Center for Asbestos Safety

Personal Protective Equipment

To ensure a safe and healthy workplace employers and employees must work together. This depends on a combined effort between the two to understand and maintain proper requirements for PPE.

Employers are responsible for identifying physical and health hazards in the workplace through a proper Hazard Assessment. Also, employers must correctly identify the proper PPE for their workplace and train the employees in the proper use and maintenance of that equipment. In addition, employers must replace worn and damaged PPE Finally the employer must continually review the PPE program and make necessary changes to ensure effectiveness.

The employees are required to participate in training programs on PPE and wear the PPE properly. Also, employees must tend to the PPE through cleaning and maintenance and inform the employers when replacement is needed.

The Hazard Assessment:

The Hazard Assessment is a walkthrough of the facility to identify health and physical dangers in the workplace. The hazard survey includes general categories such as impact, penetration, compression, chemical, heat/cold, harmful dust, light radiation, and biologic.

Upon completing the assessment the employer should analyze the data collected to determine the proper PPE for each work area. The PPE selected should slightly exceeds the minimum required for that particular hazard to ensure proper safety. Also, the Hazard Assessment is required to be documented.

Selecting PPE:

PPE that is comfortable to wear will encourage proper use. Employers should keep this in mind when selecting their PPE for the workplace. Durability and clean-ability should also be considered. Requirements for PPE by OSHA need to meet or exceed the standards issued by the American National Standards Institute. The ANSI does not have standards for gloves; however, the employer should provide the proper gloves for the task to be performed.

Training Employees in the Proper Use of PPE:

OSHA requires employers to train their employees in the proper use of PPE. This should include educating the employees to identify when and what PPE is necessary, how to properly wear the PPE, what the limits are of the PPE, and how to care for and properly dispose of the PPE.

If the employer witnesses the employee improperly using PPE the employer is required to reinstruct the worker in the proper use. In addition, updated training in the use of PPE must be administered anytime there is a change in the workplace that affects the current PPE being utilized.

Center for Asbestos
Safety in the Workplace