Workers are exposed to dangerous situations at the workplace on a daily basis. It is important for workers to recognize hazards associated with their job, and understand the importance of wearing Personal Protective Equipment, and how it is vital for their safety. The proper use of PPE may very well prevent exposure to risks that lead to illness, injury, or death. Employers are required by OSHA to provide PPE for all employees at no cost to the employee, and train all employees on the proper use and care of PPE. Each employee is required to demonstrate their understanding of the training by properly wearing and caring for their own PPE.

Discussion Points:
• OSHA requirements for PPE as stated in 29 CFR 1910.132
• Providing PPE for all employees at no cost to the employee
• Training employees how to use and care for PPE
• Demonstrating proper use of PPE
• Care and maintaining PPE

The type of PPE must be specific to the job to provide the best protection. OSHA requires that PPE meet criteria set by the American National Standard Institute, also known as ANSI standards. Type of PPE include protection for the head, face and eyes, respiratory, hearing, body and skin, hands, and feet. Each type has an assortment by design and classification according to the degree of protection necessary for the specific job. The classifications are based on the severity of risk depending on exposure to chemicals, electrical, mechanical and other environmental hazards. PPE should be inspected and donned before the start of each work period, and cleaned and stored away in a location that is easily accessible by employees. The most important factor associated with PPE is the safety it provides against illness and injury, and the insurance it provides that you will go home safely at the end of each day.

As always, be safe out there!