PPE: Clothing and Safety Equipment
For head to toe protection, Safewear are the South West’s go-to PPE suppliers.
Our extensive range of PPE workwear covers both general safety clothing and specialist clothing and equipment for specific industries including multinorm operations (e.g. oil rigs and refineries), where multiple EN specifications are required.
What is PPE?
PPE stands for Personal Protective Equipment and covers the full range of clothing and safety equipment worn and used by the UK’s diverse workforce.
PPE enables you as an employer to meet your obligations under EU directive 89/686/EEC and under HSE, COSHH and other safety legislation which demands that you minimise risk to employees and provide them with adequate protection.
Understanding the EN Standard
PPE equipment and clothing has to conform to strict quality standards, most notably the EN standard.
EN stands for European Normalisation and each type and sub-type of PPE clothing and equipment must meet both general (e.g. EN 340) and industry-specific standards (e.g. EN 149 for respirators).
The Safewear PPE Clothing and Equipment Range
Helmets and head protection
Head protection comes in two basic forms: helmets (EN 397), for protecting workers from falling debris, and bump caps (EN 812) which provide protection from bumps and scrapes only.
Respirators and face masks
From asbestos fibres to poisonous gases and liquid aerosols, PPE legislation determines the type of mask or breathing apparatus required for different forms of exposure.
Standards include EN 140 (half and quarter face masks); EN 149 (filtering half face masks with three classes of protection); EN 405 (valved filtering half face masks); EN 136 (full face masks) and EN 270 (compressed line breathing apparatus with hood).
We now offer a face-fitting service! Companies are being denied contracts simply because they are unable to prove that their face mask is fitted correctly. This is due to the risk of legal action over employee exposure to substances such as asbestos dust. Workwear can fit your entire team’s masks and provide you with the necessary proof to help you secure that contract.
Ear protection, which comes under the EN 352 standard, must be worn in any work environment which exposes employees to 80db of noise for sustained periods (e.g. working with pneumatic drills). Hearing damage tends to develop over many years which is why it is important to adhere to this precaution even where workers are comfortable with the noise.
Visors, goggles, face shields and safety spectacles are included in this category. In addition to protecting the delicate structure of the eye from flying debris and foreign objects, some types of safety glasses will block harmful UV rays or other forms of radiation.
Eye protection is designated under the EN 166 standard and further characters indicate additional protective properties (e.g. EN 166 9 face shields are resistant to molten metal and other hot solids).
Safewear can supply a wide range of PPE gloves for protecting hands from chemical, thermal and mechanical damage as well as more industry-specific hazards.
General safety gloves are governed by the EN 420 standard but there are many other standards for specific protection purposes such as EN 407 (heat and fire), EN 12477 (molten metal, including wrist protection), EN 511 (cold) and EN 374 (chemicals and micro-organisms).
Safety boots and footwear
There are many different types of safety footwear from steel toe cap boots to rigger boots and safety shoes. To meet PPE regulations, it is important to ensure you select the right type of footwear for the hazards your employees will encounter.
All Safewear safety boots and shoes include steel caps and midsole protection. EN ISO 20345 sets out the basic standard for safety footwear (e.g. 200J toe cap) while EN ISO 20346 sets out the basic standard for protective footwear (e.g. 100J toe cap). Further letters then specify additional properties such as pierce resistance, anti-static, water resistance, anti-slip, etc.
Safewear also offer a good selection of first aid kits, eye baths and other emergency supplies to ensure your workforce receive prompt treatment in the case of an accident at work.
This is just a selection of the most commonly requested PPE safety equipment and clothing. If you need something specific for a particular purpose (e.g. knee pads for carpet fitters), please don’t hesitate to contact us. Enjoy free delivery on orders over £100.