Personal Protective Equipment


OSHA Fact Sheet

29 CFR 1910. 132 - Personal Protection Standards


The objective of the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Program is to protect employees from the risk of injury by creating a barrier against workplace hazards. Personal protective equipment is not a substitute for good engineering or administrative controls or good work practices, but should be used in conjunction with these controls to ensure the safety and health of employees. Personal protective equipment will be provided, used, and maintained when it has been determined that its use is required and that such use will lessen the likelihood of occupational injury and/or illness.

This program addresses eye, face, head, foot, and hand protection. Separate programs exist for respiratory and hearing protection.

The CSB/SJU Personal Protective Equipment Program includes:

  • Responsibilities of supervisors, employees, and the Environmental Health and Safety Officer (EH&S)
  • Hazard assessment and PPE selection
  • Employee training
  • Recordkeeping requirements



Supervisors have the primary responsibility for implementation of the PPE Program in their work area. This involves:

  • Providing appropriate PPE and making it available to employees.
  • Ensuring employees are trained on the proper use, care and cleaning of PPE.
  • Maintaining records on PPE assignments and training.
  • Supervising staff to ensure that the PPE Program elements are followed and that employees properly use and care for PPE.
  • Seeking assistance from EH&S to evaluate hazards.
  • Notifying EH&S when new hazards are introduced or when processes are added or changed.
  • Ensuring defective or damaged equipment is immediately replaced.

The PPE user is responsible for following the requirements of the PPE Program. This involves:

  • Wearing PPE as required.
  • Attending required training sessions.
  • Caring for, cleaning and maintaining PEE as required.
  • Informing the supervisor of the need to repair or replace PPE.
Environmental Health and Safety Office

The Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S) is responsible for the development and coordination of the PPE Program. This involves:

  • Conducting workplace hazard assessments to determine the presence of hazards which necessitate the use of PPE.
  • Conducting periodic workplace reassessments as requested by employee, supervisor and/or as determiend by EH&S.
  • Maintaining records on hazard assessments.
  • Provide resources to assist supervisors in training on the proper use, care and cleaning of approved PPE.
  • Assist supervisors in the selection and purchase of approved PPE.
  • Periodically reevaluating the suitability of previously selected PPE.
  • Reviewing, updating and evaluating the overall effectiveness of the PPE Program.

Program Components

Hazard Assessment and Equipment Selection

OSHA requires employers to conduct inspections of all workplaces to determine the need for personal protective equipment (PPE) and to help in selecting the proper PPE for each tasks performed. For each work site, a certificate must be completed which lists the findings of the inspection and the specific protective equipment needed. These duties will be distributed between EH&S and supervisors.

The office of the Environmental Health and Safety, the Safety Committee member(s), in conjunction with Supervisors, will conduct a walk-through survey of each work area to identify sources of hazards, including impact, penetration, compression, chemical, heat, dust, electrical sources, material handling, and light radiation. Each survey will be documented using the Hazard Assessment Certification Form (Appendix B), which identifies the workplace surveyed, the person conducting the survey, findings of potential hazards, and date of the survey.

Once the hazards of a workplace have been identified, EH&S will determine the suitability of the PPE presently available and as necessary select new or additional equipment which ensures a level of protection greater than the minimum required to protect the employees from the hazards. Care will be taken to recognize the possibility of multiple and simultaneous exposure to a variety of hazards. Adequate protection against the highest level of each of the hazards will be provided or recommended for purchase.

Protective Devices

All personal protective clothing and equipment will be of safe design and construction for the work to be performed and shall be maintained in a sanitary and reliable condition. Only those items of protective clothing and equipment that meet NIOSH or ANSI (American National Standards Institute) standards will be procured or accepted for use. Newly purchased PPE must conform to the updated ANSI standards which have been incorporated into the OSHA PPE regulations, as follows:

  1. Eye and Face Protection ANSI Z87.1-1989
  2. Head Protection ANSI Z89.1-1986
  3. Foot Protection ANSI Z41.1-1991
  4. Hand Protection There are no ANSI standards for gloves, however, selection must be based on the performance characteristics of the glove in relation to the tasks to be performed.

Careful consideration will be given to comfort and fit of PPE in order to ensure that it will be used. Protective devices are generally available in a variety of sizes. Care should be taken to ensure that the right size is selected.

Eye and Face Protection

Prevention of eye injuries requires that all persons who may be in eye hazard areas wear protective eyewear. This includes employees, visitors, contractors, or others passing through an identified eye hazard area. To provide protection for these personnel, Supervisors of such areas shall procure a sufficient quantity of goggles and/or plastic eye protectors which afford the maximum amount of protection possible. If these personnel wear personal glasses, they shall be provided with a suitable eye protector to wear over them.

Suitable protectors shall be used when employees are exposed to hazards from flying particles, acids or caustic liquids, chemical liquids, gases, or vapors, bioaerosols, or potentially injurious light radiation.

  • Wearers of contact lenses must also wear appropriate eye and face protection devices in a hazardous environment.
  • Side protectors shall be used when there is a hazard from flying objects.
  • Goggles and face shields shall be used when there is a hazard from chemical splash.
  • For employees who wear prescription lenses, eye protectors shall either incorporate the prescription in the design or fit properly over the prescription lenses.
  • Equipment fitted with appropriate filter lenses shall be used to protect against light radiation. Tinted and shaded lenses are not filter lenses unless they are marked or identified as such.

