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Personal Protective Equipment Program
The objective of the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Program is to protect employees from the risk of injury by creating a barrier against workplace hazards. Personal protective equipment is not a substitute for good engineering or administrative controls or good work practices, but should be used in conjunction with these controls to ensure the safety and health of employees. Personal protective equipment will be provided, used, and maintained when it has been determined that its use is required and that such use will lessen the likelihood of occupational injury and/or illness.
This program addresses eye, face, head, foot, and hand protection. Separate programs exist for respiratory protection since the need for participation in this program is established through industrial hygiene monitoring.
The Hope College Personal Protective Equipment Program includes:
Supervisors have the primary responsibility for implementation of the PPE Program in their work area. This involves: Providing appropriate PPE and making it available to employees. Ensuring employees are trained on the proper use, care, and cleaning of PPE. Maintaining records on PPE assignments and training. Supervising staff to ensure that the PPE Program elements are followed and that employees properly use and care for PPE. Seeking assistance from OHFS to evaluate hazards. Notifying OHFS when new hazards are introduced or when processes are added or changed. Ensuring defective or damaged equipment is immediately replaced .
The Office of Health and Safety (OHFS) is responsible for the development, implementation, and administration of the PPE Program. This involves:
OSHA requires employers to conduct inspections of all workplaces to determine the need for personal protective equipment (PPE) and to help in selecting the proper PPE for each task performed. For each work site, a certificate must be completed which lists the findings of the inspection and the specific protective equipment needed. These duties will be distributed between OHFS and supervisors.
The Office of Health and Fire Safety, in conjunction with Supervisors, will conduct a walk-through survey of each work area to identify sources of hazards, including impact, penetration, compression, chemical, heat, dust, electrical sources, material handling, and light radiation.
Each survey will be documented using the Hazard Assessment Certification Form (Appendix B), which identifies the workplace surveyed, the person conducting the survey, findings of potential hazards, and date of the survey.
Once the hazards of a workplace have been identified, OHFS will determine the suitability of the PPE presently available and as necessary select new or additional equipment, which ensures a level of protection greater than the minimum required to protect the employees from the hazards. Care will be taken to recognize the possibility of multiple and simultaneous exposure to a variety of hazards. Adequate protection against the highest level of each of the hazards will be provided or recommended for purchase.
All personal protective clothing and equipment will be of safe design and construction for the work to be performed and shall be maintained in a sanitary and reliable condition. Only those items of protective clothing and equipment that meet NIOSH or ANSI (American National Standards Institute) standards will be procured or accepted for use. Newly purchased PPE must conform to the updated ANSI standards, which have been incorporated into the OSHA PPE regulations, as follows:
Careful consideration will be given to comfort and fit of PPE in order to ensure that it will be used. Protective devices are generally available in a variety of sizes. Care should be taken to ensure that the right size is selected.
Prevention of eye injuries requires that all persons who may be in eye hazard areas wear protective eyewear. This includes employees, visitors, researchers, contractors, or others passing through an identified eye hazard area. To provide protection for these personnel, Supervisors of such areas shall procure a sufficient quantity of goggles and/or plastic eye protectors which afford the maximum amount of protection possible. If these personnel wear personal glasses, they shall be provided with a suitable eye protector to wear over them.
Suitable protectors shall be used when employees are exposed to hazards from flying particles, molten metal, acids or caustic liquids, chemical liquids, gases, or vapors, bioaerosols, or potentially injurious light radiation. Wearers of contact lenses must also wear appropriate eye and face protection devices in a hazardous environment. Side protectors shall be used when there is a hazard from flying objects. Goggles and face shields shall be used when there is a hazard from chemical splash. Face shields shall only be worn over primary eye protection (safety glasses or goggles). For employees who wear prescription lenses, eye protectors shall either incorporate the prescription in the design or fit properly over the prescription lenses. Protectors shall be marked to identify the manufacturer. Equipment fitted with appropriate filter lenses shall be used to protect against light radiation. Tinted and shaded lenses are not filter lenses unless they are marked or identified as such.
OSHA regulations require that each affected employee who wears prescription lenses while engaged in operations that involve eye hazards shall wear eye protection that incorporates the prescription in its design, or shall wear eye protection that can be worn over the prescription lenses (goggles, faceshields) without disturbing the proper position of the prescription lenses or the protective lenses. Personnel requiring prescription safety glasses must contact the Office of Health and Safety to have their request for prescription safety glasses processed.
Emergency eyewash facilities meeting the requirements of ANSI Z358.1 will be provided in all areas where the eyes of any employee may be exposed to corrosive materials. All such emergency facilities will be located where they are easily accessible in an emergency.
Head protection will be furnished to, and used by, all employees and contractors engaged in construction and other miscellaneous work. Head protection is also required to be worn by engineers, inspectors, and visitors at construction sites when hazards from falling or fixed objects, or electrical shock are present. Bump caps/skull guards will be issued and worn for protection against scalp lacerations from contact with sharp objects. However, they will not be worn as substitutes for safety caps/hats because they do not afford protection from high impact forces or penetration by falling objects.
Safety shoes shall be worn in the shops, warehouses, maintenance, groundskeeping, and other areas as determined by OHFS. All safety footwear shall comply with ANSI Z41-1991, "American National Standard for Personal Protection - Protective Footwear."
