Standard PPE

Some departments require a standard PPE for use every day. “Standard PPE” refers to the normal protective equipment one might wear every day.

Examples: For some Lab employees, “Standard PPE” is lab coat, closed toe shoes, and safety glasses. For some Facilities employees, “Standard PPE” is long pants, safety shoes, safety glasses, and gloves.

There may be some situations where different or additional PPE is required. See FAQs below for more information.

Do I need to do a PPE Hazard Assessment if I wear standard PPE every day?

You don’t need to complete a PPE Hazard Assessment if one has already been done. The assessment is required to be documented and certified, but it can cover several tasks with the same hazards.  It only needs to be done once.

Example: I’m required to wear safety toe shoes, long pants, and long sleeves all the time, work gloves and safety glasses when I handle equipment or materials, and hearing protection when I use noisy equipment. My supervisor should have a documented PPE hazard assessment that covers all my routine tasks, including operating, maintaining, and fueling equipment, using power and hand tools, and clearing debris. One assessment can apply to all tasks that have similar hazards and all departments that do similar work. 

If there’s an existing PPE Hazard Assessment that specifies my standard PPE, am I protected for everything I do?

You’ll have to look at the assessment and see if it covers everything you do. If you do any jobs or tasks with hazards that aren’t covered, a new PPE Hazard Assessment has to be done or the existing assessment expanded so all the hazards and required PPE are identified.

Example: My standard PPE is closed toe shoes, long pants and sleeves, and safety glasses. The PPE Hazard Assessment covers all the tasks I routinely do, but every once in a while I help a different department with organizing their storage area. I have found that their PPE Hazard Assessment for this task requires all of what I normally wear plus work gloves because of the sharp edged metal framing. I have reviewed the assessment and will make sure I bring work gloves whenever I’m doing that task.

What if there’s no documented PPE Hazard Assessment for my standard PPE?

You can complete a PPE Hazard Assessment that covers every task you do for which your standard PPE provides effective protection. If you have a written procedure or SOP that describes the hazards and the required PPE, you can use that as your PPE Hazard Assessment. Or you can simply list the required PPE in the SOP. A Job Hazard Analysis can also be used.

Example: There isn’t a written PPE Hazard Assessment for the routine tasks our department does. But we do have SOPs that describe the steps of each task. All we need to do is make sure the hazards and the required PPE are listed in the SOP.

What do I do if I sometimes need different or additional PPE from my standard PPE?

 Identify those tasks for which your standard PPE is not protective enough. You can complete a separate PPE Hazard Assessment for that task. Or, you can add to your existing PPE Hazard Assessment the different or additional PPE that should be used and when.

Example: Sometimes, I have to work in a cherry picker (aerial lift), but my standard PPE doesn’t include fall protection. We need either: a separate PPE Hazard Assessment for working in an aerial lift; or wording in the standard PPE Hazard Assessment that says something like: “When working in an aerial lift, a personal fall protection system is required.”

 How many PPE Hazard Assessments do I need to have?

 The goal is to make sure you have the right protection. There should be as few, or as many, PPE Hazard Assessments as needed to make sure you have the right PPE at the right time. Some will have a broad scope. Others may be limited to specific situations.

Example: My laboratory standard PPE is closed toe shoes and safety glasses all the time, lab coat when I’m working in the lab, and the proper chemical protective gloves when I’m working with chemicals. Today I need to help dismantle and move a large piece of equipment. There needs to be a new PPE Hazard Assessment that identifies the additional laceration hazard of handling metal framing and racking and the foot hazard of moving heavy parts that might fall. The new PPE Hazard Assessment should require the standard PPE and also require work gloves and safety toe shoes for this task.