Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Program
The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) standard on Personal Protective Equipment, 29 CFR 1910.132, requires that employers perform a hazard assessment of the workplace to determine the nature of the hazards and ensure that appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) is available to employees. The standard also requires that employees be trained in the proper use, care and limitations of PPE.
The objective of the Personal Protective Equipment Program is to protect employees from risk of injury or death by creating a barrier against workplace hazards.
PPE is not a substitute for good engineering or administrative controls, or good work practices, but should be used in conjunction with these controls to ensure the safety and health of employees. This program addresses eye, face, head, foot and hand protection. Separate programs exist for respiratory protection and hearing protection.
Department heads will hold appropriate supervisors accountable for their responsibilities outlined in the program.
Supervisors have the primary responsibility for the PPE program in their work area Supervisors are responsible for conducting workplace hazard assessments; making appropriate PPE available to employees; ensuring employees are trained; maintaining records of PPE assignments and training; and supervising staff to ensure the program is followed. Supervisors can request assistance from EHS to evaluate hazards. Hazard assessments must be done any time new hazards are introduced, or when processes are added or changed.
Employees are responsible for wearing PPE as required; attending training sessions; cleaning and maintenance of PPE as required; informing supervisors of need to repair or replace PPE; and returning old/used equipment for replacement.
EHS is responsible for assistance with workplace hazard assessments as requested by supervisors; assistance in periodic workplace reassessment as requested by supervisors; maintaining records of hazard assessments; providing guidance to supervisors on purchase of PPE; and updating the PPE program.
Any worker required to wear PPE must receive training in the proper use and care of the PPE. Periodic retraining should be offered to both the employees and supervisors, as needed. After the training, the employees must demonstrate that they understand the components of the PPE program and how to use PPE properly.
Written records shall be kept of the names of persons trained, the type of training provided, and the dates when training occurred. Supervisors must send to EHS copies of the Certification of Hazard Assessment and Personal Protective Equipment Evaluation form, which is provided in Appendix I of the plan.