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Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

PPE is equipment that will protect the user against health or safety risks at work

This section explains your obligations for providing personal protective equipment (PPE) to employees and different types of PPE available.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is equipment that will protect the user against health or safety risks at work, this can include items such as

  • safety helmets
  • ear protection
  • high visibility clothing
  • safety footwear and safety harnesses
  • thermal, weather and waterproof clothing
  • respiratory protective equipment (RPE).

As an employer, it is important that you understand your responsibilities and take steps to keep your workers and members of the public safe. 

You will need to know what PPE you need to provide and what training you need to provide to employees to ensure that they use it correctly.

As an employee, you will need to understand your responsibilities for the use, storage and maintenance of your own PPE.​

  1. PPE legislation
  2. When do I need to provide PPE
  3. Training, maintenance and storage of PPE
  4. Types of PPE
  5. PPE and coronavirus (COVID-19)

​5. PPE and coronavirus (COVID-19)

There are few workplaces outside of health and social care that will require extra PPE to protect against COVID-19 but it is important to remember that work tasks that required PPE before COVID-19, will still require that same level of use and protection for workers. Your risk assessments should reflect this and include any extra protection required to protect workers from the risk of transmission of COVID-19.

Guidance on use of PPE in health and social care settings can be found on the HPS website.

The HPS website also gives Guidance on protection in non-health care setting. 

Face coverings

Face coverings are not PPE as they do not protect the wearer. They are intended to protect others. Further information can be found on the Scottish Government's Coronavirus (COVID-19): general guidance for safer workplaces.

Preventing the spread of infection

Coronavirus will live for some time on surfaces, including on PPE, so you need to be aware of how to use and dispose of it correctly.

You can use these resources to remind employees how to


Good hand hygiene is essential to help stop the spread of COVID-19. Watch this video on how to wash your hands..