Personal protective equipment (PPE) includes all types of equipment used to increase individual safety while performing potentially hazardous tasks. This may include safety glasses, gloves, lab coats, respirators, or any equipment used to protect against injury or illness.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires PPE to be provided, used, and maintained in a sanitary and reliable condition wherever hazards of processes or environment, chemical hazards, radiological hazards, or mechanical irritants are encountered in a manner capable of causing injury or illness through absorption, inhalation, or physical contact. Departments are responsible for ensuring the adequacy of the equipment and ensuring that it is properly maintained, even in those cases where employees provide their own PPE.
Engineering controls, that eliminate the hazard at the source and do not rely on the worker's behavior for their effectiveness, offer the best and most reliable means of protection. Therefore, engineering controls are the first choice for eliminating workplace hazards. Whenever engineering controls are not available or are not fully capable of providing protection, the worker must wear personal protective equipment.
Hazard Assessment and Equipment Selection
Departments must assess their workplaces to identify hazards requiring the use of PPE. Equipment should be selected to provide protection against the hazards identified during the assessment. The hazard assessment must be certified in writing.
Eye and Face Protection
Appropriate eye and face protection, such as safety glasses, goggles, and face shields, must be used to protect against the hazards associated with flying particles, molten metal, liquid chemicals, acids and caustic liquids, chemical gases and vapors, or potentially injurious light radiation.
Hand protection must be worn to protect against hazards of skin absorption of harmful substances, severe cuts or lacerations, severe abrasions, punctures, chemical burns, thermal burns, or harmful temperature extremes.
Respiratory protection may be used to protect against inhalation hazards when engineering and administrative controls are not feasible or adequate.
Each worker required to use PPE must receive training in the following:
The department must certify in writing that workers have received and understood this training.