Personal protective equipment (PPE) refers to anything used or worn to minimise risk to worker health and safety. PPE can be used to supplement the other control measures put in place at your workplace to protect against COVID-19 including good hygiene measures, physical distancing, environmental cleaning and providing workers with information and training.  You must implement more control measures to protect against COVID-19 than only PPE.

Common PPE that can be used to protect against COVID-19 include: 

  • masks 
  • gloves 
  • eye protection, and 
  • screens. 

The type of PPE you provide will depend on your workplace, the outcomes of consultation and your risk assessment. 

The use of some types of masks, gowns and disposable suits is restricted to health care settings. It is not recommended that these types of PPE are used outside of health care to protect against COVID-19. More information about using these PPE in health care can be found on the Australian Government Department of Health website. 

The type of PPE you provide will depend on your workplace and the outcomes of consultation and your risk assessment. 

Some states and territories have issued directions about wearing face masks in public and other specific settings. This is based on the local situation. It is important that you keep up to date with recommendations and directions about the wearing of PPE that apply nationally , and in your state or territory, and ensure that these are followed at your workplace. 

Eye protection

Eye protection, in the form of safety glasses, goggles or a face shield, can be used as PPE for protecting against the risks of COVID-19.  

Eye protection can assist to act as a physical barrier from droplet spray and prevent unintentional rubbing of eyes between hand washing. Eye protection may be necessary for workers who are in close proximity to droplet spray, for example health workers, police, corrections and security work. However, for many workplaces, eye protection will not be a required control measure. 

Good hygiene practices should be followed if eye protection is used.   

More information about using eye protection in health care settings can be found on the Australian Government Department of Health website. 

Do I need to provide PPE?

You must provide workers with appropriate PPE, and information and training on how and why they are required to use it. Depending on your workplace (type of work, the workers and others who come into the workplace), PPE can include gloves, eye protection and face masks.  However, PPE will not be required for many workplaces.

PPE alone will not protect workers. You must implement a range of control measures to limit the spread of COVID-19, including good hygiene measures, physical distancing (keeping everyone at the workplace at least 1.5 metres physically apart), cleaning and disinfecting and providing workers with information and training.   

PPE used at a workplace must be:

  • selected to minimise risk to work health and safety
  • suitable for the nature of the work and any hazard associated with the work
  • a suitable size and fit and reasonably comfortable for the person wearing it.

Some states and territories have issued directions about wearing face masks in public and other specific settings. This is based on the local situation. It is important that you keep up to date with recommendations and directions about the wearing of PPE that apply nationally, and in your state or territory, and ensure that these are followed at your workplace. 

For further information about PPE including additional employer obligations, go to the personal protective equipment webpage

Do I need to talk to my workers about PPE?

Yes. You must consult with your workers about the control measures you will put in place to manage the risks of COVID-19, including PPE. If, after consultation, you decide to require your workers to wear PPE you must provide them with appropriate information, instruction and training on it's use. This includes how to wear PPE safely and correctly, how to store items safely, how to dispose of single-use items and how to clean re-usable items. 

You should refer to the manufacturer’s instructions provided with the PPE for correct use, storage, maintenance and when to replace PPE. 

Information on how to dispose of PPE can be found below. Information on cleaning reusable PPE can be found in our cleaning guide. 

The model Code of Practice: Work health and safety consultation, cooperation and coordination can also give you more information about your general duties to consult. 

How do I dispose of PPE?

Unless contaminated, disposable PPE can be disposed of with the general waste, preferably a closed bin. A closed bin is a bin with a fitted lid. 

Where the PPE is contaminated it should be disposed of in a closed bin, preferably one that does not need to be touched to place contaminated PPE inside. A bin with a foot pedal or other hands-free mechanism to open the lid would be appropriate. 

The bin for contaminated PPE should contain two bin liners to ensure the waste is double bagged. Double bagging minimises any exposure to the person disposing of the waste.

PPE would be considered contaminated if:

  • it has been worn by a symptomatic worker or visitor to the workplace
  • it has been worn by a close contact of a confirmed COVID case
  • the PPE has been in contact with a potentially contaminated surface, or
  • it is visibly soiled or damp (e.g. face masks).  

Where a closed bin is not available, the contaminated PPE should be placed in a sealed bag before disposal into the bin. The sealed bag and a single bin liner are considered equivalent to double bagging. 

