PPE for Covid-19 at Work

PPE is any appliance or device that an employee can wear or hold for protection from health and safety risks. In the case of current world events, that includes the coronavirus pandemic. Which brings with it an unprecedented need to protect staff at work. Social distancing is one of the best approaches your business can take; enforcing a two metre gap rule. However, you may also need to take additional steps with protective equipment. That depends on the type of industry you are in.
COVID-19 recommended PPE types:
•    Facemasks: To prevent infection others, while also protecting individuals from getting the infection.
•    Disposable gloves: To prevent hands from becoming covered with germs. The gloves can limit the spread of these, although it’s important to dispose of them daily and continue with a rigorous cleaning routine. 
•    Face shield: This will prevent employees spreading germs around them, they can use the equipment with facemasks and gloves.
Why should you wear personal protective equipment?
PPE helps to reduce the risks health & safety hazards pose. Along with social distancing, health & safety equipment can contain the virus and limit its spread. For example, facemasks can be effective in stopping germs from spreading around working environments. 
When to use different type of personal protective equipment
This will depend on the type of industry you work in and the business you operate. Social distancing may prove effective enough in your office, along with an increase in cleanliness and hygiene. However, if you identify that it’s not always possible to maintain a two-metre gap, then you may wish to introduce PPE. For example, wearing a facemask and providing gloves. This is a recommendation for employees working in shops with customers.
As wearing facemasks is now mandatory on public transport, commuting staff may also need to wear PPE to limit their risk of infection as they travel to and from work.
Again, you’ll need to review your situation, speak with employees individually, and determine what steps you need to take.
How and when to use personal protective equipment
Whether you use PPE or not depends on your business requirements and the requests from employees. If you’re in a customer facing industry, for example, then you may wish to use facemasks and gloves. However, if staff wish to use these in an office environment, or elsewhere, you should provide the equipment and they can wear the items as they see fit.
•    Gloves: Single use items that staff can wear during the day. You can use them for contact with sterile environments and for all activities. However, you must dispose of each pair at the end of each working day. Prior to wearing the items, staff should also always wash their hands thoroughly for 20 seconds.
•    Facemasks: Secure these around the crown of the head (for the top tie) and base of the neck (for the bottom tie). Or if it’s a loop facemask, these should go around the ears. Staff can wear these repeatedly, or for single-use. If it’s a cloth facemask, you should also wash it daily at 60 degrees with detergent.
•    Face shields: As and when you determine this necessary, staff can simply place them around their head.
•    Disposable respirators: You may need to use these in health and social care industries. These aid individuals with breathing—an employee will need training to affix this to themselves, or a patient, correctly.