If you’re working in a risky environment, your employer should provide you with gloves, goggles, safety helmets and other personal protective equipment (PPE) free of charge.

Protective equipment is not an alternative to other safety measures, but rather a last resort when risks can’t be managed in other ways.

Any equipment you’re given must be appropriate to the situation and suitable for your size and needs.

If your employer tells you to wear safety equipment, you must do so. If you don’t, you may face disciplinary action.

You must not be charged for this equipment.

If you think you need safety equipment that hasn’t been provided, or that your equipment is defective, in poor condition, poorly fitting or unsuitable, or if you’ve been asked to pay for your protective equipment, you should approach a safety rep or your union rep to raise the issue.

Are you a rep? You can find more practical advice on a range of workplace issues in our support for reps section

Common
questions
What kind of personal protective equipment should my employer give me?
If your employer can't control your exposure to chemicals by any other means they should provide personal protective equipment free of charge
Do I have to wear the protective equipment my employer gives me?
My employer provides protective clothing. Do I have to wash it myself, or should that be my employer's responsibility?
The responsibility for maintenance of protective clothing lies with the employer.