What Are The Five Points of PPE?

Five Points of PPE

The ‘five points of PPE’ is a widely recognised method of ensuring every worker on site is wearing at least the minimum level of safety protection. It consists of a safety helmet, safety goggles, a high-visibility vest, gloves and steel toe capped boots. These five items provide the wearer with sufficient protection to the entire body for environments such as construction sites. This also acts as a great foundation that can be built upon if a more technical PPE solution is required – in industries such as utilities, rail and engineering. Therefore it is crucial that those involved in the procurement or purchase of these goods are aware of the five points of PPE, and the significance of the role of each.

Safety Helmet

Head protection is of paramount importance for anyone working in a construction or industrial setting. Safety headwear has the purpose of protecting its wearer from traumatic head injury – either in the event of a fall or accident, or from falling debris. The designs and features of safety helmets have advanced a lot through the years and there is now a massive range of options available, ensuring the safety of workers in any job role or environment.

Safety helmets are classified into two categories: those used for working at height, and those used for ground safety. Due to variations in their intended uses, there are a number of design differences between these helmets. Firstly, helmets used for workers on the ground are designed to protect the wearer from impacts from directly above, whereas climbing helmets are tested to withstand impacts from any direction. There are also differences in the chinstrap design.

For more detailed information on this topic, read about the head protection safety standard (EN 397) here.

Safety Goggles

The second essential item of PPE is eye protection. It is very important that your eyes are safe when in environments where dust, debris, liquid, sparks or chemicals could enter the eye. If not, there is a risk of sight impairment or even permanent sight loss. Eye protection must also be worn when working with objects under high pressure or tension – for example a strap snapping near someone’s face poses a serious danger to their sight.

A popular safety glasses solution that offers a great all-round level of protection from common workplace hazards is the Unifit Riva. This is a lightweight option at just 21g, with a wrap-around single-piece lens design for clear vision.

This post is a helpful guide on the difference between safety glasses and safety goggles.

The High Visibility Vest

A high-visibility vest seems like a very basic requirement but it is absolutely key in ensuring a worker’s safety. The additional visibility it provides is invaluable for preventing accidents involving the movement of heavy machinery and vehicles. The bright fluorescent colors, typically orange or yellow, combined with reflective strips, make the wearer highly visible even in low light or poor weather conditions.

Additionally, the high-visibility vest not only protects the worker by making them more visible to others, but also serves as an identifier of someone who belongs on site. This can help to prevent unauthorized personnel from entering potentially dangerous areas.

Have a look at our hi-vis range to find the perfect option for you. Also, check out this post for some useful guidance on the correct maintenance and disposal of your hi-vis clothing.


Gloves are an essential piece of personal protective equipment for construction workers. They provide protection for the hands from injuries such as cuts, abrasions, burns, and chemical exposure. Construction sites often involve handling sharp objects, rough materials, and hazardous substances, making gloves a crucial safety measure.

There are different types of gloves available for various tasks and environments. For example, cut-resistant gloves are suitable for handling sharp objects, while chemical-resistant gloves are necessary when working with hazardous substances. It is important to choose the right type of gloves based on the specific hazards present in the work environment.

For more information, visit this post to read about how the glove ratings have recently changed.

Steel Toe Capped Boots

Finally, the last point of PPE is safety footwear. Boots with a steel toe cap offer ultimate protection to the toe area from falling objects. This is the perfect level of protection necessary for construction sites.

However, in more hazardous situations, there are many more protective features to be explored. Metatarsal protection, for example, offers reinforcement to the top of the foot, keeping the metatarsal bones safe from impacts and crushing injuries. This can be particularly important in environments where heavy objects may fall or be dropped. Read more on this topic here. Additionally, mid-sole penetration resistant safety footwear is designed to protect the wearer from sharp objects penetrating the sole of the safety boot, such as nails or screws.


What’s Next?

To conclude, the five points of PPE is a fundamental requirement for construction workers to follow when on site, and it is vital that these five items are being worn correctly at all times. Following this guidance helps ensure the safety of workers and avoid the dangers of the construction industry.

If you’re not sure where to start, our blog has lots more valuable information and guidance on the topic of PPE and workwear, so be sure to check out some of our other posts. Alternatively, just give us a call on 01423 605143 and one of our team will be glad to help.