Why should personal protective equipment be considered after other means of protection against risks to health and safety?

The protection provided by personal protective equipment is limited as it protects only the person wearing or using it, and even then is effective only if it is correctly fitted, maintained and used. It has the added disadvantage of potentially restricting the wearer or user to some extent by limiting mobility or visibility, or by imposing an additional weight burden. In addition, theoretical maximum levels of protection from personal protective equipment are seldom achieved in practice.