Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) Information
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1926.95 – GENERAL REQUIREMENTS: “Application”
This standard requires all protective equipment, including personal protective equipment for eyes, face, head, and extremities, protective clothing, respiratory devices, and protective shields and barriers, to be use provided, used, and maintained in a sanitary and reliable condition.
For employee-owned equipment, employers are responsible to assure its adequacy, including proper maintenance, and sanitation of such equipment. If an employee provides adequate equipment, the employer may allow the employee to use it and is not required to reimburse the employee for that equipment.
Although it is not required by this standard, a hazard assessment should be conducted to ensure that proper protective equipment can be selected for all work areas. Consider such hazards as heat, impact, chemicals, compression, electrical, light/radiation, punctures and dust when choosing PPE.
1926.96 – FOOT PROTECTION:
This standard requires all footwear to comply with the American National Standards Institute’s Z41 standard. An “ANSI Z41” imprint can usually be found inside the shoe. The standard specifies impact and compression tests with which the footwear must comply. The protection must be an integral part of the shoe in order to meet ANSI standards.
1926.100 – HEAD PROTECTION:
In areas where the possibility of head injury from impact, falling or flying objects, or from electrical shock and burns are present, employees shall be protected by helmets. Head protection must meet the specifications of ANSI Z89.1-1969, Safety Requirements for Industrial Head Protection.
For employees exposed to high voltage electrical shock and burns, helmets must meet specifications of ANSI Z89.2-1971.
1926.101 – HEARING PROTECTION:
When choosing the proper hearing protection, you must refer to the Permissible Noise Exposures table in 1926.52(d)(1). If you experience noise exposures that exceed sound levels found in the table, hearing protection is required.
Hearing protection must be provided when an employee is exposed to a 90db Time-Weighted Average (TWA) and engineering out noise levels is not feasible. Plain cotton ear plugs are not allowed.
Hearing protection comes in different forms. Ear plugs and earmuffs offer different specifications according to your needs. When selecting the proper protection, look at the Noise Reduction Rating (NRR) for that particular device and observe the actual noise level at the job site.
1926.102 – EYE AND FACE PROTECTION
There are many types of exposure to evaluate when choosing the proper eye and face protection. When considering the appropriate eye and face protection, consider impact, chemical splash, glare, heat, ultra-violet or laser rays, etc. Protective eyewear must fit properly and meet ANSI Z87.1 impact standard. Employees must be provided with proper eye and face protection equipment when using machines that present potential eye or face injury.
To aid in choosing the proper eye and face protection, refer to Table E-2 and E-3 first.
1926.103 – RESPIRATORY PROTECTION
This standard follows the same format as the General Industry Standards 1910.134. A respirator must be provided to employees when such equipment is necessary to protect the health of the employee. The employer shall provide the respirators that are applicable for the intended purpose.
Where respirators are necessary in any workplace, the employer must establish and implement a written respiratory protection program with worksite-specific procedures. As the workplace evolves, the respiratory protection program must be changed equally to keep in line with current conditions.
When choosing appropriate respiratory protection equipment, employers must use the assigned protection factors listed in Table 1 to select a respirator that meets or exceeds the required level of employee protection.
1926.104 – SAFETY BELTS, LIFELINES AND LANYARDS
When choosing safety belts, lifelines and lanyards, look for such equipment that meets or exceeds ANSI A10.14, Fall Protection Devices and ANSI A14.3, Ladder Safety Systems.
This standard states that if any of this fall protective equipment is subjected to a fall, it must be immediately removed from service and not used again. Fall arrest systems should allow for a fall of no greater than 6’. Lifelines are to be secured above the point of operation to an anchorage or structural member capable of supporting a minimum dead weight of 5,400 pounds.
1926.105 – SAFETY NETS
Safety nets are allowed when working more than 25’ above the ground or water surface, and using a ladder, safety line, scaffold, platform or temporary floor is impractical. Nets must extend 8’ beyond the edge of the work surface and be installed as close under the work surface as practical, but can not exceed 25’.
Nets must meet or exceed ANSI A10.11-1989, Personal and Debris Nets.
1926.106 – WORKING OVER OR NEAR WATER
For employees working in instances that drowning may occur, U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets or work vests must be provided. After each use, jackets and vests must be inspected for defects. A lifesaving skiff and ring buoys with 90’ of line must also be available. The ring buoys must be placed no more than 200’ apart.
For more information on Personal Protective Equipment that is required by OSHA 29 CFR 1926 can be found in Subpart E, Personal Protection and Lifesaving Equipment. General requirements can be found in this Subpart; other PPE standards can be found in Part 126. The following addresses eight of the codes from Subpart E
Commonly Asked Questions
Q. If both eye and face protection are required, can just a face shield be used?
A. No. If it has been determined that eye and face protection are required, a face shield can not be used alone. Face shields are considered secondary protection. Glasses or goggles also need to be worn as primary protection for the eyes.
Q. Can a body harness or lanyard be used on a person that weighs 350 lbs?
A. The standard body harness and lanyard are tested to 310 total pounds each. If you have an individual that weighs more than this, a heavyweight body harness and lanyard are available and can also be custom made.
Q. Who must pay for PPE?
A. If PPE is required for your job, the employer is responsible for purchase. The exception to this would be if the product (such as footwear) can be used by the individual outside of work. In this case the cost is generally shared.
Q. Am I required to do a Hazard Assessment similar to what General Industry requires?
A. Not at the present time, but this may change soon because OSHA is considering adopting the General Industry requirements for PPE into the construction section. However, it’s still a good idea to complete an assessment so that proper protection can be selected for your employees.
Please Note: The information contained in this publication is intended for general information purposes only. This publication is not a substitute for review of the applicable government regulations and standards, and should not be construed as legal advice or opinion. Readers with specific questions should refer to the cited regulation or consult with an attorney.
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