regular PPE self-inspections, identify tasks that require PPE, and ensure that employees are using the right equipment. Get started with these free customizable PPE checklists to find out how you can prevent accidents at work.

Author

Alexis dela Cruz

SafetyCulture staff editor

Alex has been a professional writer and editor since 2007 and has worked with website developers, online retailers, and medical and healthcare professionals in the development of web content, content for blogs, and newsletter and manuscript content, respectively.