AIHA Supports PPE Rule, Warns Against Missing Deadline

The American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA) has made public its support of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA's) promise to publish a final rule on employer-paid personal protective equipment (PPE) by November 2007.

"AIHA is pleased that OSHA has agreed to disseminate the overdue final rule and hopes that OSHA will meet the November date," said AIHA President Frank M. Renshaw, Ph.D., CIH, CSP. “By meeting the date, OSHA will also defuse a pending lawsuit that would force OSHA to finalize the rule as well as the involvement of Congress in this issue. AIHA has been monitoring the lawsuit and was prepared to support the bill in the House of Representatives (H.R. 1517) that would have forced OSHA to finalize the rule after enactment of the legislation.”

In a written release, AIHA stated that while most employers currently supply PPE at no cost to the employees, OSHA's final rule will clarify the responsibility of the employer and ensure better protection for all workers by requiring the employer to review and approve all supplied PPE in compliance with the Hazard Assessment requirements of 29 CFR 1910.132.

Also, the rule would make better-quality PPE available to employees as employers typically have access to high-end PPE that may not be available in the retail market. This avoids that possibility of employees having a false sense of security when using their own, potentially inferior and poorly maintained PPE at work that will not provide the expected protection in the event of exposure to a hazard.

For more information regarding AIHA's comments or other AIHA government affairs issues, please contact Aaron Trippler, AIHA director of government affairs, at (703) 846-0730 or atrippler@aiha.org.

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