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    MYTH BUSTERS: ‘BLANKET’ POLICIES FOR PPE

    Employer should demonstrate ‘blanket’ is the ‘appropriate’ approach

    The HSE Challenge Panel provides a mechanism for anyone to challenge advice on health and safety which is “disproportionate or inaccurate”.

    The panel offer its opinion on whether the advice was correct and proportionate in terms of its interpretation of the requirements of health and safety legislation. The Panel consider the overall facts of the case and the findings are made publicly available.

    The Challenge Panel Chair is Judith Hackitt, Chair of HSE and HSE Board member Robin Dahlberg is Vice-Chair. They are supported by a pool of independent panel members who have a wide range of experience and backgrounds in managing risk on a day-to-day basis.

    In considering (Case 149) a blanket requirements for turban wearing Sikhs in non-construction sectors to wear a hard had HSE has give some limited guidance on ‘blanket’ PPE policies in general which are increasingly adopted on construction projects.

    The panel opined:

    “PPE including hard hats should only be specified for use where there are risks to health and safety that cannot be adequately controlled in other ways. Employers should limit the requirement for hard hats to those areas where there are real risks and only apply a blanket policy requiring them to be worn in cases where the employer can demonstrate that this is the only appropriate way of dealing with the risks.”

    HSE has also published responses to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) concerning use of PPE in the construction sector.

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