(a) Application. Protective equipment, including personal protective equipment for eyes, face, head, and extremities, protective clothing, respiratory devices, and protective shields and barriers, shall be provided, used, and maintained in a sanitary and reliable condition wherever it is necessary by reason of hazards of processes or environment, chemical hazards, radiological hazards, or mechanical irritants encountered in a manner capable of causing injury or impairment in the function of any part of the body through absorption, inhalation or physical contact.
(b) Employee-owned equipment. Where employees provide their own protective equipment, the employer shall be responsible to assure its adequacy, including proper maintenance, and sanitation of such equipment.
(c) Design. All personal protective equipment shall be of safe design and construction for the work to be performed.
(d) Hazard assessment and equipment selection.
(1) The employer shall assess the workplace to determine if hazards are present, or are likely to be present, which necessitate the use of personal protective equipment (PPE). If such hazards are present, or likely to be present, the employer shall:
(i) Select, and have each affected employee use, the types of PPE that will protect the affected employee from the hazards identified in the hazard assessment;
(ii) Communicate selection decisions to each affected employee; and,
(iii) Select PPE that properly fits each affected employee.
Non-mandatory appendix B contains an example of procedures that would comply with the requirement for a hazard assessment.
(2) The employer shall verify that the required workplace hazard assessment has been performed through a written certification that identifies the workplace evaluated; the person certifying that the evaluation has been performed; the date(s) of the hazard assessment; and, which identifies the document as a certification of hazard assessment.
(e) Defective and damaged equipment. Defective or damaged personal protective equipment shall not be used.
(1) The employer shall provide training to each employee who is required by this section to use PPE. Each such employee shall be trained to know at least the following:
(i) When PPE is necessary;
(ii) What PPE is necessary;
(iii) How to properly don, doff, adjust, and wear PPE;
(iv) The limitations of the PPE; and,
(v) The proper care, maintenance, useful life and disposal of the PPE.
(2) Each affected employee shall demonstrate an understanding of the training specified in paragraph (f)(1) of this section, and the ability to use PPE properly, before being allowed to perform work requiring the use of PPE.
(3) When the employer has reason to believe that any affected employee who has already been trained does not have the understanding and skill required by paragraph (f)(2) of this section, the employer shall retrain each such employee. Circumstances where retraining is required include, but are not limited to, situations where:
(i) Changes in the workplace render previous training obsolete; or
(ii) Changes in the types of PPE to be used render previous training obsolete; or
(iii) Inadequacies in an affected employee's knowledge or use of assigned PPE indicate that the employee has not retained the requisite understanding or skill.
(h) Payment for protective equipment.
(1) Except as provided by paragraphs (h)(2) through (h)(6) of this section, the protective equipment, including personal protective equipment (PPE), used to comply with this part, shall be provided by the employer at no cost to employees.
(2) The employer is not required to pay for non-specialty safety-toe protective footwear (including steel-toe shoes or steel-toe boots) and non-specialty prescription safety eyewear, provided that the employer permits such items to be worn off the job-site.
(3) When the employer provides metatarsal guards and allows the employee, at his or her request, to use shoes or boots with built-in metatarsal protection, the employer is not required to reimburse the employee for the shoes or boots.
(4) The employer is not required to pay for:
(i) The logging boots required by 29 CFR 1910.266(d)(1)(v);
(ii) Everyday clothing, such as long-sleeve shirts, long pants, street shoes, and normal work boots; or
(iii) Ordinary clothing, skin creams, or other items, used solely for protection from weather, such as winter coats, jackets, gloves, parkas, rubber boots, hats, raincoats, ordinary sunglasses, and sunscreen.
(5) The employer must pay for replacement PPE, except when the employee has lost or intentionally damaged the PPE.
(6) Where an employee provides adequate protective equipment he or she owns pursuant to paragraph (b) of this section, the employer may allow the employee to use it and is not required to reimburse the employee for that equipment. The employer shall not require an employee to provide or pay for his or her own PPE, unless the PPE is excepted by paragraphs (h)(2) through (h)(5) of this section.
(7) This paragraph (h) shall become effective on February 13, 2008. Employers must implement the PPE payment requirements no later than May 15, 2008.
When the provisions of another OSHA standard specify whether or not the employer must pay for specific equipment, the payment provisions of that standard shall prevail.