Safety shoes or boots with impact protection are required to be worn in work areas where carrying or handling materials such as packages, objects, parts or heavy tools, which could be dropped; and for other activities where objects might fall onto the feet. Safety shoes or boots with compression protection are required for work activities involving skid trucks (manual materials handling cars) or other activities in which materials or equipment could potentially roll over an employee's feet. Safety shoes or boots with puncture protection are required where sharp objects such as nails, wire, tacks, screws, large staples, scrap metal etc., could be stepped on by employees causing a foot injury.
Suitable gloves shall be worn when hazards from chemicals, cuts, lacerations, abrasions, punctures, burns, biologicals, and harmful temperature extremes are present. Glove selection shall be based on performance characteristics of the gloves, conditions, duration's of use, and hazards present. One type of glove will not work in all situations.
The first consideration in the selection of gloves for use against chemicals is to determine, if possible, the exact nature of the substances to be encountered. Read instructions and warnings on chemical container labels and MSDSs before working with any chemical. Recommended glove types are often listed in the section for personal protective equipment.
Chemicals eventually permeate all glove materials. However, they can be used safely for limited time periods if specific use and other characteristics (i.e., thickness and permeation rate and time) are known. The Office of Health and Safety can assist in determining the specific type of glove material that should be worn for a particular chemical.
PPE may be required to reduce the risk of exposure of an employee by contact, inhalation or ingestion of an infectious agent, toxic substance, or radioactive material. For biological agents, the Biosafety Officer, in conjunction with the Lab Supervisor will determine the Biosafety Level for the lab and the appropriate type of PPE required to be worn while working in the lab. Personnel utilizing radioactive materials are required to follow the requirements for protective equipment and clothing provided by the Hope College Radiation Safety Manual and the Radiation Safety Officer.
The lab coat can be used to protect street clothing against biological or chemical spills as well as to provide some additional body protection. The specific hazard(s) and the degree of protection required must be known before selecting coats for lab personnel.
The Hope College Chemical Hygiene guidelines for biocontainment practices recommend the use of a lab coat, gown, smock, or uniform while working in research laboratories. They further recommend solid-front or wrap-around gowns, scrub suits, or coveralls.
Safety shoes should be worn in any area where there is a significant risk of dropping heavy objects on the foot. For general biological lab use, comfortable shoes such as tennis shoes or nurses shoes are used extensibly. Sandals and other types of open-toed shoes are not permitted in labs using biohazards or chemicals, due to the potential exposure to infectious agents or toxic materials as well as physical injuries associated with the work.
Safety shoes are required for groundskeeping activities especially for mowing and weedtrimming activities.
Faceshields and goggles should be worn whenever procedures with a high potential for creating aerosols are conducted. These include necropsy of infected animals, harvestig of tissues, or fluids from infected animals and manipulations of high concentrations or large volumes of infectious materials. Appropriate eye and face protection should also be worn by all personnel entering animal rooms housing non-human primates.
Faceshields may also be worn by personal engaged in the activity of pouring cleaning chemicals into containers or use of chemicals that are highly corrosive.
Gloves are worn in labs and animal rooms when handling infected animals and when skin contact with infectious materials, including blood and body fluids, is unavoidable.
Gloves may also be worn by Physical Plant employees engaged in any activity that may cause abrasions, lacerations, or burns to the hand.
It is important that all PPE be kept clean and properly maintained. Cleaning is particularly important for eye and face protection where dirty or fogged lenses could impair vision. PPE should be inspected, cleaned, and maintained at regular intervals so that the PPE provides the requisite protection. Personal protective equipment shall not be shared between employees until it has been properly cleaned and sanitized. PPE will be distributed for individual use whenever possible.
It is also important to ensure that contaminated PPE, which cannot be decontaminated, is disposed of in a manner that protects employees from exposure to hazards.
Any worker required to wear PPE shall receive training in the proper use and care of PPE. Periodic retraining shall be offered by Lab Directors to both the employees and the supervisors, as needed. The training shall include, but not necessarily be limited to, the following subjects:
After the training, the employees shall demonstrate that they understand the components of the PPE Program and how to use PPE properly, or they shall be retrained.
Written records shall be kept of the names of persons trained, the type of training provided, and the dates when training occurred. The Supervisor shall maintain their employees' training records for at least 3 years. The Office of Health and Fire Safety shall maintain the Hazard Assessment Certification Form for each work site evaluated for at least 3 years.
American National Standards Institute, American National Standard ANSI Z41-1991, "Personnel Protection - Protective Footwear".
American National Standards Institute, American National Standard ANSI Z87.1-1989, "Practice for Occupational and Educational Eye and Face Protection".
American National Standards Institute, American National Standard ANSI Z89.1-1986, "Safety Requirements for Industrial Head Protection".
OSHA Standard 29 CFR 1910.132, "General Requirements"
OSHA Standard 29 CFR 1910.133, "Eye and Face Protection"
OSHA Standard 29 CFR 1910.135, "Head Protection"
OSHA Standard 29 CFR 1910.136, "Occupational Foot Protection"
OSHA Standard 29 CFR 1910.138, "Hand Protection"
General Guidelines for Choosing Personal Protective Equipment