• Riki Brown
    Is the boundary of what is, and what isn't PPE back and white? If this is outlined somewhere please point me in the right direction and I'll read up.

    I'm trying to clearly define what is PPE in an adventure activity context. Consider a rock climbing instructor climbing with a client (could be in a climbing gym or outdoors on a cliff). Both individuals are wearing rock climbing helmets, climbing harnesses, climbing shoes, they use a rope to protect against falls and carabiners are used to connect them to the rope and anchors. What is, and what is not PPE?

    any view points appreciated.

  • Alex P
    Hey Riki,

    PPE for working at height and rope access is usually classed as anything that the user wears (harness, helmet, gloves etc) and anything that would connect that user to a structure or anchor point (lanyards, rope, devices, carabiners, etc).

    If it's worn and used by the user as a means to keep them personally protected, it would likely fall into PPE. In this Abseiling ASG, there are references to personal equipment that would protect the user. It's not an extensive list though - I'm not sure if that exists.

    There's PPE guidance from WorkSafe here.

  • Steve H
    In this Abseiling ASG, there are references to personal equipment that would protect the user. It's not an extensive list though - I'm not sure if that exists.Alex P

    Excellent reference Alex, Riki take a look at the Worksafe Best Practice Guide On Industrial Rope Access too, between them you should have the information you are after, but every business should develop it's own PPE list for the activities it carries out, based on it's hazard/risk identification process for its specific situation/locations etc.
  • Riki Brown
    Awesome, thanks so much!
    You have confirmed my suspicions, which unfortunately means from my experience in the adventure tourism industry there is a lot a companies not supplying PPE to employees, as they require their guides to provide their own gear such as helmets, harness, carabiners, lanyards etc.

    While I have you here, is there any guidance material (other than Worksafe's PCBUs working together: advice for contracting document) that would be relevant for a rock climbing guide who is engaged as a contrator to a rock climbing company, regarding PPE provision, maintenance, record keeping).

    Thanks again, I really appreciate it

  • KeithH

    "What is PPE?"
    According to WorkSafe NZ, 'PPE is anything used or worn by a person (including clothing) to minimise risks to the person’s health and safety. This may include respiratory protective equipment, hearing protection, eye protection, protective clothing, and safety harness systems.'

    According to OSHA, 'Personal protective equipment, commonly referred to as "PPE", is equipment worn to minimize exposure to hazards that cause serious workplace injuries and illnesses.'

    And HSE state 'PPE is equipment that will protect the user against health or safety risks at work. It can include items such as safety helmets, gloves, eye protection, high-visibility clothing, safety footwear and safety harnesses. It also includes respiratory protective equipment (RPE).'

    Working through the hierarchy of controls from the bottom up is both non-compliant with S6 of HSWA (GRWM) Regs and poor professional practice. Knowing the framework and how to integrate into specific businesses allows for flexibility and adaptablity. This is a basic outline - hierarchy control

    In your second post, the answers to these questions are all covered within HSWA and associated Regulations. By downloading the legislation as pdfs, searching by word is easy.

    Just my ramblings
  • Aaron Marshall

    The issue here is that I'm guessing a lot of those guides also participate in these activities in their off-time, so choose to use their own equipment.
    From my own recreational climbing experience, I was careful about who I climbed with, and part of that was that I didn't know how they'd treated their equipment.
    Heirarchy of controls tends to break down where the exposure to the risk is part of the objective of hte activity. Having a boardwalk up a glacier kind of defeats the purpose.
  • Kip Mandeno
    I would refer to your risk analysis, if you identify a risk such as "height" and a control such as "wear a harness" then you have chosen PPE as the lowest form of control (obviously because eliminate is not an option if you are trying to have fun) so that answers that question because not wearing a harness is not an option. However, I guess the actual question hiding in your question is is as old as the 1992 act "who pays for it" well its pretty well articulated in both acts its an employers problem, but there are different ways to skin the cat you can either reimburse or supply. Many an outdoor or adventure tourism businnes has wrestled with this for 30 years but PPE shouldn't a be a burden to your employees, is the intention of the act.
  • steve r
    I disagree that PPE must be provided by the employer ( especially in the Outdoor industry) - clearly the Health and Safety at Work (General Risk and Workplace Management) Regulations 2016 provide provision for Outdoor workers to provide there own as long as the checks and balances are followed - they sign something to say they voluntarily choose to provide PPE ( often it is for comfort, personal preferences, integration with other kit etc, - the PCBU does appropriate checking that the gear if fit for purpose, good working condition, used according to manufacturers instructions etc.

    16Worker may choose to provide personal protective equipment
    A PCBU does not have to comply with regulation 15(2) if—
    a worker genuinely and voluntarily chooses to provide his or her own personal protective equipment for reasons of his or her comfort or convenience; and
    the PCBU is satisfied that the personal protective equipment provided by the worker is suitable in terms of regulation 17(1).
    A worker who has chosen to provide his or her own personal protective equipment under subclause (1) may, after giving reasonable notice to the PCBU, choose that the PCBU provide personal protective equipment under regulation 15(2) instead of providing it himself or herself, and the PCBU must then provide the personal protective equipment to the worker.
    This regulation does not apply to the Armed Forces.
    A PCBU who contravenes subclause (2) commits an offence and is liable on conviction,—
    for an individual, to a fine not exceeding $10,000:
    for any other person, to a fine not exceeding $50,000.
  • MattD2

    a worker genuinely and voluntarily chooses to...steve r
    This would not apply if their employment contract
    require their guides to provide their own gear such as helmets, harness, carabiners, lanyards etc.Riki Brown
    as they would not be genuinely volunteering to provide their own PPE.
  • steve r

    Agree that if the employment agreement states that - however, wouldn't the agreement be invalid as it goes against the HSWA?? Cant contract out of the duty in this way.....
  • Rowly Brown
    Correct, Steve. Whatever PPE is deemed necessary by an employer (PCBU) must be supplied by that employer, even if the PPE is infrequently necessary (e.g. wet weather gear). It's not an uncommon accommodation of the employer's duty in this regard for the employer to allow an employee to purchase their own PPE and for the employer to reimburse the employee for the cost, on production of a receipt, or to allow an employee to continue to use existing PPE they already own. In all cases the employer must satisfy themselves that the employee-supplied PPE is appropriate and fit for purpose. This commonly occurs in regard to protective footwear and more personal items of PPE such as clothing (hi-viz singlets & shirts etc.) Employers are entitled to retain ownership of supplied PPE and retrieve it when employees cease employment. Most don't take back footwear.
    In regard to safety footwear, employers can establish a base standard style of suitable footwear and supply that, but if an employee wishes to purchase their own footwear, because they prefer, for reasons of style, comfort etc something different (albeit more expensive) the employer can accept that, subject to the suitability test, and reimburse the employee up to the value of the standard item.
  • MattD2
    Agree that if the employment agreement states that - however, wouldn't the agreement be invalid as it goes against the HSWA?? Cant contract out of the duty in this way.....steve r
    True - I was mainly just bringing the question back to the original point of the thread.
    This would technically mean the PCBU could be up for a $10k/$50k fine under R15 as they are wouldn't be exempt from R15(2) by R16... but it would have to be a pretty arrogant/foolish PCBU to get to the stage where they are being prosecuted for this!
  • Andrew
    The last line of defence
  • Steve H
    The last line of defenceAndrew

    The only option for an Adventure Tourism business :grin:
  • Aaron Marshall
    The only option for an Adventure Tourism business :grin:Steve H
    Some people just can't grasp that...
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