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7/12 ISSUE 91
TELEPHONE: 1800 558 555 (confidentiality assured)
Seaworthy is produced by the Directorate of Navy Safety Systems in the interests of promoting
safety in the Navy. The contents do not necessarily reflect Service policy and, unless stated
otherwise, should not be construed as orders, instructions or directives – KEEP NAVY SAFE.
SAFETY FIRST: Personal protective equipment will protect
against workplace hazards.
NAVY personnel are being urged to get
personal with their protective equipment
to minimise the risk and maximise their
health and safety.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
is designed to protect workers from
workplace injuries or illnesses resulting
from contact with workplace hazards.
The WHS Act of 2011 defines PPE
as “anything used or worn by a person to
minimise risk to the person’s health and
safety, including air supplied respiratory
PPE covers a wide range of devices
and clothing including face shields, ear
plugs, safety glasses, hard hats, protec-
tive footwear, sun cream, life jackets and
PPE does not control the hazard at
the source and must not be relied on as
the main control measure until all higher
options on the hierarchy of controls have
The hierarchy of controls lists
measures that must be implemented in
descending order of effectiveness:
➤ Engineering controls
➤ Administrative controls
PPE and administrative controls can
be used more effectively in conjunction
with other measures.
The effectiveness of PPE is limited
as it can be uncomfortable to wear, make
work difficult, create other risks to a per-
son’s health and safety, and be expensive
in the long term.
To ensure PPE provides the level of
protection it is designed to, it should be
appropriate for the type of work and give
It should fit properly, not create addi-
tional health or safety risks, be compat-
ible with other PPE (e.g. ear muffs with
a hard hat) and not interfere with any
PPE should also be easy and com-
fortable to use, be clean and hygienic,
comply with relevant standards and be
repaired or discarded when it becomes
damaged or defective.
Navy has a responsibility to ensure
adequate information, training and
instruction in the proper use, wearing,
storage and maintenance of PPE.
When selecting PPE, personnel
should be consulted on individual char-
acteristics and style preferences.
Personnel must use the equipment in
accordance with any information, train-
ing or reasonable instruction, and must
not intentionally misuse, modify or dam-
Personnel must advise supervisors
of any damaged, dirty or contaminated
They also must inform their supervi-
sor if they have any medical or other
impairment that would interfere with
their use of a particular type of PPE.
PPE should be regularly checked and
inspected, ensuring it can afford the level
of protection it is designed to provide.
When it comes to safety, PPE is the
last line of defence.
Limit your risk
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