It is important to follow good hand hygiene after removing and disposing of your PPE. Hands should be cleaned thoroughly with soap and water (for a minimum of 20 seconds) or hand sanitiser. 

If you have a case of COVID-19 in the workplace, your state or territory health authority should provide you with advice on what you need to do in your workplace. Follow their instructions. 

For information about the disposal of PPE in health care settings, you will need to refer to the Australian Government Department of Health and state and territory health authorities.

Do I need to install screens in the workplace?

Perspex screens (also known as sneeze guards) can be considered at workplaces where workers are in close proximity to each other for long periods. For example, a perspex  screen could be considered where two workers work side by side or back to back for a shift.  

The current Australian Government advice is that it is not necessary to install a screen between workers and the public (customers) as the interaction time between them is shorter. However, many businesses have chosen to protect workers by installing these screens including retail stores, pharmacies and doctor’s surgeries. 

Perspex screens come in many different sizes and shapes and can be custom made for the workplace. Generally, they have a space cut out to allow for exchange between the worker and a member of the public or a patient, with the screen covering the upper half of the body and head. 

If you choose to install a perspex screen you need to ensure that the screen is fit for purpose and protects workers from droplet spray. Completing a risk assessment will assist you in deciding what type of screen is best for your workplace. The screen must allow the worker to safely work and protect their face from exposure to droplet spray. Be aware that installing a perspex screen may result in other WHS risks that you will need to consider. 

You must consult with workers about installing perspex screens and must provide appropriate training and instruction to workers who will use them, if you decide to install them. 

Perspex screens should be cleaned in the same manner as other frequently handled objects or surfaces.  

Our cleaning guide provides more information on cleaning and disinfecting, including for specific surfaces. 
 

Personal protective equipment (PPE) refers to anything used or worn to minimise risk to worker health and safety. It can be used to supplement the other control measures you put in place at the workplace to protect against COVID-19 such as good hygiene measures, physical distancing, environmental cleaning and providing workers with information and training. You cannot only use PPE to protect workers against the risk of COVID-19.

Common PPE that can be used to protect against COVID-19 include: 

  • masks 
  • gloves 
  • eye protection, and 
  • screens. 

The type of PPE you should provide will depend on your workplace, the outcome of consultation and your risk assessment.  

The use of some types of masks, gowns and disposable suits is restricted to health care settings. It is not recommended that these types of PPE are used outside of health care to protect against COVID-19. More information about using these PPE in health care can be found on the Australian Government Department of Health website. 

Some states and territories have issued directions about wearing face masks in public and other specific settings. This is based on the local situation. It is important that you keep up to date with recommendations and directions about the wearing of PPE that apply nationally, and in your state or territory, and ensure that these are followed at your workplace. 

Eye protection

Eye protection, in the form of safety glasses, goggles or a face shield, can be used as PPE for protecting against the risks of COVID-19.  

Eye protection can assist to act as a physical barrier from droplet spray and prevent unintentional rubbing of eyes between hand washing. Eye protection may be necessary for workers who are in close proximity to droplet spray, for example health workers, police, corrections and security work. However, for many workplaces, eye protection will not be a required control measure. 

Good hygiene practices should be followed if eye protection is used.   

More information about using eye protection in health care settings can be found on the Australian Government Department of Health website. 

Do I need to provide PPE?

You must provide workers with PPE, and information and training on how and why they are required to use it. Depending on your workplace (type of work, the workers and others who come into the workplace), PPE can include gloves, eye protection and face masks.  For many workplaces, PPE will not be required.

PPE used at a workplace must be:

  • selected to minimise risk to work health and safety
  • suitable for the nature of the work and any hazard associated with the work
  • a suitable size and fit and reasonably comfortable for the person wearing it.

Some states and territories have issued directions about wearing face masks in public and other specific settings. This is based on the local situation. It is important that you keep up to date with recommendations and directions about the wearing of PPE that apply nationally, and in your state or territory, and ensure that these are followed at your workplace. 

PPE alone will not protect workers. You must implement a range of control measures to limit the spread of COVID-19, including good hygiene measures, physical distancing (keeping everyone at the workplace at least 1.5 metres physically apart), cleaning and disinfecting and providing workers with information and training. 

For further information about PPE including additional employer obligations, go to the personal protective equipment webpage

Do I need to talk to my workers about PPE?

