Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is used as temporary (until more effective hazard control techniques can be used) or last line of protection for workers against hazards (source: CCOHS)
Always remember, the PPE you use will depend on the work environment, the work conditions, and the process being performed.
PPE does not reduce the workplace hazard nor does it guarantee permanent or total protection for the wearer. Simply having Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) available is NOT enough. In order to ensure the required level of protection:
PPE Evaluation | 'Hierarchy of Control'
The priority should be to follow the “hierarchy of control” including:
elimination, substitution, or engineering control(s) of hazards at their source or along the path between the source and the worker.
Many methods are available, and those most appropriate to the specific situation should be used.
When the hazard cannot be removed or controlled adequately, personal protective equipment (PPE) may be used.
Remember! PPE is considered as the last level of protection when all other methods are not available or possible. For more information, see the OSH Answers document Hazard Control for information on a hazard control program.