Personal Protective Equipment, or PPE, is designed to protect workers from serious workplace injury or illness resulting from contact with chemical, radiological, physical, electrical, mechanical, or other workplace hazards. Besides face shields, safety glasses, hard hats and safety shoes, protective equipment includes a variety of devices and garments such as goggles, coveralls, gloves, vests, earplugs, and respirators.

OSHA deems that using PPE is essential – but also the last line of defense when it comes to protecting employees, after engineering, work practice and administrative controls. Engineering controls involve physically changing a machine or work environment. Administrative controls involve changing how or when workers do their jobs, such as scheduling work and rotating workers to reduce exposures. Work practices involve training workers how to perform tasks in a way that reduces their exposure to workplace hazards.

Employers are required to assess their workplace to determine if hazards are present that require the use of PPE. If such hazards are present, the employer must select PPE and require workers to use it.

The employer must also train those workers who are required to wear PPE on how to do the following:

  • Use PPE properly
  • Be aware of when PPE is necessary
  • Know what kind of PPE is necessary
  • Understand the limitations of the PPE in protecting workers from injury
  • Put on, adjust, wear, and take of PPE
  • Maintain PPE properly.

For more information, please contact Steve Brazil at 614.526.7195 or