Yes. You must consult with your workers about the possible control measures you will put in place in response to the risk of COVID-19, including PPE. Following consultation, if you choose to provide workers with PPE, you must provide them with appropriate relevant information, instruction and training on its use. This includes how to wear use the PPE safely and correctly, how to store items safely, how to dispose of single-use items and how to clean re-usable items. 

You should refer to the manufacturer’s instructions provided with the PPE for correct use, storage, maintenance and when to replace PPE. 

Information on how to dispose of PPE can be found below. Information on cleaning reusable PPE can be found in our cleaning guide. 

For more information on consulting with your workers, see our consultation  information.

The model Code of Practice: Work health and safety consultation, cooperation and coordination also has more information about your duty to consult. 

How do I dispose of PPE?

Unless contaminated, disposable PPE can be disposed of with the general waste, preferably a closed bin. A closed bin is a bin with a fitted lid. 

Where the PPE is contaminated it should be disposed of in a closed bin, preferably one that does not need to be touched to place contaminated PPE inside. A bin with a foot pedal or other hands-free mechanism to open the lid would be appropriate. 

The bin for contaminated PPE should contain two bin liners to ensure the waste is double bagged. Double bagging minimises any exposure to the person disposing of the waste.

PPE would be considered contaminated if: 

  • it has been worn by a symptomatic worker or visitor to the workplace
  • it has been worn by a close contact of a confirmed COVID case 
  • the PPE has been in contact with a potentially contaminated surface, or
  • it is visibly soiled or damp (e.g. face masks).

Where a closed bin is not available, the contaminated PPE should be placed in a sealed bag before disposal into the bin. The sealed bag and a single bin liner are considered equivalent to double bagging. 

It is important to follow good hand hygiene after removing and disposing of your PPE. Hands should be cleaned thoroughly with soap and water (for a minimum of 20 seconds) or hand sanitiser. 

If you have a case of COVID-19 in the workplace, your state or territory health authority should provide you with advice on what you need to do in your workplace. Follow their instructions. 

For information about the disposal of PPE in health care settings, you will need to refer to the Australian Government Department of Health and state and territory health authorities.

Do I need to install screens in the workplace?

Perspex screens (also known as sneeze guards) can be considered at workplaces where workers are in close proximity to each other for long periods. For example, a perspex screen could be considered where two workers work side by side or back to back for a shift.  

The current Australian Government advice is that it is not necessary to install a screen between workers and the public (customers) as the interaction time between them is shorter. However, many businesses have chosen to protect workers by installing these screens including retail stores, pharmacies and doctor’s surgeries. 

Perspex screens come in many different sizes and shapes and can be custom made for the workplace. Generally, they have a space cut out to allow for exchange between the worker and a member of the public or a patient with the screen covering the upper half of the body and head. 

If you choose to install a perspex screen you need to ensure that the screen is fit for purpose and protects workers from droplet spray. Completing a risk assessment will assist you in deciding what type of screen is best for your workplace. The screen must allow the worker to safely work and protect their face from exposure to droplet spray. Be aware that installing a perspex screen may result in other WHS risks that you will need to consider. 

You must consult with workers about installing perspex screens and must provide appropriate training and instruction to workers who will use them, if you decide to install them. 

Perspex screens should be cleaned in the same manner as other frequently handled objects or surfaces.  

Our cleaning guide provides more information on cleaning and disinfecting, including for specific surfaces. 
 

Personal protective equipment (PPE) refers to anything used or worn to minimise risk to worker health and safety. It can be used to supplement the other control measures put in place at your workplace to protect against COVID-19. Your employer must apply a range of control measures in your workplace, suchas good hygiene measures, physical distancing, environmental cleaning and providing workers with information and training. They cannot only use PPE.

Common PPE that can be used to protect against COVID-19 include: 

  • masks 
  • gloves 
  • eye protection, and 
  • screens. 

The type of PPE your employer might provide will depend on your workplace and the outcomes of their risk assessment and consultation. 

The use of some types of masks, gowns and disposable suits is restricted to health care settings. It is not recommended that these types of PPE are used outside of health care to protect against COVID-19. More information about using these PPE in health care can be found on the Australian Government Department of Health website. 

The type of PPE your employer might provide will depend on your workplace and outcomes of their risk assessment and consultation. 

