February 23, 2023

OSHA Issues New Document on General PPE Use

OSHA recently issued a publication (PDF) intended to assist employers and employees in selecting and using personal protective equipment (PPE) to control hazards. After a short introduction explaining the necessity of controlling hazards using the hierarchy of controls, the guide informs readers of employers’ and employees’ responsibilities related to PPE according to federal regulations and briefly outlines the procedure for performing a hazard assessment. Much of the document focuses on specific PPE categories, including eye and face, head, foot and leg, hand and arm, full body, hearing, and fall protection equipment. Each section discusses factors to consider when choosing PPE for a variety of workplace circumstances, ranging from eye protection for users who wear prescription glasses to suitable materials for full-body protective clothing.

While most occupational and environmental health and safety professionals are likely familiar with the information within the new document, it presents this information in concise language accessible to those outside of the profession. The document also includes links to OSHA assistance, services, and programs as well as contact information for regional offices so that readers can reach out for additional information. OSHA’s Personal Protective Equipment document can be downloaded as a free PDF.