Solid Concrete Walls

Personal Protective Equipment

By Ethan Davis


To provide guidelines concerning the proper use of Personal Protective Equipment and to comply with OSHA standards outlined in Title 29, Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), parts 1900-1999.


PPE includes clothing and other accessories designed to create a barrier between the user and workplace haz-ards. It should be used in conjunction with engineering, work practice and/or administrative controls to provide maximum employee safety and health in the workplace.


All employees should use protective equipment described by local, state, federal, and company rules and regu-lations to control or eliminate any hazard or other exposure to illness or injury.


Proper employee training on the correct usage of PPE will likely eliminate many accidents and injuries from oc-curring. Before performing any work that requires the use of PPE, the Business Owner or Manager, or his/her delegate, must train employees on the following:

a. When and what types of PPE are necessary;

b. How the PPE is to be used;

c. What the PPE’s limitations are; and

d. How PPE should be handled, maintained and stored in accordance with the PPE manufacturer’s recommen-dations.

In many cases, more than one type of PPE will provide adequate protection. In such cases, employees should have their choice of which type of protection they would like to use.

The company is required to document in writing that training has been performed and that employees understand all trained materials. Written certifications should contain the names of all employees trained, the date(s) of train-ing, and the PPE requirements.

An example of Training Documentation for Personal Protective Equipment follows.

Types of Protection

a. Eye and Face Protection – Safety glasses with side shields should be provided by Manager or Supervisor and use of such equipment should be mandatory for all employees and visitors in those areas where eye in-juries are likely to occur if appropriate eye protection is not worn.

(1) All construction areas require 100% eye protection at all times. Minimum eye protection includes approved safety glasses with side shields or mono-goggles meeting the standards specified in ANSI Z87.1-1968.

(2) Additional eye and face protection should be used by employees when:

- Welding, burning, or using cutting torches

- Using grinding equipment

- Operating saws, drills, cutting tools

- Working with any materials subject to scaling, flaking, or chipping

- Sanding or water blasting

- Working with compressed air or other gases

- Working with chemicals or other hazardous materials

- Working near any of the above named operations

(3) Selection

There are different types of eye and face protection designed for particular hazards. In selecting protec-tion, consider type and degree of hazard. Where a choice of protection is given, worker comfort should be the deciding factor in selecting eye protection.

Employees who use corrective eye glasses should wear face shields, goggles, or spectacles of one of the following types:

(a) Spectacles with protective lenses providing optical correction;

(b) Goggles or face shields worn over corrective spectacles without disturbing the adjustment of the spectacles; or

(c) Goggles over contact lenses. (Exception: If handling chemicals and the Material Safety Data Sheet on the chemical indicates “contact lenses should not be worn when handling this chemical”, employ-ee should be required to follow (a) or (b) above).

(4) Fit

Skilled persons should fit all employees with goggles or safety spectacles. Prescription safety glasses should be fitted by qualified optical personnel.

(5) Inspection and Maintenance

(a) Eye protection lenses should be kept clean at all times. Continuous vision through dirty lenses can cause eye strain. Daily inspection and cleaning of eye protection with hot, soapy water is also recommended. Pitted lenses should also be replaced immediately as they can be a source of reduced vision. Deeply scratched or excessively pitted lenses are also more likely to break. Employees are responsible for tak-ing care of their eye protection. They are also responsible for turning in eye protection that is in poor shape to their immediate supervisor.

(b) Respiratory Protection – Respiratory protection devices, approved by the U.S. Bureau of Mines, should be worn by employees exposed to hazardous concentrations of toxic or noxious dust, fumes or mists as required by OSHA. The Hazard Communications Program should include respiratory protection programs.

(c) Foot and Leg Protection – Workshoes/boots are to be worn by all employees handling heavy materials which are likely to cause foot/toe injuries if dropped. Tennis shoes, sandals, docksiders, hush puppies, steel toed sneakers and bare feet are prohibited.

(d) Glove and Hand Protection – Gloves provided by the Company should be worn when handling objects or substances that could cut, tear, burn, or otherwise injure the hand. Gloves should not be used when operating machinery.

(e) Clothing – Wear safe and practical working apparel. Be sure that any clothing you wear is not highly flammable. Neckties and loose, torn or ragged clothing should not be worn while operating tools or equipment. Jewelry of any kind should not be worn when working around machinery or exposed electrical equipment.

(f) Other Personal Protective Equipment – Other required equipment to be used under unusual circumstances such as high temperature work, handling corrosive liquids, etc., not specifically covered in this section should be reviewed by the Business Owner or Manager and furnished by the Company when required.