Personal protective equipment (PPE)

Types of PPE and protective clothing

Personal protective equipment and clothing can include:

  • overalls and protective aprons
  • protective headgear - safety helmets, wide brimmed hats to protect against the sun
  • safety boots or shoes
  • safety glasses or goggles
  • gloves
  • respirators and masks
  • earmuffs and earpieces

Use of PPE

Key point: When hazards in the workplace can't be eliminated or reduced by other risk controls, employers must provide personal protective equipment and clothing (PPE).

Employees must be instructed in how to use PPE and clothing provided by the employer. They should be told why the use of PPE is necessary before they start the particular job for which it has been provided.

Where PPE is provided, you must use it as you have been instructed to do.

Employers should make sure that the PPE they purchase complies with the relevant Australian Standard.

They must make sure that PPE is stored in a clean and fully operational condition, that it can be easily found when needed and that it is safe from interference and damage.

PPE should be inspected regularly and before use to make sure it is in good working order. Damaged or defective PPE must be reported at once. It must be tagged (to prevent its use until it has been repaired), or thrown away and replaced.


Students can complete the following PPE activities: