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The Personal Protective Equipment Regulations 2002

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Prevention of drowning (lifejackets, armbands and lifesaving suits)

3.4.  PPE designed to prevent drowning must be capable of returning to the surface as quickly as possible, without danger to his health, a user who may be exhausted or unconscious after falling into a liquid medium, and of keeping him afloat in a position which permits breathing while awaiting help.

  • PPE may be wholly or partially inherently buoyant or may be inflated either by gas which can be manually or automatically released or orally.

  • Under the foreseeable conditions of use:

    • PPE must, without prejudice to its satisfactory operation, be capable of withstanding the effects of impact with the liquid medium and the environmental factors inherent in that medium,

    • inflatable PPE must be capable of inflating rapidly and fully.

  • Where particular foreseeable conditions of use so require, certain types of PPE must also satisfy one or more of the following additional requirements:

    • it must have all the inflation devices referred to in the second subparagraph, and/or a light or sound-signalling device,

    • it must have a device for hitching and attaching the body so that the user may be lifted out of the liquid medium,

    • it must be suitable for prolonged use throughout the period of activity exposing the user, possibly dressed, to the risk of falling into the liquid medium or requiring his immersion in it.

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