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Personal protective equipment.

Personal protective equipment (PPE) includes items worn or used by your employees to protect them from known or possible hazards associated with performing a job. PPE shields the employee from the hazard. Examples are gloves for chemical applications, safety helmets, safety glasses and respirators. Your Job Hazard Analysis (JHA) or Job Safety Analysis (JSA) determines the PPE that is required for a specific job on your farm - welding, applying pesticides, grinding, hammering and so forth - for that task.


This analysis will have included Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) requirements, label requirements and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and other regulatory bodies' regulations for operating equipment or working with hazardous substances or in hazardous environments. Employers and employees should not rely exclusively on PPT, for protection from hazards. PPK should be used in conjunction with engineering controls, machine guards, and safe work practices and procedures.

When selecting personal protective equipment keep in mind that the greater the hazzard the greater amount of protection required. Tor any given situation, equipment and clothing should be selected that provide an adequate level of protection. Over-protection as well as under-protection can be hazardous and should be avoided. Over-protection might severely limit vision or range of motion and increase the risk to employees using this equipment. If you are dealing with more than one regulatory guideline for PPH always implement the most stringent.

Select PPB that properly fits each employee. Always take the fit and comfort into consideration when selecting appropriate PPE; items that fit well and are comfortable will encourage employee use. PPM that does not fit properly may not provide the necessary protection, and may create other problems for wearers. Generally, protective devices are available in a variety of sizes and choices. Keep in mind that some PPE, such as chemical respirators, require a formal fit test to assure the employee is protected in addition to a medical exam to demonstrate that an employee's respiratory system can tolerate a respirator.

Employers must pay for PPE if it is used in the workplace to comply with regulations that protect employees from established hazards Employers do not have to pay for PPE if it is:

* Not required

* Everyday clothing (long sleeve shirts, long pants, street shoes, normal work boots) unless it is required as PPE and provides protection from a workplace hazard

* Non-specialty footwear such as steel toed shoes or boots

* Ordinary clothing, skin creams, or other items used solely for the protection from the weather (winter jackets, gloves, hats, sunscreen, ordinary sunglasses, etc.) unless these items don't provide sufficient protection and special equipment or extraordinary clothing is needed or they are used to protect employees from artificial heat or cold, such as employees working in a freezer warehouse who may need a heavy coat

Maintenance of PPE

It is important that all PPE be kept clean and in proper working condition. Cleaning is particularly important for eye and face protection since dirty or fogged lenses could impair vision. PPE should be inspected before each daily use. Defective or damaged equipment will not protect against the identified hazards and cannot be used, it must be repaired or replaced.

Training Requirements

All employees required to use PPE must be given training so they know:

* When PPE is necessary

* What PPE is necessary

* How to put on, take off, adjust and wear PPE

* The limitations of PPE

* The proper care, maintenance, useful life and disposal of PPE

* How to store PPE, particularly avoiding storing PPE in chemical storage areas

* Work that requires PPE cannot be started unless the employee has the correct PPE and it is in good condition

Each employee must demonstrate the ability to use PPE properly before being allowed to perform work requiring its use. If an employee who has been trained in the proper use of PPE is not using it correctly, the employee must be retrained and the training documented. Employers are required to keep a record of PPE training containing the name of each employee trained, the dates of training and the subject of certification. Review your program at least annually.

Training does not eliminate your responsibility as an employer to assure your employees are using required PPE. Your company safety policies must be enforced and you should have a progressive discipline system for safety rule violators. Saying "I provide my employees with PPE but they do not use it" is a certain indicator of poor management.

Written Program

Your farm or business must have a written PPE program if personal protective devices are required for work your employees are performing. Your PPE program should include policy statements, procedures and guidelines. Copies should be made available to all employees and a reference copy should be available at each work site.

Some Specific PPE Suggestions

* It generally is accepted that weight lifting support belts do not protect employees from injuries resulting from poor lifting techniques. In fact, these devices may give your employees a false sense of security. No government PPE regulations require support belts.

* OSHA defers to National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) for electrical PPE standards and to American National Standards Institute (ANSI) for most eye protection standards.

* The training and recordkeeping requirements outlined in this topic do not apply to the respiratory and electrical protection parts of the regulation. These parts have their own training and recordkeeping requirements.

* OSIIA bench grinder PPE requirements include two forms of eye protection.

The label on pesticide and fungicide containers generally is the principal source of PPE required for the safe use of these chemicals.

* Anti-fog wipes are available to reduce fogging on eye protection. These are reusable if stored properly.

* Pay attention to where and how PPE is stored. Storing with or near chemicals may contaminate PPF with chemical residues resulting in employee exposure, mn

John Hillard

OSHA Committee Giorgi Mushroom Co. Temple, PA
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Title Annotation:OSHA alliance news
Author:Hillard, John
Publication:Mushroom News
Date:Oct 1, 2010
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