The primary methods for preventing employee exposure to hazardous materials are elimination, engineering, and administrative controls. Personal protective equipment will often be required in addition to where these control methods are not appropriate or sufficient to control the hazard
For research labs, click here for lab-specific PPE requirements, guidelines and resources.
The process for identifying work processes/tasks where specific PPE is required is called a PPE Hazard Assessment.
Performing a PPE Hazard Assessment:
- Evaluate each work process/task and identify uncontrolled hazards where PPE is necessary to protect the worker.
- Select the appropriate PPE. (Refer to PPE Hazard Assessment (link) for guidance)
- Document the assessment. OSHA standards require PPE Hazard Assessments be documented – refer to PPE Hazard Assessment form for guidance. Keep in mind, you can simplify the process by grouping processes/tasks together if they have the same PPE requirements.
- Train employees on the hazards identified in the PPE Hazard Assessment and PPE selection determinations.
What’s on This Page:
- PPE Hazard Assessment
- Hazard Specific Programs
- Program Contact Information
- Reference Documents
PPE Hazard Assessment
- Example Hazard Assessment forms to document and certify your review
- FAQs: General information if you use Standard PPE every day
- Specific guidance on hazards and PPE selection:
Contact EHS email@example.com with any questions.
Eyes and Face (Appendix A)
- Safety glasses
- Prevents impacts from particles and flying objects. Side protection is required
- Look for the “ANSI Z87” stamp on the glasses. It’s required
- Protection from flying particles, liquid splashes, heat, and glare.
- Face Shields
- Used for pouring liquids and working with molten metals or corrosives. Note: Safety glasses should always be worn under face shields.
- Prescription glasses must meet the ANSI standard for protection
Head (Appendix B)
- Use to protect from impact or shock hazards
- Type 1 & Type 2 hard hats
- Electrical protective hard hats
- Bump caps
Foot and Leg Protection (Appendix C)
Each College, Department, or business unit is required to provide protective footwear. The purchase of safety-toe shoes or boots may be limited, subject to the..
Types of Foot Protection
- Safety toe protective shoes may be required for crush or impact hazards (> 50 lbs) to toes
- Metatarsal protection is required for crushing or impact hazards (>50 lbs) to feet.
- Electrical Hazard (EH) rated shoes may be required for electrical hazards
- Slip Resistant shoes may be required for working in wet areas
- Calk-soled or rough terrain boots may be required for rough terrain
- Puncture Resistant shoes may be required for protection from puncture hazards
- For more information about foot and leg protection
Hand and Arm Protection (Appendix D)
- For rough work use work gloves or cut resistant gloves
- Certain chemicals pose a skin absorption hazard
- Glove selection should be done after reviewing manufacturer’s data.
- Common hazardous chemicals are listed in tables that list their permeation rates and recommended glove type.
- For more information
Protective Clothing / Body Wear (Appendix E)
- The protective clothing provided must be constructed of material that will protect against the specific hazards in the workplace
- Lab Coats and Laboratory Safety PPE
Fall Protection (Appendix F)
- Fall protection is required for working higher than 4 feet, 6 feet for construction or any height above a hazardous location.
- Use guardrails or parapets, 39”-45”, whenever possible.
- Never use fall arrest when you can use fall restraint.
- Additional training is required for personal fall protection systems.
Hearing Protection (Appendix G)
- A Hazard Assessment will determine the best type to use
- EHS can measure the sound level and exposure
- Medical monitoring may be required
- For more information [link to Appendix G]
- Ear Plugs
- Offer the greatest level of protection
- Light and compatible with other PPE
- Must be inserted properly – training is Required
- Ear Muffs
- Easily adjusted to fit snugly on the wearer’s head and easy to fit
- Can be uncomfortable in hot environments
- For more information
- Also visit Hearing Conservation Program (HCP)
Respiratory Protection (Appendix H)
- Used to prevent overexposure to an inhalation hazard or irritant.
- Contact EH&S for a workplace assessment, training, and fit test if you believe a respirator is needed for a job or task. .
- Medical monitoring may be required.
- For more information
- Also visit Respiratory Protection Program
Training (PPE Training)
- Employees must receive PPE training prior to being assigned tasks requiring the use of PPE, and demonstrate an understanding of its use and limitations.
- Training must include PPE selection decisions, when PPE must be worn, how to wear, adjust, maintain, and discard the equipment, and the limitations of the PPE.
- All training must be documented.
- Employees required to wear PPE must be aware that PPE does not eliminate the hazard. If the equipment fails, or is not worn or used properly, the employee will be exposed to the hazard and may suffer injury or illness.
Hazard Specific Programs
The following programs have requirements that include the use of PPE
- Respiratory Protection Program
- Hearing Conservation Program
- Electrical PPE Program
- Lab Safety Program
- Fall Prevention and Fall Protection
Program Contact Information
- Occupational Health Manager
- Lab Safety Manager
- Occupational Safety Manager
- Laser Safety Officer
- Ask EHS – Question/Comment
- Ask EHS – Contact Us email
- Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations, 29 CFR 1910 (General Industry), Subpart I Personal Protective Equipment
- 29 CFR1910.266 (General Industry, Subpart R), Logging Operations
- 29 CFR 1926 (Construction), Subpart E
- NC Office Of State Budget and Management Policy on safety shoe allowance for NC employees
- Prescription safety glasses for NC employees
- American National Standards Institute (ANSI) can be purchased which provides safety standard guidance