Choosing PPE and workwear to protect against chemical hazards is often a complex task. Not only is it necessary to carry out detailed risk assessments which take into consideration both immediate and longer-term consequences of exposure to harmful chemicals, but it’s also necessary to balance cost, the level of protection and comfort and the practicality of washing and storage, etc. when making decisions.
This guide outlines key things to consider when choosing chemical safety clothing.
When choosing new PPE or dealing with a new chemical hazard, it is always advisable to have a clear conversation with your supplier or the manufacturer to ensure that the PPE is going to be suitable for purpose. No PPE can protect against all chemical hazards and it is important to understand the chemicals that are involved and also differences in ways that they can permeate or penetrate PPE.
Also check how often the PPE will need to be replaced to maintain safety standards.
Have appropriate checking, storage and replacement processes
Worn, damaged or old chemical safety clothing and PPE can be a serious safety risk. Ensure that there are good records of when PPE was acquired and when it will need to be replaced. Also ensure that there are good quality and damage checking procedures in place, which are carried out regularly by staff who have up-to-date training.
Remember CE Safety Marks are the minimum safety standard.
It’s important to remember that the CE safety standards which all PPE used for working with hazardous chemicals should comply to, are only set to the minimum safety standards. They are also complex and often misunderstood. This video from our supplier Lakeland Limited sets out how to avoid misunderstanding CE safety standards: https://blog.lakeland.com/europe/webinar-chemical-protective-clothing-how-to-avoid-pitfalls-of-misunderstanding-ce-standards