Skip to main content

OSHA’s PPE Standards Revised

OSHA’s PPE Standards Revised
On February 15 this year, OSHA issued revised directives with regards to determining whether employers are complying with OSHA’s PPE standards. This directive is also known as the Enforcement Guidance for Personal Protective Equipment in the General Industry and is the latest about PPE from OSHA. It is an important document for employers as well as employees.

The PPE standards first emerged in order to keep up with the rapid scientific advances in determining and eliminating workplace safety hazards, developments in the type of fabrics and materials used to avoid hazards and the type of respiratory and personal protection tools used. PPE has become a lot more sophisticated since then.

There are several important changes that have been made, namely:

  1. Firstly, the document now clarifies just what type of PPE should be provided by employers at no cost to the employees and when are employers required to pay for PPE such as respirators, hard hats, hearing protection, personal fall protection, firefighting equipment, etc. The document also mentions when employers are NOT required to pay for PPE.

  2. The document clarifies what the PPE requirements are for various jobs and what PPE must remain on the work site and what can be carried off work.

  3. The document contains various policies that reflect the Court and Review commission decisions with regards to PPE.

  4. The guidance provides all valid information which allows employers to use PPE that is selected in accordance with the most recent national standards. This information is highly useful to employers as it helps them select the most appropriate PPE.

  5. OSHA has also amended the provision that specifically requires for safety shoes to comply with the specific American National Standards Institute standard. Employers should now select footwear that is constructed in accordance with the ANSI standards.