Not all workplace hazards can be eliminated or substituted, and engineering or administrative controls do not always provide a sufficient amount of protection. Whenever workers are still at risk for illness or injury as a result of hazard exposure, employers will need to complete a safety assessment and provide personal protective equipment to their employees.

PPE comes in all shapes and sizes with items designed to protect the wearer from head to toe against a myriad of workplace hazards.

  • Toxic & Corrosive Chemicals: Safety goggles and face respirators provide a seal of protection, keeping any hazardous chemicals from being inhaled or splashed into the eye. It is also important to protect the skin from exposure with chemical-resistant gloves, sleeves, and/or coveralls.
  • Electrical Hazards: Electricity is unpredictable, and PPE is often necessary to mitigate risks. Flame-resistant clothing will protect workers from arc flash and insulated rubber gloves safeguards hands from electrical shock and burns.
  • Working from Heights: Anyone performing work from heights must be outfitted with the right personal fall arrest system consisting of an anchorage/anchorage connector, a body harness, and a connecting device.
  • Flying Objects: Hard hats are a must for large flying or falling objects (loose bricks, unsecured pipes, large tools, etc.) while safety goggles will protect the eye from small particles or objects from striking or scraping the eye.
  • Poor Air Quality Certain workplaces and areas (like confined spaces) where poor air quality cannot be avoided. In these cases, workers should be provided with an air-purifying respirator to remove any airborne containments before they can be inhaled.

Below we have gathered our best resources, from podcasts to free guides, on all things PPE. Whether you’re an employer or an employee, the better understanding you have about personal protective equipment, the safer you are.

Getting Started


PPE Articles

Mining Safety

Mining Safety

Miners face many hazards that put their safety at risk. By adhering to MSHA standards and providing training and appropriate equipment, employers can enhance mining safety.

Spill Cleanup

Spill Cleanup

When a spill occurs at work, safety relies on a fast response. These are the steps to take and best practices for spill cleanup.

NFPA 70E

NFPA 70E

NFPA 70E was created to help prevent injuries to workers in energized environments. If you’re working with live energy, you need to know this safety standard to stay OSHA compliant.

Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE)

Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE)

Are your lean and 5S efforts making a difference? Crunch the numbers on OEE to find out!

Workplace Lifting Safety

Workplace Lifting Safety

Lifting heavy items is one of the leading causes of injury in the workplace. Save time and money by learning how to prevent lifting injuries.

Hard Hat Classes

Hard Hat Classes

Each hard hat class is designed specifically to help provide protection against certain types of hazards. Learn about hard hat classes to ensure the right hats are used to keep everyone safe.

ANSI Z87.1 – Safety Glasses

ANSI Z87.1 – Safety Glasses

ANSI Z87.1 focuses on safety glasses and helps employers and employees make decisions that can help protect people’s eyes and face from a variety of threats.

5 Lean Manufacturing Tools that Work

5 Lean Manufacturing Tools that Work

These five lean manufacturing tools are essential for making your lean journey a success.

Confined Space Hazards

Confined Space Hazards

When is it safe to work in a confined space? Get the details in this article.

Arc Flash PPE

Arc Flash PPE

Make sure everyone knows what protective equipment they need to work near this serious hazard.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Get an overview of common PPE requirements for the workplace including breathing protection, eye protection, and more.


PPE Questions and Answers

What is PPE?

Personal protective equipment (PPE) is an umbrella term for any safety garment or accessory worn by workers. It includes rubber gloves that don’t absorb chemicals, arc-rated gloves that won’t catch on fire, body harnesses that will safely suspend a falling worker, hi-vis safety vests that keep construction site workers visible to traffic, and everything in… 

How does a job hazard analysis work for PPE?

Performing a hazard assessment, also referred to as the job hazard analysis, is crucial to understand the hazards in the workplace, the severity of the hazards, and which steps in the hierarchy of hazards will be most effective. This should be completed by a few people, optimally including the facility manager and safety manager. Common… 

What are different types of hand protection?

