Supervisors are required to:
- Conduct and document a workplace Hazard Assessment to identify hazards that necessitate the use of PPE
- Provide employees with appropriate PPE and training
- Require employees to use and maintain their assigned PPE
Use the PPE Hazard Assessment form (PDF) to document your workplace survey:
Keep all PPE-related documentation until the hazard ends or is eliminated.
How to comply with PPE requirements:
- Conduct a PPE Hazard Assessment Survey that includes, but is not limited to, the following parameters:
- Compression (roll-over)
- Hazardous material
- Harmful dust
- Light (optical) radiation
- Document your survey with the PPE Hazard Assessment form (PDF): English | Spanish
- Keep all PPE-related documentation until the hazard ends or is eliminated.
- Provide appropriate PPE required for an employee's job assignment and ensure adequate fit.
- Provide employees with the time and resources needed to be fitted with appropriate PPE.
- Ensure that safety devices or safeguards which may include PPE are acceptable as to proper type, design, strength, and quality, and are at least equivalent to standards approved by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).
- Confirm employee's properly maintain and store their assigned PPE in a safe, sanitary condition at all times.
- Communicate and provide documented training on these topics to each employee required to use PPE:
- Type of PPE selected
- When the employee is required to use the PPE
- How to put on, adjust, wear, and remove PPE in accordance with manufacturer's instructions
- Limitations of PPE
- Proper care, maintenance, useful life, and disposal of PPE
- How to discard contaminated PPE
- Confirm employees demonstrate an understanding of the training topics above and the ability to use PPE before performing work that requires the PPE.
- Retrain employees who do not demonstrate an understanding or do not exhibit an adequate skill level. Retraining is also required when previous training is obsolete.
- Reassess the workplace hazard situation, as necessary, by identifying and evaluating new equipment and processes, reviewing accident records, and reevaluating the suitability of previously selected PPE.
- Provide disposable PPE for visitors and service workers if necessary.
Employees are expected to do the following:
- Ask if PPE is needed to perform your assigned tasks.
- Demonstrate full understanding on the use and limitations of your PPE.
- Wear only PPE specified for the assigned task or job assignment.
- Inspect PPE for proper fit and serviceability before each use.
- Avoid altering or compromising the effectiveness of your PPE.
- Clean, maintain, and store PPE assigned to you in a ready-to-use and sanitary condition at all times.
- Tell your supervisor if the hazards of the task change.
- Use university-issued PPE only for university job functions and tasks.
Select PPE based on the PPE Hazard Assessment Survey.
Consider these factors when selecting PPE:
- Types of hazardous materials, processes, and equipment involved
- Routes of potential exposure (ingestion, inhalation, injection, or dermal contact)
- Available engineering controls
- Correct size for maximum protection
- Minimal interference with movement
Consult the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) for hazardous materials
MSDSs list appropriate and compatible safety equipment for hazardous materials. In-depth resources, such as toxicological databases, have information on chronic and acute toxicity issues.
Limitations of PPE
PPE does not eliminate the hazard. If personal protective equipment fails or is improperly used, exposure can occur. For reliable protection, make sure PPE is clean, in good condition, fits correctly, and is appropriate for the materials and equipment you're using.
Understanding the purpose and limitations of PPE will help you select and use it effectively.
Different types of PPE are described below:
Eye protection is indicated for flying particles, acids or caustic liquids, welding, light that could injure eyes (lasers, ultraviolet, infrared, radiation), and infectious body fluids.
Use safety glasses for minor splash hazards, goggles for moderate hazards, and goggles combined with a face shield for severe hazards.
Hand protection is indicated for the possibility of severe cuts, lacerations, or abrasions, punctures, temperature extremes, and chemical hazards.
Laboratory workers: Not every glove is good for every application. Perform a risk assessment BEFORE making your selection. Use disposable surgical-type gloves for incidental contact. Use heavy-duty gloves for non-incidental contact and gross contamination.
Use protective clothing as a safeguard against hazardous material spills, splashes, intense heat, impact, cuts, infectious materials, and radiation exposures. Protective clothing includes lab coats, smocks, scrub suits, gowns, rubber or coated aprons, coveralls, uniforms, and pierce-resistant jackets and vests.
In laboratories: Always wear a lab coat whenever handing hazardous materials. Flame resistant lab coats (FR) may be required when handling pyrophoric, air/water reactive materials, open flames, and certain quantities of flammable liquids.
Summer clothes (such as shorts or short-sleeved shirts) do not offer adequate protection when working in the laboratory.
Other criteria for selecting lab clothing include:
- Liquid-resistant fabric or coatings when spills or splashes are anticipated
- Non-disposable garments must be capable of withstanding sterilization should they become contaminated
- Closure types and location for ease of use
- Antistatic properties
Shop and maintenance workers: Whenever handling hazardous materials such as pesticides, herbicides, and caustic materials, wear coveralls or a uniform you can change out of after work.
||Lab workers must wear closed-toe shoes at all times to protect feet from chemical spills and sharp objects. Other high-risk professions require different types of protective footwear, including:
- Steel-toed footwear and puncture-resistant soles and uppers for workers handling heavy materials or using rotating machinery near their feet, including groundskeepers and machine shop employees
- Rubber-soled shoes for electricians, construction workers, and others who work near live electrical conductors
- Slip-resistant shoes (usually rubber-soled with a grip pattern) for anyone who works in wet environments, including ships, aquariums, or kitchens
A variety of hearing protectors, including earplugs and ear muffs, are available for employees whose workplace reaches critical noise levels. Situations where employees are routinely exposed to elevated noise levels must be evaluated to determine if employees must be included in UCSD's Hearing Conservation Program.
Fitted (cartridge) air-filtering face masks are only used under the direction of EH&S. Work environments and processes where exposure to harmful material by inhalation is possible and cannot be prevented with engineering controls will be evaluated to determine if employees must be included in UCSD's Respiratory Protection Program.
Disposable "dust masks" may be used for protection from nuisance dusts.
Head protection is indicated for moving or falling objects, the possibility of bumping heads on objects or equipment, or contacting an electrical source. Hard hats must be worn by electricians, construction workers, and any other workers when there is a danger of objects falling from above.
Follow these guidelines to prevent the spread of contaminants:
- Remove all PPE before leaving your workplace.
- Clean and store PPE as described in the training and manufacturer's instructions.
- Always wash your hands after you remove protective equipment and before you leave the work area.
- Do not reuse disposable gloves.
- Have lab coats and coveralls laundered regularly by a designated vendor.
- Do not take contaminated clothing home for laundering, or to any other undesignated site.
Important: Never wear lab coats, gloves, coveralls or other potentially contaminated PPE to public locations such as cafeterias, restrooms, elevators, offices, or other off-site areas.
Do not wash contaminated lab coats, coveralls, or uniforms at home. Your workplace should have laundry service for required safety attire.