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Promotion, precautions, and checklist for a Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) program

Updated: Feb 7, 2022

How can I promote the PPE program?

The overall goal of a safer workplace is supported by a careful promotional strategy. This strategy focuses on:

  • commitment by management and workers to the program and a sense of responsibility for it

  • the reasons for the program, and

  • how the program will work.

The success of the PPE program depends upon the cooperation and support of all those concerned. Success is also more likely to be accomplished if it is shown that controls at the source and along the path have been addressed comprehensively and effectively.

Why are there so many precautions about using PPE?

PPE programs are often plagued by the belief that once a piece of equipment is put on, the worker is totally protected. This is a false sense of security. Basic safety principles, such as housekeeping and engineering controls, must not be ignored.

PPE is designed to meet criteria which is only an approximation of real working conditions. PPE should not be used when hazards are greater than those for which that specific piece of equipment is designed. When it comes to the evaluation of potential hazards, uncertainties need to be taken into account. Unfortunately, PPE design criteria cannot cover all eventualities.

Wearing PPE should not in itself create a greater danger. For example, gloves prevent skin damage while working with moving equipment, but can create an entanglement hazard when working with a drill press or metal lathe.

Most regulatory agencies require that PPE not be used unless the employer has taken all the necessary measures in terms of engineering controls, work practices, administrative controls, and hygiene to control the hazard.

Since the goal of an occupational health and safety program is to prevent occupational injury and illness, PPE cannot be the first protection option. The use of PPE does not prevent an incident from happening. It does not eliminate the hazard. It only minimizes the exposure or may reduce the severity of injury or illness. For these reasons, PPE is often described as “the last line of defence”.

What is an example of a PPE program checklist?

The PPE program co-ordinator should consider the following: Design a PPE Program:

  • Make sure the “hierarchy of controls” methods such as elimination, substitution, engineering controls, and administrative controls, are considered first. PPE is the last line of defence.

  • Secure the active participation of all parties.

  • Ensure that a program coordinator has been appointed.

  • Re-evaluate program on an ongoing basis.


If you need Personal protective equipment (PPE) for the health workforce during COVID-19 please visit: MW Medical virtual shop

Source: Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety.

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