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Protective Clothing and Equipment

Approval Date
1 June 2019
Approved By
Chief Executive
Next Review
1 May 2022
Deputy Chief Executive: People, Culture and Safety
Baldrige Criteria
Workforce focus

To prevent harm to staff, learners, contractors, and visitors through the use of personal protective equipment (PPE), where identified hazards cannot be eliminated or isolated.


Health and Safety at Work Act 2015, all subsequent amendments, and regulations AS/NZ Standards –

  • for eye AS/NZS 1336, 1337, 1338,
  • head AS/NZS 1800, 1801
  • hearing AS/NZS 1270, 2002,
  • hand AS/NZS 2161.1
  • footwear protection AS/NZS 3

For guidance in selection and purchasing, contact Otago Polytechnic Limited Health and Safety Team or preferred provider sales representatives.


1.          Otago Polytechnic Ltd will provide, and bear the cost of providing, personal protective equipment (PPE) for staff where such equipment is required for protection from hazards as determined by Otago Polytechnic Ltd or statutory hazard identification processes.

2.          As learners are not staff or volunteers, there is no requirement for Otago Polytechnic Ltd to pay for their PPE, however there is a requirement that learners have it and wear it. Formal Leaders will ensure that either learners purchase approved PPE (which is to an AS/NZ standard) or it is provided by Otago Polytechnic Ltd.

3.          Where it is assessed as necessary to wear/use PPE, all staff, learners, visitors, and contractors are required to comply.

3.1.         A supervisor, lecturer, safety and wellbeing representative, or trained company representative will demonstrate how to fit the PPE correctly if required.

4.          Formal Leaders are responsible to ensure that staff use PPE effectively ,including but not limited to:

  • Fits the user correctly.
  • Keeping it ‘to hand’ so it will always be used.
  • Keeping it in clean and sound condition.
  • Replacing it as required.
  • Using it when appropriate.
  • Storing it appropriately.

5.          Lecturers have a responsibility, as supervisors, to ensure that learners wear and use PPE. Classes must not proceed if learners are not wearing the correct PPE.

6.          Any visitor must be under the direct supervision of a staff member while in hazardous areas such as workshops, studios, or hazardous outdoor areas. The visitor will be given an explanation of hazards and appropriate controls, provided with appropriate PPE before entering a hazardous area, and given instructions on how to wear it. Anyone in the area not wearing the correct PPE will be asked to leave.

7.          Workplaces which host learners on work experience are required under the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 to treat the learner with the same regard to health and safety as if they were ‘staff’. Therefore, appropriate PPE must be provided by the employer to the learner, or, the Otago Polytechnic Ltd lecturer on consultation with their formal leader, may choose to make arrangements with the employer to ensure that the learners take approved PPE with them to the workplace. Either way, where necessary for protection from hazards, PPE must be worn by the learner.

8.          As allowable under the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015, Otago Polytechnic Ltd recognises that there may be some instances where a staff member finds it more convenient or comfortable to use his or her own protective clothing. In these cases, the staff member might genuinely and voluntarily choose to provide his or her own protective clothing for comfort or for convenience, and thereby relieves Otago Polytechnic Limited of the duty to provide this clothing.

8.1.         The staff member must instigate such voluntary action. No suggestion of this can be made or inferred by Otago Polytechnic Ltd.

8.2.         If a staff member wishes to provide or purchase their own clothing, they may request this of their formal leader in writing with the reason why. Note: this only relates to clothing – not equipment.

8.3.         If a staff member has elected to provide their own clothing, this is at the staff member’s own cost.

8.4.         If it is agreed, between the staff member and the formal leader, that the staff member will provide their own protective clothing, Otago Polytechnic Ltd must be satisfied that the clothing is suitable and meets all AS/NZS standard requirements. Certificated evidence is required for PPE meeting overseas standards to see how the item, at minimum meets, or preferably exceeds, AS/NZS standards.

8.5.         Otago Polytechnic Ltd and the staff member continue to have a responsibility to ensure the protective clothing is worn and continues to be fit for purpose.

8.6.         Any staff member who has elected to provide his or her own protective clothing may, at a later date and after giving reasonable notice to their formal leader, choose that Otago Polytechnic Ltd provide the clothing.

9.          Otago Polytechnic Ltd has the following preferred providers of PPE:

  • NZ Safety Blackwoods
  • Protector Safety Supply, Dunedin
  • Road Materials, Dunedin
  • Officemax

9.1.         A purchase order and approval by the formal leader is required for purchase of PPE and Otago Polytechnic Ltd is to be invoiced directly.

9.2.         Where staff wish to purchase a higher grade of clothing than that which is approved by the formal leader, the staff member will request this in writing from the formal leader and pay the difference – the formal leader MUST ensure that the clothing that is purchased is suitable.

9.3.         A maximum amount of $120 plus GST for safety footwear is also allowed. If the staff wishes to select a more expensive pair of safety footwear, this must meet AS/NZS 2210.3 safety footwear standard and the staff will pay the difference.

10.       Staff and learners with special needs (and their treatment providers) cannot exempt themselves from wearing or using PPE or their responsibilities, and Otago Polytechnic Ltd responsibilities, relating to hazard management as prescribed by the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015.

10.1.      If there is a special need (usually disability related), the staff, lecturer or formal leader will seek the assistance of the Health and Safety Team. A full, documented risk assessment and hazard management plan will be agreed with the individual, the formal leader and the Health and Safety Team.


Contractor Health and Safety Policy


Approved by:
Phil Ker
Chief Executive