Since the onset of COVID-19, many new PPE suppliers and manufacturers have entered the PPE market to cater to the growing demand for such products. While most of these suppliers are legitimate businesses, there have been reports of fraud, as well as misleading or deceptive claims, about the quality and effectiveness of products being sold.
Here are some tips in terms of buying PPE in Australia and complying with government standards.
Before looking for PPE suppliers or searching for a PPE shop near me on your phone, decide on the type of PPE you need and choose it with careful consideration.
PPE is designed to be used with other control measures or when there are no other safety measures available. During selection, make sure that your PPE needs are assessed professionally by a person who is competent to judge whether other methods of risk control can be employed to ensure the best protection of your safety and health or those of your employees if you’re buying for the company.
Here are the categories and some examples of PPE:
Face protection PPE includes face masks that cover the individual’s mouth and nose (e.g. surgical masks, respirators and reusable cloth masks), face shields or visors that cover the whole face, and goggles and eyewear that protect the individual’s eyes from bodily fluids and large droplets.
Hand protection may include gloves and hand sanitisers. Gloves can either be sterile (i.e. primarily used in surgical procedures that require a sterile environment), non-sterile (i.e. applicable in most healthcare procedures and food handling) or reusable (i.e. cleaning or non-patient procedures).
Body protection may include gowns and aprons to protect the body from fluids and other infectious substances. Disposable clothing is also used to protect the body from certain chemicals, radiation hazards, welding and painting.
Head protection may include helmets, caps, hoods and hats to protect the head from any injury arising from the nature of work.
Foot protection may include shoe coverings, boots and special shoes.
There are also other PPE used for specific working conditions like working from heights (e.g. harness, fall arrest devices).
When you have identified the PPE you need, know what standards apply to the products you are purchasing. The Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources website offers a list of PPE standards. If you are buying overseas, check that the quality of the products being sold by the PPE supplier is subject to the same level of quality control and assurance that you would receive from an Australian product.
When purchasing PPE, make sure that you are buying only from legitimate medical PPE suppliers in Australia. Choose only those that can validate the standard of the PPE you seek to purchase. Avoid upfront payments and those that require you to send money via money order, wire transfer, pre-loaded cards or cryptocurrency. Also, verify the bank details of your PPE suppliers just to be sure, and be wary of those accounts that have just been created very recently.
If you have finally decided on a PPE supplier, make sure to keep all records of your purchase. These records include delivery, specifications and user instructions. If problems arise concerning fraud and misleading claims from a PPE supplier, you can contact the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) to ask for help.
If you’re buying PPE for your employees, provide training to them to ensure compliance.
To encourage compliance and employee buy-in, employees need to understand why a certain piece of PPE is necessary. An effective way to do this is to clearly explain the dangers of the work environment and provide examples of real case scenarios of what might happen if PPE is not used or properly worn.
Aside from that, employees should know how to use and correctly wear the PPE. Correct handling of PPE will lessen discomfort and will make PPE more effective.
It can be as small as receiving their inputs about a certain model or brand of PPE. Solicit employees’ opinions on the matter. Being consulted on such matters can increase employees’ commitment to using the PPE.
Employee involvement can also be in the form of company programs that will promote the proper use of PPEs. This can be through creating safety boards to be displayed on the company website or social media, highlighting pictures of employees properly wearing their PPE.
Lastly, company owners and managers should wear the PPE when they are out in the field to encourage all employees to take this matter seriously.
Under Australian laws, employers have a legal responsibility towards their workers to ensure that they are safe at work. One way to do this is through the provision of PPE to address occupational hazards.
In buying PPE, make sure to transact only with legitimate PPE suppliers. If you're looking for one, check us out at Dexcon.
Dexcon procures PPE and medical devices for government, corporate, wholesalers and individuals that need ethically priced imported or exported to and from Australia. We supply premium products for the medical, industrial and retail sectors in Australia and around the world. From face masks, surgical gowns and medical face shields to COVID-19 antigen rapid test kits, we have them all for you.
Dexcon has partnered with some of the most trusted manufacturers in the medical and safety industry worldwide. If you need a reliable medical and PPE supplier, we can assist you through our extensive network of industry contacts, manufacturers and wholesale distributors. For more details about our products and services, contact us today.Contact
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