In September 2009, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued final regulations revising its personal protective equipment (PPE) standards for general industry. PPE must be provided to employees under a range of situations where employees face a threat of injury from machinery, tools and general workplace conditions. On February 15, OSHA issued an Enforcement Guidance designed to assist field inspectors with implementation of the new rules.
In addition to clarifying specific PPE requirements, the new Enforcement Guidance provides OSHA investigators with guidelines on when employers are required to provide and pay for PPE, and the limited circumstances where an employee must pay, such as situations involving lost or poorly maintained equipment. The Guidance also updates references to a number of national consensus standards (such as ANSI standards) incorporated into the regulations, and which can form the basis for citations.
The new Enforcement Guidance can be found at http://www.osha.gov/OshDoc/Directive_pdf/CPL_02-01-050.pdf.