Personal Protective Equipment

Personal Protective Equipment

The Vision Council is updating the Chemical Management and OSHA compliance resources to reflect numerous regulatory changes over the past several years. We will be sending a series of memos over the next few months, with training, templates, references, and OSHA required written programs. This fifth memo addresses Personal Protective Equipment.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires employers to assess the workplace to determine if hazards require the use of personal protective equipment. Employers must select and require the use of suitable PPE to protect workers from hazards or potential hazards. Based on a hazard assessment or a job safety analysis, the employer can select the PPE that best protects employees.

Employees must be trained on the proper wearing, use, maintenance and cleaning of the PPE. If the employee owns the PPE, the employer is still responsible for ensuring the adequacy, proper maintenance, and sanitation of the equipment.

Note: It is the responsibility of management to determine when, where, and what type of PPE is required, and enforce the proper use.
Click this link to get the OSHA Recommended Hazard Assessment Practice web site:

https://www.osha.gov/shpguidelines/hazard-Identification.html

The OSHA Job Hazard Analysis (JHA) handbook, with instructions, samples and JHA template, is available at: https://www.osha.gov/Publications/osha3071.pdf

Employers are required to eliminate the risk or reduce it to an acceptable level by:

  1. designing out the hazard as the top priority
  2. substituting a less hazardous method or material
  3. engineering controls such as safety devices or isolating the hazard
  4. administrative controls such as job rotation
  5. personal protective equipment if none of the above controls are feasible

The state of Texas Department of Insurance, Department of Workers Compensation provides some good resources that members can use.

Click this link for a simplified hazard assessment guide, training and template: https://www.tdi.texas.gov/pubs/videoresource/stpjobsafetana.pdf

And Texas developed this guide to help employers determine what type of PPE may be needed. https://www.tdi.texas.gov/pubs/videoresource/fsppe.pdf

The Texas examples above have been provided as a reference. Check with your state to see if they provide something similar.

Respiratory protection and hearing protection have additional requirements, including written procedures, employee fit testing, and medical evaluation of employee's ability to wear these types of PE.