Personal protective equipment, or PPE, saves lives when worn and used correctly.
OSHA requires the use of PPE to reduce employee exposure to hazards when engineering and administrative controls are not feasible or effective in reducing these exposures to acceptable levels.
Employers must determine if PPE should be used to protect their workers. If PPE is to be used, employers must implement a PPE program. The program should address the hazards present; the selection, maintenance, and use of PPE; the training of employees; and monitoring of the program to ensure its ongoing effectiveness.
Workers must wear hard hats when overhead, falling, or flying hazards exist or when danger of electrical shock is present.
Eye and Face Protection
Workers must wear only ANSI approved safety glasses, face shields or goggles for welding, cutting, nailing (including pneumatic), or when working with concrete and/or harmful chemicals and to protect against flying particles. Look for Z87 stamped on the frames.
Residential construction workers must wear shoes or boots with slip-resistant and puncture-resistant soles to prevent slipping and puncture wounds. Safety-toed shoes are recommended to prevent crushed toes when working with heavy rolling equipment or falling objects.
High-quality gloves can prevent injury. Make sure that gloves should fit snugly. Always inspect gloves for cuts, tears and discoloration that might indicate excessive wear. Workers should always wear the right gloves per their task.
Use a safety harness system for fall protection. Where fall prevention cannot be installed, use a “personal fall arrest system” (PFAS). A PFAS includes an anchorage, full body harness, and connector such as a lanyard or lifeline.
Clothing to protect the body should consist at a minimum of long work pants and a sleeved shirt. When hazardous liquids, gases, vapors or debris are present, the level of protection needed increases. This may include garments of Tyvek, Nomex, or PVC.
Wherever it is not feasible to reduce the noise levels or duration of exposures, ear protective devices shall be provided and used. Ear protective devices inserted in the ear shall be fitted or determined individually by competent persons.
Select the correct respirator based on the hazard. Inspect the respirator for missing or worn respirator parts. Depending on the type of respirator, the employee must be medically cleared, trained and respirator fit tested prior to respirator use. Do not share respirators and only use the respirator that you have been fitted for.