Kidney belts: Make sure you issue them to the right employees at the right time

Ashley Churchyard, Fsp Business, 09 Jul. 2014

Tags: kidney belts, ppe, personal protective equipment, ohs act, safety wear

If something has ever hit you on the side of your lower back, you’ll know how sore it can be. This because your kidneys are there and they’re very sensitive to impact.

Now imagine you had to work on machinery that put constant pressure on your kidneys. Eventually, they’d suffer serious damage.

This is what your employees might experience every day! So ensure you give kidney belts to the right employees at the right time to protect them...

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There’s no specific legislation around issuing kidney belts

Just like with all PPE, there isn’t a specific set of rules around when you must issue what. What you do need to do is a full risk assessment.
The OHS Act says you must give out PPE, like kidney belts, based on the risks your employees face. 
So if during your risk assessment you see your employees’ kidneys may suffer damage, you must give them kidney belts. 
This is normally the case for employees who work on machinery such as forklifts that need this safety wear. 
Here’s what to look for to determine which of your employees need this type of PPE.
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Four things to look at during a risk assessment to see if you need to issue kidney belts

When you do your risk assessment to determine if you need to issue kidney belts look to see if:
1. Your machinery vibrates a lot;
2. Your machinery is old and in a bad condition;
3. Your employees spend a long period on the machinery; and
4. Your employees have enough back support and padding to protect them from the vibrations.
If any of these problems are present, you must give your employees kidney belts to protect them from harm.

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