Good practices for the construction industry: use of personal protective equipment

Good practices for the construction industry: use of personal protective equipment

In construction work, employers must select personal protective equipment by identifying the hazards to workers’ safety and health and assessing the significance of these hazards.

General instructions

  • Safety helmets must be worn on construction sites. If necessary, helmets must be equipped with a hood underneath.
  • Reflective warning clothing must be worn on construction sites to ensure good visibility of the worker.
  • Personal eye protection equipment must be used in construction work, as required by the work and conditions.
  • Safety boots are usually required on construction sites.
  • Knee protection must be used for floor laying work and other similar work that puts a strain on the knees. 

Special cases

Eye protection for tower crane drivers

The employer must assess crane drivers’ work hazards, including ones caused by glare, and take the necessary measures.

The Finnish Institute of Occupational Health has issued a statement to the Finnish Construction Trade Union on the necessity of protection 22 June 2010. According to the statement, unobstructed and good visibility is a prerequisite for the safe performance of the work of a tower crane driver. This is why preventing glare with sunglasses is especially necessary in a tower crane driver’s work. When an employee needs glasses, they must wear prescription sunglasses matching their vision. Wearing prescription sunglasses reduces glare, improves visual accuracy and visibility and improves the safe performance of work without damaging employees outside the crane.

Clearing trees from power lines

For clearing power line right-of-ways and for clearing storm damage or trees fallen on power lines due to snow, if the work is done using a chainsaw or other hand-held equipment, workers carrying out the clearing work must wear personal protective equipment and clothing intended for forestry work. 

Required protective equipment:

  • Helmet with face shield and hearing protectors
  • Protective footwear with cut protection
  • Cut protective trousers or cut protective open overalls
  • High-visibility warning clothing 

Further information: Government Decree on the safety of tree harvesting (749/2001, in Finnish)

Use of chainsaw in construction work

Required protective equipment:

  • Helmet with face shield and hearing protectors
  • Protective footwear with cut protection
  • Cut protective trousers or cut protective open overalls according to manufacturer’s instructions
  • High-visibility warning clothing

Use of radio/bluetooth hearing protectors on construction site

  • The employer assesses whether a piece of PPE can be used on a construction site. 

Use of safety boots for finishing work

  • The employer assesses whether the use of safety boots is necessary.

Good practices for the construction industry: use of personal protective equipment - Lainsäädäntö

 

Legislation

Occupational Safety and Health Act (738/2002)

  • Section 10 – Analysis and assessment of the risks at work
  • Section 15 – Reserving personal protective equipment, assistive devices and other equipment for use

Government Decree on the Safety of Construction Work (205/2009)

  • Section 71 – Need for personal protective equipment in construction work

Government Decree on the Selection and Use of Personal Protective Equipment (427/2021, in Finnish)