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PPE - General
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This topic covers OSHA’s requirements for the use of personal protective equipment (PPE), which is special clothing and equipment designed to reduce employee exposure to various hazards. Categories of PPE include Head Protection, Eye and Face Protection, Hand Protection, Foot Protection, Personal Fall Protection Systems, Respiratory Protection, and Hearing Protection.

All employers are required to analyze their workers’ hazard exposure and determine whether PPE is necessary. There are also specific OSHA exposure thresholds (e.g., for air contaminants) that necessitate the use of specific types of PPE.

For related resources and training materials, refer to the following topics:

  • HAZWOPER for information on PPE specific to hazardous waste sites and emergency response
  • PPE (Construction) for information on specific PPE requirements for construction workplaces
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Directives 10/30/1978 - PRO 4.3 - Procurement of Safety Glasses and Safety Shoes 07/09/2003National
Regulations 29 CFR § 1910.132 General requirements  National
Regulations 29 CFR § 1910.137 Electrical protective devices  National
Directives 29 CFR Part 1910, Subpart I, Enforcement Guidance for Personal Protective Equipment in General Industry - CPL 02-01-050 02/10/2011National
Questions & Answers A question has come up regarding bare legs and mesh-type shoes now that the weather has gotten warmer. Are there OSHA guidelines on this or expectation of best standard industry practices? 06/13/2017National
Interpretations Appropriate protective clothing for aircraft firefighting. 04/03/1997National
Clip Art Apron (JPG)  National
Questions & Answers Are there any 1910 standards that cover "working over water"? Specifically, flotation devices, ring buoys, etc... Situation: Sewage treatment workers are over water,have ring buoy, but often work alone. Are life jackets required? Any expiration on buo 09/05/2012National
Questions & Answers Are there any OSHA regulations or interpretation letters that would give me information pertaining to wearing capris in a manufacturing setting? 05/24/2018National
Questions & Answers Are there temperature limitations for factory workers when the plant reaches a certain temperature that they can not work in? 06/08/2011National
Guidance Documents Assessing the Need for Personal Protective Equipment: A Guide for Small Business Employers  National
Clip Art Boot (JPG)  National
Questions & Answers Can an Employee be charged for losing his or her ppe gear? 03/20/2017National
Questions & Answers Can an employee bring into the workplace their own PPE such as an N95 or a dust mask? 05/15/2020National
Questions & Answers Can employees be charged for losing PPE? 06/05/2012National
Questions & Answers Can employees wear shorts in the workplace? 10/14/2009National
Questions & Answers Can fire and rescue personnel wear shorts while on duty? 04/26/2013National
Questions & Answers Can I charge employee to replace lost or misused PPE? We have job sites across the USA. 03/04/2019National
Questions & Answers Can we ask probationary employees to pay for gloves to protect against cuts and abrasions? 06/05/2009National
Questions & Answers City employees need to access a confined space in a pedestrian bridge to work on an electrical conduit. Pigeons have gotten into this space leaving feces and other debris. What personnel protective equipment should these employees be provided? 02/09/2010National
Interpretations Clarification of OSHA's position on FR Clothing for welders.[1910.252; 1910.252(b)(3); 1910.132] 01/12/2012National
Interpretations Clarification of PPE requirements for phlebotomists performing venipunctures in hospital setting and/or rural outpatient clinics [1910.1030] 10/26/2007National
Interpretations Clarification of specialty footwear and employer requirements to provide at no cost to its employees [1910.132; 1910.132(h)(2)] 05/11/2009National
Training Tips Corrosives and correct PPE protection  National
Interpretations Detachable vs. permanent side shields for safety glasses; modifications to safety glasses. 01/29/2007National
Questions & Answers Does OSHA specify the frequency of replacement of PPE, especially hard hats? 03/28/2011National
Posters Dress to Protect Yourself  National
Handouts Dress to Protect Yourself (PDF)  National
Questions & Answers During the cold weather (-30 below windchill), we have individuals that need to run forklifts outside. Obviously, they need better clothing for these type of temperatures. Are we required to pay for this type of clothing? 02/03/2011National
Clip Art Dust Mask (JPG)  National
Clip Art Ear Muff (JPG)  National
Clip Art Ear Plugs (JPG)  National
Forms Electrical Personal Protective Equipment Inventory Form  National
Questions & Answers Employees are requesting to wear cloth masks while working in a laboratory because social distancing due to COVID-19 is not practical. Are there circumstances where cloth masks should not be used in the lab? What risks should we educate our employees on? 04/29/2020National
Interpretations Employer payment for lineman belts and hooks when the equipment is used to comply with an OSHA standard. 05/01/2008National
Interpretations Evaluation and use of radiofrequency protective clothing.[1910.132] 04/14/1993National
Clip Art Eye Protection (JPG)  National
Clip Art Face Protection (JPG)  National
Interpretations Fire fighter personal protective clothing issues. 08/28/1997National
Interpretations Fire retardant PPE requirements and PPE hazard assessment. 03/27/1998National
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