Personal Protective Equipment
Hazards exist in every workplace, in many different forms: sharp objects, falling objects, sparks, chemicals, noise and a myriad of other situations. Controlling a hazard at its source, by using engineering, administrative or work practice controls is the best way to protect employees, and is required by OSHA. When these controls are not feasible or do not provide sufficient protection, personal protective equipment (PPE) may be used.
PPE is equipment worn to minimize exposure to a variety of hazards; examples include such items as gloves, foot and eye protection, hard hats, lab coats and full body suits. Respirators and Hearing Protection are also PPE, but have specific regulations, and are covered in separate sections on this web site.
The greatest possible protection for employees in the workplace requires the cooperative efforts of both Supervisors and employees. At UofL Unit Supervisors are responsible for:
- Performing a "hazard assessment" of the workplace to identify physical and health hazards
- Identifying and providing appropriate PPE for employees
- Training employees in the use and care of the PPE
- Maintaining PPE and replacing worn or damaged PPE
Employees contribute by:
- Properly wearing PPE
- Attending the training sessions on PPE
- Caring for, cleaning and maintaining PPE
- Informing a supervisor of the need to repair or replace PPE
For further information or assistance regarding the selection and use of PPE you may contact the DEHS Industrial Hygienist or call 852-2961.
- Personal Protective Equipment General Standards CFR 1910.132
- Non-Mandatory Compliance Guidelines for Hazard Assessment and Personal Protective Equipment Selection
- OSHA Fact Sheet: PPE
- CCOHS PPE Canada's Health & Safety Resource
- Best Glove Hand Protection Glove selection
- CCOHS Chemical Protective Clothing - Glove Selection Canada's Health & Safety Resource