A Guide to Safe Practice in Art & Design

4.13   Protective Clothing

Risk assessments should be carried out to identify the need for personal protective equipment. Apart from overalls, the need for face shields, goggles, gloves and other special items must be carefully considered. Employers should have regard to the PPE Regulations (see section 2.2.5) when considering standards to be applied to pupils.

It is worth referring to the Health and Safety Executive leaflet A Short Guide to the Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/indg174.pdf and the more specific booklet prepared for the ceramics industry Personal Protective Equipment www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/iacl56.htm - its guidance is not compulsory but might be helpful in considering what to do.

Good safety awareness includes the habit of wearing and caring for protective clothing and equipment. Sound organisation and appropriate care and storage should be taken into consideration.

Approved goggles or industrial spectacles must be worn whenever there may be a risk of dust, sparks, chemical splashes or other flying particles affecting the eyes. British Standard 7028:1999 Eye protection for industrial and other uses. Guidance on selection, use and maintenance gives further comprehensive. Optical spectacles alone do not give adequate eye protection, and present an additional hazard unless they are shatterproof. Visors or special goggles that fit over spectacles are necessary. Protective screens that offer eye protection are sometimes fitted to a machine. Frequent attention is needed to ensure that such protective devices do not impede vision. Goggles shared by pupils must be cleaned before and after use to prevent the spread of infection. They must be renewed immediately re-cleaning becomes ineffective.

Masks or respirators must be worn in certain conditions - for instance, whenever non-soluble or toxic dusts and fumes are present, when pupils are abrading or machining plastic materials including expanded polystyrene, working continuously on a polishing machine, or spraying paint or chemicals. Masks or respirators should only be used when other methods of extraction are impracticable.

Spot checks are recommended to ensure that protective equipment is being worn when necessary. Faulty protective equipment must not be used. Defects should be reported immediately and equipment replaced if necessary.