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PPE Categories for Safety Wear

Flipping through the pages of your average company’s Health and Safety manual you may well be bemused by the amount of Personal Protective Equipment (often shortened to PPE) that is required.

The type of safety wear used in the workplace will vary depending on what the company does, but if you’re one of the people responsible for the purchasing and maintenance of this equipment, it’s down to you to make sure you have the right gear. However, how do you know precisely what you need?

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Types of safety clothing fit for purpose

The vast majority of businesses will require only the most basic of safety wear but it is still vital that it’s of good quality. For example, if you have staff that needs to work outside during cold or inclement weather, they will need to be supplied with Category 1 clothing.

This provides protection against the elements and includes the kind of jackets and trousers you may see worn by road workers or builders during winter, keeping them warm and able to work without succumbing to uncomfortable conditions.

Most people will be aware of the kind of clothing you will find covered under Category 2 of the PPE Standards. High visibility garments are included in this section, the kind you’ll see in almost every country in the company which operates a warehouse or needs to ensure that their workers can be seen no matter what the surroundings.

They may also be worn by office workers who have a responsibility to ensure the safety of their fellow workers; for example, fire wardens who need to get their colleagues out of the building during an incident or drill.