The European PPE Directive 89/656/EEC was translated into German law in the PPE Usage Regulation (“PSA-Benutzungsverordnung = PSA-BV”). This Regulation governs both the provision of personal protective equipment (PPE) on the part of the employer as well as the usage of such equipment by the employee.
Section 2, para. 2 of the PSA-BV states very clearly that PPE is intended for use by a single employee and must be selected according to his/her individual physical requirements.
Only under special circumstances may PPE be used by several different individuals. When using PPE, particular attention must be paid to health risks and hygiene. Additional, special regulations apply when PPE is hired out or handed over from a depot.
Section 2, para. 4, PSA-BV explicitly assigns the obligation to carry out regular inspections to the employer. He/she must ensure that PPE equipment is in good working order and in a satisfactory state of hygiene throughout its period of usage.
However, the employer may also delegate this duty to an employee or an external service provider. In order to be able to fulfill this obligation, the individual concerned needs to be qualified through appropriate training as a specialist for PPE & rescue equipment in accordance with DGUV Principle 312-906.
PSA-BV also picks up on the information contained in Section 12 of the Act on the Implementation of Measures of Occupational Safety and Health by confirming the fundamental obligation to provide instruction where personal protective equipment is used. The employer must instruct users on how to use the equipment safely and provide all the required information supplied by the manufacturer (e.g. operating manual) in a comprehensible form and language.