Friday, July 24, 2009

OSHA Issues Clarifications on PPE

Sorry for the long lead time on this issue. However, this issue seems like it should be common sense. On December 12, 2008, OSHA published a final rule clarifying emloyers' duty to provide personal protective equipment (PPE) and train each employee. This rule revises the OSHA standards to clarify that, for employers to be in compliance, they must provide PPE and hazards training for each employee covered by the standards. Each employee not protected may be considered a separate violation and penalties assessed accordingly. The revison is consistent with language in other standards for which per-employee citatiuons have been upheld.

In addition, realize by May 15, 2008, OSHA also required all employers to provide PPE at no cost to their employees (the employer must pay for the PPE). These requirements addressed many kinds of PPE, such as: hard hats, gloves, goggles, safety shoes, safety glasses, welding helmets and goggles, faceshields, chemical protective equipment, fall protection equipment, and other types of safety equipment. Certain safety equipment were excluded from the provision of employer payment of PPE, these excluded items are certain safety-toe shoes and boots, prescription safety eyewear, and logging boots. OSHA considers these three items personal in nature, are used from jobsite to jobsite (employer to employer), and are typically used off the jobsite.

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