Many of us have become familiar with the term “personal protective equipment,” or PPE, during the COVID-19 pandemic. While PPE can help healthcare workers battle viruses and other pathogens, it is vital to protecting workers in other industries as well.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) mandates that employers must provide workers with PPE for work environments that call for it.
What Does PPE Include?
PPE is worn to minimize exposure to hazards that can cause serious workplace injuries and illnesses. These injuries and illnesses may result from exposure to the following substances:
- Toxic gases
- Electrical hazards
- Mechanical hazards
- Fire or intense heat
Examples of PPE differ depending on the work environment, but often include:
- Foot and eye protection
- Hearing protection
- Face masks
In May 2008, OSHA mandated that employers must provide and pay for PPE that complies with the agency’s standards. This rule makes it clear that employers cannot require workers to buy their own PPE, and the worker’s use of their own PPE must be completely voluntary. If the worker does decide to use their own PPE, the employer must ensure it complies with agency standards.
Every workplace should have a PPE system wherein the employer regularly inspects and maintains PPE to ensure it remains up to code. Additionally, employers should provide an easy reporting system for workers to report defective PPE. An employer’s failure to comply with OSHA standards can have catastrophic consequences for workers.
Suffering from a Work Injury? Contact Us Today
If you or someone you love has been injured at work, our Pittsburgh personal injury attorneys are here to help. We have helped countless clients recover the compensation they need for medical bills, lost wages, and more after a work injury. Learn if we can help you, too.
Call Robert Peirce & Associates, P.C. at (844) 383-0565 to schedule a free consultation.