The Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992 place duties on employers to protect their employees from hazards within the workplace. Risk assessment may identify personal protective equipment (PPE) as being part of an overall prevention or control strategy to protect an individual, but it should always be a last resort.

PPE is defined as equipment worn or held by people at work to protect them against one or more risks to their health or safety. This can include:

  • protective clothing (gloves, footwear, aprons, helmets, high-visibility wear)

  • protective equipment (eye and face protectors, life jackets, respirators, breathing apparatus, safety harnesses)

In primary care settings, such as general practice, PPE would typically include items to help control and prevent infection, such as disposable gloves, surgical masks, eye protection and aprons. These are particularly important in preventing the spread of infectious disease, including respiratory infections such as flu and Covid-19.

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