Category III PPE training courses: Are they mandatory? How often are refresher courses required?

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PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) means any device or appliance designed to be worn or held by an individual for protection against one or more health and safety hazards. There are 3 risk categories of PPE according to Regulation (EU) 2016/425 and the devices designed to protect users from serious health consequences such as death or irreversible damage to health fall under category III (highest protection level).

Respiratory Protective Equipment and training courses: mandatory and indispensable

In accordance with current Health and Safety at work regulations, all workers who are exposed to toxic dust, gases or vapours need to undergo training on the practical use of category III respiratory protective equipment (RPE).

PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) means any device or appliance designed to be worn or held by an individual for protection against one or more health and safety hazards. There are 3 risk categories of PPE (Regulation (EU) 2016/425) and the devices designed to protect users from serious health consequences such as death or irreversible damage to health fall under category III (highest protection level).

Category III PPE refresher training: how often does it need to be conducted?

Legislation relating to PPE requires that the employer provides all workers at risk with category III PPE which has to be both adequate and suitable for the purpose intended, as well as information, training and instruction on the proper use and maintenance of said equipment.
This requirement, apart from being legally binding, is also morally binding and in the interests of the employer self.

In order for all employees (even those newly recruited) to be adequately trained, training courses should be conducted at regular intervals which should not exceed 5 years, even though legislation does not specify training frequency requirement.

These types of training courses vary in length and are usually in two parts, i.e. a theoretical and a practical one. The first part is theoretical and workers are trained on relevant regulations as well as the chemical nature and behaviour of various harmful agents.

The second part is more practical and workers are trained as regards the wearing and proper use of PPE in case of emergencies, by simulating dangerous situations.

They also undergo training in the use, care and maintenance of PPE in order to preserve the PPE “in use life”. Moreover, the users are taught to recognise a malfunctioning device and when the filters and / or other parts of the equipment need to be replaced.

Learning is tested through a series of practical tests and on successful completion candidates receive a certificate.