Personal protective equipment, commonly referred to as "PPE", is equipment worn to minimize exposure to hazards that cause serious workplace injuries and illnesses. These injuries and illnesses may result from contact with chemical, radiological, physical, electrical, mechanical, or other workplace hazards. Personal protective equipment may include items such as gloves, safety glasses and shoes, earplugs or muffs, hard hats, respirators, or coveralls, vests and full body suits.
All personal protective equipment must be safely designed and constructed, appropriately selected for the hazard, and should be maintained in a clean and reliable fashion. It should fit comfortably, encouraging employee use. If the personal protective equipment does not fit properly, it can make the difference between being safely covered or dangerously exposed.
When engineering, work practice, and administrative controls are not feasible or do not provide sufficient protection, The University provides personal protective equipment to their employees and ensures its proper use. Team leads and front line supervisors must train each employee that is required to use personal protective equipment to know and understand:
- When it is necessary
- What kind is necessary
- How to properly put it on, adjust, wear and take it off
- The limitations of the equipment
- Proper care, maintenance, useful life, and disposal of the equipment
The University's program uses a Job Safety/Hazard Analysis and/or PPE Hazard Assessment to:
- Identify hazards that are present;
- Determine the selection, maintenance, and use of PPE;
- Provide training of employees; and
- Monitor ongoing effectiveness.