Overview: Employers are required to provide employees with personal protective equipment (PPE), such as hard hats, goggles, gloves, respirators, etc. It is generally the employer's responsibility to pay for and distribute any required PPE to its employees.
The PPE standard has been interpreted to cover many different types of gear and a wide variety of situations that could be deemed hazardous. If it is going to keep the employees safe and it is not unreasonably expensive, there is a good chance that it will be covered under the PPE standard.
Employers can determine what type of PPE a job should have by performing a Job Hazard Analysis, looking at OSHA standards, comparing similar jobs in other workplaces and examining injury records, for starters. Employee input can also be helpful.
Trends: Employees may want to know whether the time it takes to don and doff (put on and take off) PPE is time for which they must be compensated. The answer is yes. Employers must pay employees for the time it takes to don and doff PPE.
Author: Melissa Gonzalez Boyce, JD, Legal Editor
This briefing for supervisors examines the law and best practices regarding PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) in the workplace, including topics such as types of PPE, selection and maintenance of PPE and training of employees in using PPE.
Employment glossary definition of PPE (Personal Protective Equipment).
Employment glossary definition of Respirator.
HR guidance on personal protective equipment (PPE).