One way personal protective equipment (PPE) differs from other kinds of protective equipment is that it's personally for you. Contrast a railing (for everyone) with a harness (for you).

Many people think another way PPE differs from general protection is that you are responsible for inspecting your PPE and someone else is responsible for inspecting general protective equipment. This kind of thinking can result in the "someone will take care of it" danger zone.

Of course, your company is legally liable for failed protective equipment and other safety problems. It's also liable for problems with PPE. But that liability is for fines after the fact. It doesn't ensure you are safe while doing your job now. For any given job, make a point of inspecting all safety equipment — not just your PPE.