Personal Protective Equipment

We have developed guidance and practical steps for you to implement each of the ten areas of focus when creating an effective Safety & Wellness Program at your organization. The following guidance correlates to focus area number five: Personal Protective Equipment.

Various personal protective equipment (PPE) and clothing have been designed to safeguard workers from a wide range of hazards like exposure to blood and other potentially infectious materials, and contact with occupational sounds that can severely–and sometimes permanently–damage hearing. When it comes to providing PPE for your organization, please consider:

  • ​​Are employees actually using the gear on a consistent basis?
  • Is the PPE being properly inspected before each use?
  • Is equipment that has become damaged to the point of losing its protective functionality, being replaced?

Use the following checklist to ensure that the right protective gear is available and in good condition at your organization:

  • Has your organization identified the presence of, or potential for hazards that require the use of PPE (e.g., head, eye, face, hand or foot protection)?
  • If hazards or the likelihood of hazards are found, have you selected appropriate and properly fitted PPE suitable for protection from these hazards?
  • Do you have a system in place in order to ensure that affected employees use the proper PPE?
  • Have staff been trained on PPE procedures, i.e., what PPE is necessary for job tasks, when workers need it and how to properly wear and adjust it?
  • Are protective goggles or face shields provided and worn where there is any danger of flying particles or corrosive materials?
  • Are approved safety glasses required to be worn at all times in areas where there is a risk of eye injuries such as punctures, abrasions, contusions or burns?
  • Are employees who wear corrective lenses (glasses or contacts) in workplaces with harmful exposures required to wear only approved safety glasses, protective goggles or use other medically approved precautionary procedures?
  • Are protective gloves, aprons, shields or other means provided and required where employees could be cut or where there is reasonably anticipated exposure to corrosive liquids, chemicals, blood or other potentially infectious materials? See the OSHA Bloodborne Pathogen standard, 29 CFR 1910.1030(b)for the definition of “other potentially infectious materials.”
  • Are hard hats required, provided and worn where danger of falling objects exists?
  • Are hard hats periodically inspected for damage to the shell and suspension system?
  • Is appropriate foot protection required where there is the risk of foot injuries from hot, corrosive or poisonous substances, falling objects, crushing or penetrating actions?
  • Is all PPE maintained in a sanitary condition and ready for use?
  • Are food or beverages consumed only in areas where there is no exposure to toxic material, blood or other potentially infectious materials?
  • Is protection against the effects of occupational noise provided when sound levels exceed those of the OSHA noise standard?
  • Are adequate work procedures, PPE and other equipment provided and used when cleaning up spilled hazardous materials?
  • Are appropriate procedures in place to dispose of or decontaminate PPE contaminated with, or reasonably anticipated to be contaminated with, blood or other potentially infectious materials?

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Additional resources to help implement the above checklist: