Environmental, Health and Safety Services

What does OSHA require?

Personal protective equipment (PPE) is used whenever engineering or administrative controls are not feasible or do not adequately protect workers from hazards. PPE includes safety glasses, chemical splash goggles, gloves, lab coats, hard hats, safety shoes, respirators, disposable or cloth overalls and other protective gear. EHSS assists departments in evaluating work tasks that require PPE, providing appropriate selection criteria, and offering training.

It is essential to choose PPE that is specific to the hazard and type of work to be performed. PPE must be compatible with chemical hazards, provide proper dexterity, limit eyesight interference, fit properly, and be comfortable (and stylish). If these factors are not considered, the likelihood of consistent PPE use is diminished.

Some types of PPE (i.e. respirators) require a medical exam and fit test prior to use. Please refer to the Respiratory Protection section for further information.

First, a university representative must evaluate the hazards in the workplace or of the work performed by an employee. Because worksite conditions are subject to change, the responsibility for performing the hazard assessment is being placed at the departmental level. EHSS will provide training for the designated departmental representative. EHSS will also provide technical assistance during the evaluation process as needed or required.

During the hazard assessment, the inspector must determine if the hazards can be eliminated or reduced by implementing engineering or administrative controls.

If the hazards can not be controlled, PPE must be selected appropriate for the hazard and the employee must be trained to use and care for this equipment properly.

The hazard assessment and employee training must be documented in writing.