Employer payment is required for chemical-resistant gloves, aprons, and clothing when it is used to comply with an OSHA standard.

OSHA Updates Enforcement Guidance for PPE

The new document is sure to help employers because it lists and links to the standards that require them to provide PPE and links to a list of relevant OSHA interpretation letters.

OSHA has published a new "Enforcement Guidance for Personal Protective Equipment in General Industry" that became effective Feb. 10. It replaces a 1995 directive and reflects two significant rules since then: A 2007 rule requiring employers in general industry, shipyard employment, longshoring, marine terminals, and construction to pay for most types of required PPE and a 2009 rule updating OSHA's PPE standards to make them more consistent with consensus standards.

This new guidance will be a useful reference for safety personnel who ask whether a list exists of OSHA standards requiring employers to provide PPE. Section XIV of the guidance lists and links to them; the guidance also lists many consensus standards. It lists types of PPE for which an employer must pay if that PPE is used to comply with an OSHA standard, including respirators, personal fall protection, hearing protection, hard hats, firefighting PPE, and metatarsal protective footwear.

Appendix A is a long list of OSHA interpretation letters answering questions about the various PPE standards.

For additional information, visit OSHA's Safety and Health Topics page on Personal Protective Equipment.

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