DOL Proposes New Rule to Clarify PPE Standards

DOL Proposes New Rule to Clarify PPE Standards

The change would increase protection for construction workers.

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) is taking action on PPE standards, particularly regarding the construction industry.

In a DOL bulletin dated July 19, the organization announced a proposed rule that would further establish PPE standards within the construction industry. Currently, regulations do not require PPE to fit each employee properly. The DOL’s proposal would amend the existing rule and allow for greater access to appropriate PPE, creating a safer workplace for construction workers.

While OSHA’s general industry and maritime standards specify PPE must provide a proper fit for workers, the construction industry has thus far lacked a similar rule. As a result, some workers could be vulnerable to potential occupational hazards. OSHA’s findings do not indicate a cost increase or additional compliance measures will be necessary based on the proposed change.

“If personal protective equipment does not fit properly, an employee may be unprotected or dangerously exposed to hazards and face tragic consequences,” OSHA’s Assistant Secretary Doug Parker said in the DOL bulletin. “We look forward to hearing from stakeholders on this important issue as we work together to ensure that construction workers of all genders and sizes are fitted properly with safety gear.”

The proposed rule will be available to view on the Federal Register on July 20, 2023. Interested parties must submit comments and hearing requests by September 18, 2023.

About the Author

Robert Yaniz Jr. is the Content Editor of Occupational Health & Safety.

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