OSHA directive clarifies employer responsibility for PPE

Washington – OSHA recently issued a directive for enforcement personnel on determining compliance with OSHA personal protective equipment standards.

Enforcement Guidance for Personal Protective Equipment in General Industry (.pdf file) went into effect Feb. 10 and replaces inspection guidelines issued in June 1995.

The new directive explains when employers do and do not have to pay for PPE, and updates enforcement policies based on court and review commission decisions. It also includes guidance allowing employers to use PPE made in accordance with current consensus standards.

A final rule issued in November 2007 requires employers in general industry, longshoring, marine terminals and construction to provide most types of required PPE at no cost to workers. OSHA also issued a final rule in September 2009 making PPE standards more consistent with consensus standards.

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