Some states and territories have issued directions about wearing face masks in public and other specific settings. This is based on the local situation. It is important that you keep up to date with recommendations and directions about the wearing of PPE that apply nationally, and in your state or territory, and ensure that these are followed at your workplace. 

Eye protection 

Eye protection, in the form of safety glasses, goggles or a face shield, can be used as PPE for protecting against the risks of COVID-19.  

Eye protection can assist to act as a physical barrier from droplet spray and prevent unintentional rubbing of eyes between hand washing. Eye protection may be necessary for workers who are in close proximity to droplet spray, for example health workers, police, corrections and security work. However, for many workplaces, eye protection will not be a required control measure. 

Good hygiene practices should be followed if eye protection is used.   

More information about using eye protection in health care settings can be found on the Australian Government Department of Health website. 

Does my employer need to provide me with PPE?

Your employer must provide you with appropriate PPE, and information and training on how and why you are required to use it. 

PPE used at a workplace must be:

  • selected to minimise risk to work health and safety
  • suitable for the nature of the work and any hazard associated with the work
  • a suitable size and fit and reasonably comfortable for the person wearing it.

Some states and territories have issued directions about wearing face masks in public and other specific settings. This is based on the local situation. It is important that you keep up to date with recommendations and directions about the wearing of PPE that apply nationally, and in your state or territory, and ensure that these are followed at your workplace. 

Relying only on PPE will not protect you from the risk of exposure to COVID-19. Your employer must consider a range of control measures to limit the spread of COVID-19, including good hygiene measures, physical distancing (keeping everyone at the workplace at least 1.5 metres physically apart), cleaning and disinfecting and providing workers with information and training.   

For further information about PPE including additional employer obligations, go to the personal protective equipment webpage. 

Does my employer need to consult me about PPE?

Yes. Your employer must consult with you about the possible control measures they will put in place in response to the risks of COVID-19. Following consultation, if your employer chooses to provide you with PPE, they must provide you with appropriate information, instruction and training on its use. This includes how to wear the PPE safely and correctly, how to store the items safely, how to dispose of single-use items and how to clean re-usable items.

You should refer to the manufacturer’s instructions provided with the PPE for correct use, storage, maintenance and when to replace PPE. 

Information on how to dispose of PPE can be found below. Information on cleaning reusable PPE can be found in our cleaning guide

For more information on consulting with your employer, see our consultation information.

How do I dispose of PPE?

Unless contaminated, disposable PPE can be disposed of with the general waste, preferably a closed bin. A closed bin is a bin with a fitted lid. 

Where the PPE is contaminated it should be disposed of in a closed bin, preferably one that does not need to be touched to place contaminated PPE inside. A bin with a foot pedal or other hands-free mechanism to open the lid would be appropriate. 

The bin for contaminated PPE should contain two bin liners to ensure the waste is double bagged. Double bagging minimises any exposure to the person disposing of the waste.

PPE would be considered contaminated if:

  • it has been worn by a symptomatic worker or visitor to the workplace
  • it has been worn by a close contact of a confirmed COVID case
  • the PPE has been in contact with a potentially contaminated surface, or
  • it is visibly soiled or damp (e.g. face masks).

Where a closed bin is not available, the contaminated PPE should be placed in a sealed bag before disposal into the bin. The sealed bag and a single bin liner are considered equivalent to double bagging. 

It is important to follow good hand hygiene after removing and disposing of your PPE. Hands should be cleaned thoroughly with soap and water (for a minimum of 20 seconds) or hand sanitiser. 

If you have a case of COVID-19 in the workplace, your state or territory health authority should provide you with advice on what you need to do in your workplace. Follow their instructions. 

For information about the disposal of PPE in health care settings, you will need to refer to the Australian Government Department of Health  and state and territory health authorities.

Does my employer need to install a screen in my workplace?

Perspex screens (also known as sneeze guards) may be beneficial where workers are in close proximity for long periods. For example, where two workers work side by side or back to back for a shift. The current  Australian Government advice is that it is not necessary to install a screen between workers and the public (customers) as the interaction time between them is shorter. However, many businesses have chosen to protect workers by installing these screens including retail stores, pharmacies and doctor’s surgeries. 

Whether a perspex screen should be installed in your workplace must be determined on a case by case basis. You should speak with your employer or health and safety representative if you think a screen should be installed in your workplace. 

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