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Choosing The Correct PPE For Your Staff


When working in or near a hazardous environment, it’s essential to have the correct PPE to keep your staff safe. As we all know, staff are the most important asset to a company, and therefore it is vital to take every measure to protect them from risk of injury. There are many different types of PPE available, each designed to protect against specific hazards. We’ll cover the different types of PPE you may need and where they may be necessary.


Head Protection

Head protection is crucial in any hazardous work environment, as head injuries can be fatal. Not only from objects falling from height, but now some models feature multi-impact protection, to protect the wearer from front, back and side impact too.

There are 2 main categories of head protection- hard hats and helmets, also referred to as climbing helmets.

HARD HATS- are the economical shell and harness design which are common in most industries. An affordable and common option when a basic level of protection is required, from the risk of falling objects. 

HELMETS- These are becoming more popular in New Zealand as more awareness is being raised around the benefits of this newer design. These have a built-in chinstrap, and some designs incorporate multi impact protection suitable in industries like construction and scaffolding to protect the head from impact from all sides.

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Ear Protection

Exposure to loud noises can cause permanent hearing damage, so ear protection is essential in any noisy environments or where there may be constant noise. Earmuffs and earplugs are most common type of ear protection, as they can be easily worn for long periods to reduce the noise level. For the best protection, look for ear protection that is Class 5 or above, this offers the highest level of protection. Industrial deafness affects around 1 in 6 people in New Zealand, therefore taking measures to mitigate this is paramount.

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Eye Protection

Eye injuries can be life changing, sometimes causing blindness or severe eye damage. Safety glasses are essential in environments where there are flying debris, dust, and other hazards. There are 3 main lens colours available to suit a variety of different environments. Clear and smoke lens are the most common, clear lens is used in indoor situations (warehouses, factories etc), smoke lens is used outdoors, and indoor/outdoor lenses have a very minimal tint and are used mainly in situations where the wearer may be going in and out of buildings into different light areas. One common example would be forklift drivers.

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Face Protection

If you work in an environment where there is a risk of facial injuries, such as welding, grinding, or cutting, face protection is essential. Visors are needed to protect the wearers face when full face protection is needed, or there is risk of high speed debris hitting the wearers face. Some examples of when a visor would be necessary could include grinding, sanding, using high power saws, hydro-blasting & landscaping to name a few. Visors are available in high-impact polycarbonate and mesh. These can be fitted onto a hard hat, and also directly onto the wearers head with the use of a browguard (purchased separately).

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Hand Protection

Gloves are used in most industries and there are many different designs, materials and coatings used for different applications. 

General Handling Gloves- General handing gloves are your every day glove that is used in most situations where users may just be handling a lot of boxes or light duty material. These are good for most situations where no extra special protection is required.

Cut Resistant Gloves- Cut resistant gloves are used in areas where metal, blades or other sharp object may be present. These are to protect the wearers hand from cuts and abrasions.

Chemical Resistant Gloves- Protect the wearer if they are dealing with acids, oils or any other chemicals. There are many different materials and coatings available, suitable for a range of different applications.

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Foot Protection

Foot injuries can be severe, and can cause permanent disability. Safety boots provide foot protection from falling objects, sharp materials, slips, trips, and other hazards. Preferences and styles of boot will vary from person to person. Safety footwear can be broken down into 3 main categories:

Lace Up Boots- The most common style available. Lace up boots offer greater ankle support for the wearer and often have a wider range of fit. Meaning the laces can be tightened for a smaller foot and loosened for a larger/ wider foot. A lot of boots now have zips on the side making taking them on and off a lot faster and easier. These are most common the the civil, construction, warehousing, transport and traffic management industries.

Slip on Boots- Slip on boots allow the wearer to put their boots on with ease, and not having to worry about laces. Having no laces makes these good in applications like welding, where the sparks can melt the wearers laces. Slip on boots make it much easier for the wearer to put their boots on and off, making them a popular choice just for their ease of use. These are most common in the warehouse, transport, trades, welding and engineering industries.

Safety Shoes- Safety shoes are low-cut, jogger style footwear. They are often designed to be lightweight and for people who are on their feet all day. As they are usually made from breathable materials, these are best suited for indoor use where they will not be affected by the weather. These are most commonly used in the warehousing & logistics industries, while also being popular among tradies working indoors such as electricians and HVAC installers to name a few.

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In conclusion, wearing the right PPE is essential to protect yourself from hazardous environments. If you’re wondering, “What PPE do I need?” consider the type of hazards you’ll be exposed to and choose the appropriate PPE accordingly. To better understand what specific requirements you may have in your situation, talk to one of our friendly team, or reach out to our Product Specialists for industry specific knowledge.


Freephone: 0800 255 482 or email

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