Prescription Safety Eyewear

OSHA regulations require that each affected employee who wears prescription lenses while engaged in operations that involve eye hazards shall wear eye protection that incorporates the prescription in its design, or shall wear eye protection that can be worn over the prescription lenses (goggles, face-shields) without disturbing the proper position of the prescription lenses or the protective lenses.

Emergency Eyewash Facilities

Emergency eyewash facilities meeting the requirements of ANSI Z358.1 will be provided in all areas where the eyes of any employee may be exposed to corrosive materials. All such emergency facilities will be located where they are easily accessible in an emergency and shall not be blocked at any moment.

Head Protection

Head protection will be furnished to, and used by, all employees engaged in miscellaneous work where overhead hazard are present. Head protection is also required to be worn by engineers, inspectors, and visitors at construction sites when hazards from falling or fixed objects, or electrical shock are present.

Foot Protection

Protective Footwear shall be worn in areas such as facility maintenance work, glassware/recycling center, power plant and other areas as determined by the supervisor.

Safety shoes or boots with impact protection are required to be worn in work areas where carrying or handling materials such as packages, objects, parts or heavy tools, which could be dropped; and for other activities where objects might fall onto the feet. The need for such safety shoes or boot shall be determined by the supervisor. If required, all impact protection safety footwear shall comply with ANSI Z41-1991, "American National Standard for Personal Protection - Protective Footwear."

Hand Protection

Suitable gloves shall be worn when hazards from chemicals, cuts, lacerations, abrasions, punctures, burns, biological, and harmful temperature extremes are present. Glove selection shall be based on performance characteristics of the gloves, conditions, duration of use, and hazards present. One type of glove will not work in all situations.

The first consideration in the selection of gloves for use against chemicals is to determine, if possible, the exact nature of the substances to be encountered. Read instructions and warnings on chemical container labels and MSDSs before working with any chemical. Recommended glove types are often listed in the section for personal protective equipment.

All glove materials are eventually permeated by chemicals. However, they can be used safely for limited time periods if specific use and other characteristics (i.e., thickness and permeation rate and time) are known. The Environmental Health and Safety Office can assist in determining the specific type of glove material that should be worn for a particular chemical.

Selection and Use of PPE in Laboratories

PPE may be required to reduce the risk of exposure of an employee by contact, inhalation or ingestion of an infectious agent, toxic substance, or radioactive material. For biological agents, the Bloodborne Pathogen and other Lab Biosafety manuals, in conjunction with recommendation from the Lab Supervisor will determine the Biosafety Level for the lab and the appropriate type of PPE required to be worn while working in the lab.

Laboratory Coats and Gowns

The lab coat can be used to protect street clothing against biological or chemical spills as well as to provide some additional body protection. The specific hazard(s) and the degree of protection required must be known before selecting coats for lab personnel.

Generally the use of a lab coat, gown, smock, or uniform while working in BSL2 laboratories or when working with high skin hazard chemicals is recommended. Follow department specific requirements.

Foot Protection

Safety shoes should be worn in any area where there is a significant risk of dropping heavy objects on the foot. For general biological lab use, comfortable shoes such as tennis shoes or nurses shoes are used extensively. Sandals and other types of open-toed shoes are not permitted in labs using biohazards or chemicals, due to the potential exposure to infectious agents or toxic materials as well as physical injuries associated with the work.

Face-shields and Eye Protection

Face-shields and goggles should be worn whenever procedures with a high potential for creating aerosols/splashes are conducted.


Gloves are worn in labs and animal rooms when handling chemicals and when skin contact with infectious materials, including blood and body fluids, is unavoidable.

Cleaning and Maintenance

It is important that all PPE be kept clean and properly maintained. Cleaning is particularly important for eye and face protection where dirty or fogged lenses could impair vision. PPE should be inspected, cleaned, and maintained at regular intervals so that the PPE provides the requisite protection. Personal protective equipment shall not be shared between employees until it has been properly cleaned and sanitized. PPE should be distributed for individual use whenever possible.

It is also important to ensure that contaminated PPE which cannot be decontaminated is disposed of in a manner that protects employees from exposure to hazards.


Any worker required to wear PPE should receive training in the proper use and care of PPE. The training shall be arranged by the supervisor at the time of PPE issuance, and as needed. The training shall include, but not necessarily be limited to, the following subjects:

  • When PPE is necessary to be worn.
  • What PPE is necessary.
  • How to properly don, doff, adjust, and wear PPE.
  • The limitations of the PPE.
  • The proper care, maintenance, useful life and disposal of the PPE.

Record Keeping

Written records shall be kept of the names of persons trained, the type of training provided, and the dates when training occurred. The Supervisor shall maintain their employees’ training records for at least 3 years. The Environmental Health and Safety shall maintain the Hazard Assessment Certification Form for each work site evaluated for at least 3 years.


American National Standards Institute, American National Standard ANSI Z41-1991, "Personnel Protection - Protective Footwear".

American National Standards Institute, American National Standard ANSI Z87.1-1989, "Practice for Occupational and Educational Eye and Face Protection".

American National Standards Institute, American National Standard ANSI Z89.1-1986, "Safety Requirements for Industrial Head Protection".

OSHA Standard 29 CFR 1910.132, "General Requirements"

OSHA Standard 29 CFR 1910.133, "Eye and Face Protection"

OSHA Standard 29 CFR 1910.135, "Head Protection"

OSHA Standard 29 CFR 1910.136, "Occupational Foot Protection"

OSHA Standard 29 CFR 1910.138, "Hand Protection"