When Should PPE Be Used In The Workplace? | Checkatrade
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When should PPE be used in the workplace?

Who is responsible for providing PPE in the workplace? Why is it important to wear PPE, and how much do different types of PPE cost?

What is PPE?

The demand for PPE really increased during the first lockdowns of COVID-19. However, many types of PPE are designed to protect against different workplace hazards.

There are different types of PPE available for workers. Common items of PPE include:

  • Clothing
  • Safety helmets
  • Goggles
  • Harnesses
  • Footwear

What needs to be provided and how much it will cost will ultimately depend on the type of work you carry out.

What are the advantages of wearing types of PPE?

  • Reduced risk of death, injury or illness
  • Upholds the business’s reputation for employee care
  • Compliance with workplace law
  • Manages workers’ safety concerns
  • Supports a ‘safe and secure’ culture

Cost of PPE workwear for trade businesses

Why is it important to wear PPE?

Providing PPE is a legal requirement for employers and is covered under the Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992. This includes tradespeople who have a small team working for them.

Government guidance points out, every employer must make sure suitable PPE and training are provided to those exposed to risk.

The best PPE for tradespeople depends on the trade. Roofers, for example, climb on top of buildings to complete jobs. These risks cannot be avoided, so goggles, hand protection and harnesses must be used to keep people safe.

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It’s not just the workwear that’s a legal requirement

Tradespeople, those setting up a start-up, and business owners with small teams must offer training. Instructions for where relevant equipment can be obtained should also be provided.

Failure to follow these health and safety guidelines can result in criminal charges and cause unnecessary harm to workers.

Beyond the law, providing PPE is simply the right thing to do.

So, you’ll need to know how to make your site secure and safety-conscious to comply.

Other important considerations

When choosing PPE, consider the following:

  • Who is exposed?
  • What the hazards are
  • How long do you expect your team to be using it?

Those responsible for supplying PPE should also consider the size, fit and weight of the PPE. Getting staff to choose will make them more likely to use it.

Think about if different types of PPE can be worn together, without problems, too.

For example, can a body protection suit still be worn with a harness if necessary? Are instructions needed to help staff use the PPE effectively?

Workwear boots, helmet and toolbox

How many types of PPE are there and what are the costs?

What your employees need depends on the type of work they carry out. There’s a huge range of equipment available, some more specialist than others.

Below is a list of the most common types of PPE, and a ballpark price for each.

Face masks

Used to stop the spread of illness or if there is a risk to respiratory health. One box of 50 medical-grade masks costs as little as £6.00.

Face shields

Designed to protect from airborne hazards. Full face visors cost roughly £1 each.

Breathing apparatus

Worn whenever dealing with environments that are hazardous to the lungs, such as removing asbestos. Respirator masks range in price from £10 to £30.


Used for both hygiene and safety. One box of 100 disposable gloves costs between £10 to £15.

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Fall protection harnesses

Fall protection harnesses are good pieces of PPE for construction workers. This equipment is also good for those who work at height. These can cost around £30 each.

Body protection suits

Bodysuits are designed for environments hazardous to the entire human body. Alternatively, they’re used where hygiene is paramount. This varies with each type of PPE, costing anywhere between £5 to £20.


Common on building sites to protect from falling objects. Expect to pay around £10 per helmet.

Safety glasses

Used to protect the eyes from chemical spills or other hazards. They cost roughly £2 to £3 each.

Work boots

Some workplaces will demand steel toe caps. Expect to pay between £40 to £80 depending on brand and build quality.

Ear plugs

Designed to protect hearing from dangerous and extended periods of loud noise, such as those found on factory floors. One box of 250 costs about £30.

Ear muffs

Intended for extremely loud environments, such as runways. These range between £10 to £20 each.

PPE workwear helmets

How to save money on PPE?

While it’s important to wear PPE, you might think that you need to find ‘cheaper’ options. That’s not the case. Checkatrade members are saving on their PPE just by joining us. And you can, too (as long as you pass our checks).

You can get hi-vis vests, jackets, polos, t-shirts, coveralls, safety wear, face visors, boots at a reduced rate at Selco. That means the PPE you and your team need is available for less than what other tradespeople are paying.

Who doesn’t love a discount? Join Checkatrade – it’s a no brainer.

Save on PPE

All our members qualify for huge savings with our partners.

Join to find out more

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