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Establishing a PPE Program

Employers should have a plan for providing personal protective equipment (PPE) to their employees to protect them from the hazards of the workplace. Respirators are covered in the Respiratory Protection Program so are not included here. Your suppliers can help you to decide what PPE to use. The following is a list of things that should be included in your plan:

  1. Identify the potential hazards in your shop and in shop operating procedures. (This is covered in the Hazard Communication Program.)
  2. Identify appropriate PPE for your shop. This PPE chart may help you.
  3. Identify how you will train employees on the use of PPE, including
    • What PPE is necessary
    • When PPE is necessary
    • How to properly inspect PPE for wear or damage
    • How to properly put on and adjust the fit of PPE
    • How to properly take off PPE
    • The limitations of the PPE
    • How to properly care for and store PPE
  4. Identify how you will assess employee understanding of PPE training.
  5. Identify how you will enforce proper PPE use.
  6. Identify how and when to evaluate your PPE program.

You can download a checklist to help you with equipment and practices for your PPE Program:

Coveralls and head covering

Workers' skin should be covered when using chemicals that are sprayed or that can splash or drip. Check with your supplier for the best type of coveralls for your shop. Reusable coveralls are meant to be laundered and used many times. Disposable coveralls should be thrown away when they become contaminated to prevent exposure to the worker's skin. Read more…


Chemical-resistant gloves, such as nitrile, neoprene and butyl, are recommended when handling most paints and solvents. The user should examine his gloves frequently for tears, holes, etc. that would allow skin exposure. Check with your supplier for the ones that best suit your needs. Read more…

Watch the video called Chemical Resistant Gloves…

Eye and Face Protection

Direct vent or shielded vent safety goggles and face shields protect the eyes from chemical splashes, chemical mists, sparks and flying bits of metal. Your supplier and MSDS information sheets can tell you what protection is necessary. Read more…

Hearing Protection

Exposures to noise above 85 db can affect hearing. The use of air-powered equipment, for example, can expose workers to noise well above this level. Adequate ear protection should be encouraged. Your supplier should be able to provide adequate protection.

Read more in Worker Information section…