This boot from the Timberland PRO Endurance collection offers electrical hazard protection

Employers Must Pay for ESD Footwear, OSHA Says

A newly posted Letter of Interpretation says the employer must provide it at no cost to employees who work with flammable liquids and products because the footwear provides additional protection and is designed for special use on the job.

OSHA is back in the business of posting Letters of Interpretation. Several new letters were visible yesterday on the agency's Interpretations Web page, most of them concerning construction safety topics. The letters are OSHA's answers to specific questions and thus may not be applicable beyond the specific employers who submit the questions, but they do explain how the enforcement personnel interpret its regulations. One new letter from Richard E. Fairfax, director of OSHA's Directorate of Enforcement Programs, tells a Milwaukee employer that it must provide static dissipative safety toe footwear at no cost to employees working with flammable liquids and products because the footwear provides additional protection and is designed for special use on the job.

Fairfax cited OSHA's 2007 final rule for Employer Payment for PPE, which exempted footwear providing the protection of an ordinary safety-toe shoe or boot. Footwear with additional safety attributes falls under the employer payment requirement, he wrote.

The questioner had asked whether the footwear would be exempt from full payment if the employer allows its employees to wear the static dissipative safety-toe footwear off site, for personal use. "No," Fairfax wrote. "Since this specialty footwear is required for the job, the employer is required to provide it at no cost to the employee. This is still the case if the employer allows employees to use the footwear off the job."

Other new letters on the page said OSHA's PEL for nitric oxide as an eight-hour time-weighted average does apply to pregnant employees and answered questions about multiple lifts of pre-cast concrete members, removing ladders during trenching activities, the use of cable hook assemblies, pole grip assemblies, or adjustable levelers on fiberglass extension ladders used in construction, and payment for body belts, positioning straps, and pole and tree climbers.

Download Center

  • Safety Metrics Guide

    Is your company leveraging its safety data and analytics to maintain a safe workplace? With so much data available, where do you start? This downloadable guide will give you insight on helpful key performance indicators (KPIs) you should track for your safety program.

  • Job Hazard Analysis Guide

    This guide includes details on how to conduct a thorough Job Hazard Analysis, and it's based directly on an OSHA publication for conducting JHAs. Learn how to identify potential hazards associated with each task of a job and set controls to mitigate hazard risks.

  • A Guide to Practicing “New Safety”

    Learn from safety professionals from around the world as they share their perspectives on various “new views” of safety, including Safety Differently, Safety-II, No Safety, Human and Organizational Performance (HOP), Resilience Engineering, and more in this helpful guide.

  • Lone Worker Safety Guide

    As organizations digitalize and remote operations become more commonplace, the number of lone workers is on the rise. These employees are at increased risk for unaddressed workplace accidents or emergencies. This guide was created to help employers better understand common lone worker risks and solutions for lone worker risk mitigation and incident prevention.

  • EHS Software Buyer's Guide

    Learn the keys to staying organized, staying sharp, and staying one step ahead on all things safety. This buyer’s guide is designed for you to use in your search for the safety management solution that best suits your company’s needs.

  • Vector Solutions

Featured Whitepaper

OH&S Digital Edition

  • OHS Magazine Digital Edition - May 2022

    May 2022

    Featuring:

    • WEARABLE TECHNOLOGY
      How Wearable Technology is Transforming Safety and the Industrial Workplace
    • TRAINING: CONFINED SPACES
      Five Tips to Improve Safety in Confined Spaces
    • INDUSTRIAL HYGIENE
      Monitor for Asbestos to Help Save Lives
    • PPE: FALL PROTECTION
      Fall Protection Can Be Surprising
    View This Issue