Personal Protective Equipment
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA 29CFR 1910.132 Personal Protective Equipment Standard requires all employers to assess their workplace for hazards that might require the use of personal protective equipment. If PPE has to be used, the supervisor must select the proper equipment and require its use.
The purpose of the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) program is to protect staff, faculty, students and visitors from potential hazards in the work environment. However, eliminating hazards through engineering or administrative controls provides better and more consistent protection than relying on PPE alone. If PPE is necessary, it is best used with engineering and/or administrative controls along with good work practices.
The strategy used for the selection of controls is called the “hierarchy of controls” which prioritizes the types of controls that are most effective in eliminating or reducing the risk of exposure to the hazard.PPE is the least effective for controlling or preventing exposure to a hazard. PPE provides a barrier to protect the worker from potential exposure to hazards, however due to the reliance on the worker to select, wear and maintain PPE, the likelihood of exposure to the hazard with PPE alone increases.
What you need to know
All PPE requests must be approved by Environmental Health and Occupational Safety. Please make sure you submit a PPE request for approval.
Managers and supervisors are responsible for assessing all work sites for hazards and identifying the PPE needs for all staff, faculty, students and visitors who may be potentially exposed to the hazards.
Eliminate, substitute or design out exposure to hazards or hazardous operations, if possible. If not possible or feasible, the degree of hazard and engineering or administrative controls in place will determine what PPE is needed. If departments use PPE for hazard protection, the following items must be completed:
- Assess the workplace for hazards.
- Identify how to control the hazards; engineering and administrative controls should be used first and then PPE.
- Select appropriate PPE that fits properly and provide it to employees.
- Ensure PPE is used.
- Establish inspection, maintenance and replacement procedures to ensure damaged PPE is not used.
- Train employees in proper use, limitations, care and maintenance of PPE.
- Document hazard assessment, PPE selection and training.
- If changes occur in the workplace, including procedures or chemical use, reevaluate hazard assessment, PPE needs and training.
- Assess PPE use at least annually; determine improvements as needed
If you need more information, use MC Guidelines for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) (PDF, ) that addresses a number of hazards associated with commonly performed indoor and outdoor tasks and the PPE that can be worn for protection.
When a hazard assessment determines that no PPE is needed, simply document the assessment. However, remember that if a hazard exists that does not require PPE, other regulations or programs requiring the use of PPE may still apply.
All PPE requests must be approved by Environmental Health and Occupational Safety. Please submit a PPE request for approval.
The PPE user is responsible for following the requirements of the PPE program.
- Selecting PPE that fits and is comfortable when working
- Inspecting PPE prior to use, replacing gear as appropriate if defective
- Wearing PPE as required
- Attending site-specific PPE training sessions
- Cleaning and maintaining PPE as trained
- Informing the supervisor of the need to repair or replace PPE
To determine the appropriate PPE to wear, based on chemical and physical hazards encountered, consult with your supervisor and review standard operating procedures (SOPs), safety data sheets and other hazard information.
- Maintaining the PPE program, including worksite hazard assessment guidance documents and the relevant online content
- Approving PPE Requests
- Advising lab managers and supervisors about material and physical hazards in work areas, specific PPE, and engineering and administrative controls
- Answer questions from employees on PPE issues
Contractors working at MC-owned or leased properties, not under the direct supervision of MC personnel, are responsible for following their company’s PPE policies and procedures. MC personnel shall not provide or train contractors on PPE.
Submit a PPE request
PPE requests must be approved by Environmental Health and Occupational Safety. Please download the PPE assessment form for the space you will be using the PPE. Fill the assessment form and send to email@example.com.Lab PPE Assessment Form Shop PPE Assessment Form