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Personal Protective Equipment Program

  • For proper selection of PPE, refer to the OSHA Personal Protective Equipment Booklet.

    Certification of Hazard Assessment

    Purpose and Scope

    Based on 29 CFR Part 1910 Subpart I - Personal Protective Equipment, The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) requires that employers protect their employees from workplace hazards that can cause injury by 1) identifying the hazards, 2) selecting appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) to protect employees from those hazards, 3) provide training on the use and care of PPE to employees, and 4) provide PPE to employees and ensure its use. 

    University employees who have the potential to encounter hazards to the eyes, face, head, feet, or hands, or who conduct work involving electrical or fall hazards as identified during the Hazard Assessment of the workplace, will be required to participate in this PPE Program. 


    EHS shall prepare a PPE Program manual, and annually review and revise the manual to meet current OSHA regulations.  EHS shall also provide technical information and assist departments in implementing an effective PPE program in their workplace.

    Supervisors shall implement all aspects of the PPE Program, including documentation and training, conduct Hazard Assessments, and ensure that employees are informed, trained, and provided with appropriate PPE for job tasks requiring its use.
    Employees shall with guidelines and safety recommendations provided by supervisors and/or EHS regarding PPE, conduct assigned tasks in a safe manner and wear all assigned PPE, and report any unsafe or unhealthy work conditions and job related injuries or illnesses to the supervisor immediately.

    Hazard Assessment

    A hazard assessment serves to identify the potential hazards associated with employee tasks, and to determine if PPE is necessary to protect employees from those hazards.  During the hazard assessment of each task, inspect the layout of the workplace and look for the following hazardous sources:

    • Heat/Cold:  high or low temperature that could result in burns, eye injury, ignition of equipment, heat/cold stress, frostbite, lack of coordination, etc.
    • Chemical:   exposures including airborne or skin contact, that would have the potential for splash on the skin or eyes, or the potential to breathe vapors or mists.
    • Harmful dust or particulates.
    • Light radiation:  e.g., welding, arc lamps, heat treating, lasers, growth lights, etc.
    • Impact / Compression:  Sources of falling objects, potential for dropping objects, or rolling objects that could cause crush or pinch the feet; 
    • Penetration:  Sharp objects that may pierce the feet or cut the hands.
    • Electrical sources
    • Biological sources:  materials such as blood or other potentially infectious material including human and animal material, or research-related material 

    Where these hazards could cause injury to employees, personal protective equipment must be selected to substantially reduce the injury potential.

    Hazard Assessment Certification

    OSHA requires documentation of the workplace hazard assessment through a written certification.  The Hazard Assessment Certification Form serves to certify that this process has been performed as required by regulation.  The form identifies the workplace that is evaluated, the name of the person conducting the assessment, and the date of the assessment.  The forms must be maintained with the departmental records.

    PPE Selection

    Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) includes all clothing and work accessories designed to protect employees from workplace hazards.  All PPE clothing and equipment should be of safe design and construction, and selected to create a barrier against workplace hazards.  PPE should be comfortable, fit the employee properly, and be compatible if worn with other PPE.  Damaged or defective PPE must be immediately taken out of service to be repaired or replaced.

    OSHA requires PPE to meet the following ANSI standards:

    ·  Head Protection:  ANSI Z8901-1986.

    ·  Eye and Face Protection:  ANSI Z87.1-1989

    ·  Foot Protection: ANSI Z41.1-1991.

    Employee-owned PPE used in the workplace must conform to the criteria in the hazard assessment, OSHA requirements, and the ANSI standards. 

    There is no ANSI standard for hand protection, however OSHA recommends that selection is based on the tasks performed and the performance and construction characteristics of the glove material.  For protection against chemicals, glove selection must be based on the chemicals encountered, the chemical resistance and the physical properties of the glove material.


    The OSHA standard requires employees to be trained in the use of PPE prior to conducting work requiring the use of it.  Employees must be trained to know at least the following:

    ·  When PPE is necessary;

    ·  What type is necessary;

    ·  How it is to be worn;

    ·  What its limitations are; and,

    ·  Proper care, maintenance, useful life, and disposal.

    Upon completion of the training, the employee must be able to demonstrate the ability to properly wear and use PPE. Any type of training format can be used as long as a hands-on session is incorporated. Documentation of training is required.