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PPE Enforcement in General Industry

In February, OSHA released the Enforcement Guidance for Personal Protective Equipment in General Industry, a directive that provides OSHA inspectors with support in assessing the requirements set forth by OSHA’s PPE standards (29 CFR 1910 Subpart I). Although this guidance is aimed at OSHA Compliance Safety and Health Officers, it provides valuable information for general industry employers in meeting the PPE requirements as well.

One of the most significant recent changes to the PPE regulations is the requirement for employers to pay for the PPE their employees need. This means that the employer must provide, at no cost, any PPE that is required by the standard to keep employees safe from the hazards they may encounter while working. There are certain exceptions, including, non-specialty safety-toe protective footwear, non-specialty prescription safety eye wear, metatarsal shoes, everyday or ordinary clothing, any PPE that is lost or intentionally damaged by the employee, employee-owned PPE, or personalized or upgraded PPE. The Enforcement Guidance directive provides detailed explanations of all exceptions to the rule.

One important requirement of the General Industry PPE standard explicitly states that a hazard assessment must be performed and a written certification of the assessment provided (29 CFR 1910.132(d)). The hazard assessment is a means for determining what hazards employees can be expected to come across and the PPE and engineering controls that will be used to protect employees from those hazards. PPE is one of the most basic ways for you to keep your employees safe while they work for you. If you haven’t already done so, complete a hazard assessment at your facility and make sure your employees have the PPE they need to stay safe!


This information is provided as a service to you by Compliance Consultants, Inc.

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