Personal Protective Equipment

General Requirements
One significant means of protecting employees from hazards encountered on the job is use of Personal Protective Equipment. To be effective, the right PPE must be used, and used in the correct manner. PPE includes respirators, hearing protection, safety glasses or goggles, gloves, special clothing, etc. For some PPE, such as respirators and hearing protection, special OSHA requirements exist; information can be found in those programs.

A significant draw-back to PPE is that it only protects the employee(s) using it, and does not protect others in the area. This must be a consideration when relying on PPE for employee protection.

OSHA CFR 1910.132-138

Keys to compliance for Supervisors

Frequently asked questions

Q. Sometimes my employees want prescription safety glasses with features that aren’t approved (for example, tinted lenses), and the request is denied. Why?
A. The OSHA regulation and subsequent information are very specific about what’s acceptable, and we must adhere to the regulation.

Q. Who pays for PPE?
A. If the PPE is required by OSHA, the employer must pay for it.

Q. What if my employees refuse to use required PPE?
A. This can lead to disciplinary action; contact your manager and Human Resources representative.

Links to written programs, further information