PPE: GENERAL OVERVIEW
Personal protective equipment, often referred to as PPE, is mandated under state and federal law. Wearing proper PPE for the job and the hazards present is mandatory, not optional, for all employees in the United States. Appropriate PPE can stand between you and danger. It’s vital that employees know when to use it, be properly trained on how to use it, and feel comfortable checking with their supervisors if they have questions.
General PPE Requirements
PPE must be used and maintained in a sanitary and reliable condition wherever it is necessary for protection from the hazards, processes or environment present.
Hazard Assessment and Equipment Selection
The workplace must be assessed to determine if hazards are present, or are likely to be present, which make it necessary to use PPE. If such hazards are present, or likely to be, it is necessary to select the types of PPE that will protect those in the area from the hazards identified. The employer is responsible to help all employees understand what equipment is to be used and why and to select the type of PPE that properly fits each affected employee.
Each person who uses PPE must know:
- When it is necessary to wear the equipment.
- What equipment is necessary and how to wear it.
- The limitations of the equipment, to prevent a false sense of security.
- The proper care, maintenance, useful life and disposal of the equipment.
Each employee must show the ability to use the equipment properly before they are exposed to the job hazards. Employers are responsible that their employees use the PPE when required and use it correctly. Retraining may be required if changes in the workplace make previous training obsolete or changes in the types of equipment to be used make previous training obsolete.