The use of PPE is often necessary to protect employees from injury or illness caused by exposure to chemicals and other workplace hazards such as: biologicals, radiation, physical, electrical, mechanical and temperature extremes. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) 29 CFR 1910 requires employers to provide PPE to their employees. Also, employers must ensure the proper use, maintenance, and disposal of PPE.
Using PPE is often essential, but it is generally the last line of defense after considering engineering controls, work practices, and administrative controls. Engineering controls involve physically changing a machine or work environment. Work practices involve training workers how to perform tasks in ways that reduce their exposure to workplace hazards. Administrative controls involve changing how or when employees do their jobs; such as scheduling work and rotating employees to reduce exposures.
Workplace hazard assessments must be conducted in order to determine and document the PPE requirements needed to protect employees if the hazards cannot be eliminate through engineering, administrative controls, or work practices. Contact Environmental, Health and Safety to conduct workplace hazard assessment of your area.
RIT has developed a Personal Protective Equipment Program in order to ensure that faculty, staff, and students are protected from workplace hazards.
RIT Environmental Health & Safety Department has established a written Personal Protective Equipment Program for employees who are wearing PPE. This program includes the following topics:
- Different types of PPE that can be used;
- PPE selection process based on workplace hazard assessments; and
- Workplace hazard assessment tools.
All RIT employees who are required to wear PPE will be provided training in order to acquire the understanding, knowledge, and skills necessary for the safe performance of their duties.
Each employee shall be trained to know at least the following:
- When PPE is necessary;
- What PPE is necessary;
- How to properly put on, take off, adjust, and wear PPE;
- Limitations of the PPE; and
- Proper care, maintenance, useful life, and disposal of the PPE.
Each affected employee shall demonstrate an understanding of the training specified and the ability to use PPE properly, before being allowed to perform work requiring the use of PPE.
When the employer has reason to believe that any affected employee who has already been trained does not have the understanding and skill required; the employer shall retrain that employee. Circumstances where retraining is required include, but are not limited to, situations where:
- Changes in the workplace render previous training obsolete;
- Changes in the types of PPE to be used render previous training obsolete; and/or
- Inadequacies in an affected employee's knowledge or use of assigned PPE indicate that the employee has not retained the requisite understanding or skill.
Contact the RIT Environmental Health and Safety Department with any questions at (585) 475-2040.