PPE- Personal Protective Equipment

It is important to wear and dispose of personal protective equipment and follow your employer’s policies, procedures and/or agreed ways of working.

  • Always wear PPE like gloves and aprons when supporting individuals.
  • Always wear a different set of aprons and gloves when you are working in the kitchen.
  • Never wear aprons outside of the working environment or to training courses as you could spread infections to other people you meet.
  • Make sure you know which PPE to use in certain situations and how to dispose of them appropriately after use. Talk to your manager if you are unsure.
  • You need to be aware of the common types of personal protective clothing, equipment, and procedures and how and when to use them.
  • You should always wear the correct person protective clothing or equipment, known as PPE, for the correct procedure.
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Masks are generally only worn when there is a risk of airborne infection. Masks protect the nose and mouth and should fully cover the nose and mouth to prevent fluid penetration. seeing a person wearing a mask can be very alarming for individuals so it is important to explain why you are wearing one and what it is for. Check your employer's policy about wearing masks.
Aprons protect skin, clothing and provide a physical barrier. Different colour aprons are used depending on the task being completed and can include white, blue, red, and green. Your organisation will have policies and procedures in place to identify the apron required dependent on task. You may also use disposable aprons. These must always be changed after you finish each care activity with everyone. Never wear aprons outside of the working environment to avoid spreading infection.
Complete the recommended hand hygiene before and after using gloves. Remove gloves after each individual task e.g., personal care, medication, food preparation or in the event gloves get torn or heavily soiled. Follow Infection control procedures when removing gloves. Avoid contamination of gloves before and after use by not touching yourself, others, and the environment. Follow PPE policies and procedures for all tasks.
Protective Clothing
Gowns help protect your uniform and clothing from potentially infectious material. A gown should fully cover the torso, fit close to the body and cover the arms. Choose a gown appropriate to the situation, ensuring that disposable gowns are disposed of appropriately and re-usable ones are laundered appropriately. Tunics are more commonly worn and should have short sleeves to prevent the spread of infection.
Goggles protect the eyes from sprays or splashes from infectious fluids and materials. They provide a barrier style of protection and should be a good fit over and around the eyes or prescription lenses. Note: prescription lenses/glasses do not provide adequate eye protection.
Face Shields
Face shields protect the mucous membranes of the eyes, nose and mouth from splashes, sprays, secretions and/or excretions of body fluids during procedures and patient care activities. A face shield protects the facial skin and should cover the forehead, extend below the chin, and wrap around the side of the face. Eye protection goggles will also be needed during such procedures.
Shoe Covers
Shoe covers provide a barrier against possible exposure to airborne organisms or contact with a contaminated environment. Use shoe covers when dealing with people with haemorrhagic disease (e.g., bleeding or the abnormal flow of blood). Shoe covers should be worn as part of Full Barrier Precautions. Shoe covers could present a slip hazard and must only be worn in line with local procedures.
Head Covers
Head covers protect the hair and scalp from possible contamination when sprays or airborne exposure is anticipated. Head covers can be worn as part of Full Barrier Protection.
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Click through the different PPE items

Donning and Doffing PPE

The term “donning and doffing” is used to refer to the practice of putting on (donning) and taking off (doffing) protective gear, clothing, and uniforms. Generally, the law stipulates that time spent donning and doffing is compensable time.


Click the numbers below to see the steps.


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Open the apron


Place it over your head


Tie it at the back


Put on the Gloves



Take a glove off over itself, turn it inside out.


Place it into the gloved hand.


Take that glove off over the first one, turn it inside out.


Dispose into appropriate waste.


Tear the apron at the neck.

Roll it down.


Tear the apron from behind.

Roll in on itself.


Dispose into appropriate waste.


Wash your Hands.

PPE will only protect you and others if you know how to use and dispose of it safely.

Avoid the risk of spreading germs by not touching yourself, others, and the environment with contaminated gloves.

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