A great deal of effort and research by health and safety professionals helps to guide what the manufacturers make, to suitably protect workers from hazards that they may encounter. It also provides a road map for procurement professionals to make the right decision in selecting and purchasing the right workwear fit for the occasion.
It is very important for the people who are responsible for employees’ health and safety to be aware of the standards and requirements for PPE and to accordingly articulate and craft their own guide and specifications. This will help them to acquire the correct products to protect the workforce from associated hazards and dangers.
Crucial to the selection criteria for any personal protective equipment is a garment that is fit for purpose, comfortable, durable and complies legally with standards.
Taking flame resistant workwear as an example, selection is based on the following principles:
- The use of hazard assessments to identify the need for flame resistant workwear
- Knowing the related standards that can be adopted to help in setting the selection criteria and specification
- Evaluating the existing flame resistant workwear in the marketplace to decide those fit for the hazards identified on your site
- The articulation of specifications needed for the procurement of flame resistant workwear
The first principle from the above list is the sole responsibility of your health and safety department, while the other three principles can be worked jointly between health and safety and procurement departments.
As per OSHA and CAPP, the wearing of fire resistant workwear should be considered as the basic standard for work in and near all oil and gas facilities. Any facilities or locations where oil or gas could be present can have an associated risk of flash fires. Welding and cutting can also produce hazards such as sparks, spatter, radiation, slag, heat, hot metal, fumes and gases, and even electric shock.
After assessing the hazards and learning the related standards, it is very important to know about your marketplace. What are the existing goods and to what extend do they comply with international standards?
Knowing your market enables you to make realistic and appropriate choices during the procurement process. It also allows you to endorse some brands or manufacturers, or even countries of origin, depending on the local authority norms and their preferred/ adopted standards.
To read this year's procurement guide, please click here.