Unlike hard hats, hearing protection, and eyewear, safety gloves are one of the few items of PPE not regulated by OSHA standards. OSHA however, does specify that employers should evaluate the conditions and hazards at hand and appropriately select safety gloves relative to the task performed and the present risk. Hands can be exposed to harmful… 

Who regulates PPE?

Personal protective equipment is crucial in keeping workers safe while on the clock and works to minimize exposure to hazards that could result in injury, illness, or even death. OSHA has set and enforces regulations regarding personal protective equipment to most workers in the United States. Many of OSHA’s requirements are aligned with the standards… 

What is hearing protection?

Providing workers with proper hearing protection is crucial to prevent irreversible hearing loss. The two types of hearing risks associated with loud noises are sudden bursts, like explosions or gunshots, and prolonged noise, common in most manufacturing facilities. Hearing loss and hearing damage is permanent and can negatively affect someone for the rest of their… 

What PPE is commonly used in construction sites?

When it comes to PPE for construction workers, the first things that come to mind are a hard hat, a safety vest, and work boots, but construction sites pose hazards that require more protection and personal equipment. Working from heights, falling objects, heavy machinery, traffic, chemicals and so much more are common hazards construction workers… 

What PPE is recommended for chemical hazards?

Laboratories are not the only workspaces that have to deal with risks associated with chemicals, other industries handling hazardous chemicals including agriculture, manufacturing, construction, transportation, and more. Some of the effects of workers coming in contact with chemicals can be temporary or have lifelong consequences. From severe chemical burns to corrosion of the skin and skin… 

What situations require PPE?

It is crucial for employees to understand when and where PPE should be worn. An employer or safety manager will first need to conduct a hazard risk assessment. This assessment consists of a thorough walk through the facility to identify all present hazards and areas that have a risk of becoming a hazard. Once this… 

What type of training is there for PPE?

Personal protective equipment does not protect the worker if it is not being used or being used incorrectly. OSHA requires employers to train each employee who will be using PPE, both existing and new hires, on the equipment in the workplace. Training is required to include: When PPE is necessary: Employees need to know and… 

What PPE can protect a worker from electrocution?

An important part of completing a hazard assessment of a facility is to understand the electrical risks. Electrical hazards pose the risk of arc flash causing electrocution, severe burns, permanent eyesight, and hearing damage, and can even be fatal in some cases. Things to look for during the assessment include outlets too close to conductors,… 

What hazards do PPE protect from?

Some hazards are easily spotted, and some hazards can seem hidden. It is important for safety or facility managers to carefully inspect the facility to identify hazards in the workplaces and areas where potential hazards could occur and purchase properly fitting and appropriate PPE. Personal protective equipment is designed to protect employees from all types of… 

How should PPE be stored?

While some workplaces will have PPE that is required on a daily basis or worn at all times, other personal protective equipment should be safely stored. The storage of personal protective equipment is almost as important has having it on hand, and an obligation set forth by OSHA, specifically requiring that PPE must be “maintained… 

What are PPE requirements?

Although PPE is considered the last line of defense, it is essential to understand OSHA’s requirements to not only stay compliant but keep your workers safe when elimination, substitution, engineering controls, and administrative controls do not entirely eradicate the hazard. Under OSHA law, employers are required to provide the properly fitting PPE that corresponds with… 

Can PPE be shared, reused, or altered?

In many instances PPE is assigned to specific individual, and it is important to train workers on different types of personal protective equipment and what that means for sharing or reusing them. When employers purchase items specific to the employer (such as proper fitting boots), they should be assigned to that worker and not shared.… 

Why is PPE considered the last resort?

PPE is often called the last line of defense because of its place on the hierarchy of hazards. When an employer or safety manager needs to address a dangerous hazard in the workplace, they should go through what is called the hierarchy of hazards to address it. The hierarchy is as follows: Starting at the top… 

Who supplies PPE at work?

Employers, under OSHA law have the responsibility to provide personal protective equipment at no cost to the worker. An employer or safety manager will need to conduct a hazard assessment of their workplace to identify all physical and health hazards present. Once it is known what PPE will be needed in the workplace, it is important… 

What are different types of PPE?

PPE can be categorized by the part of the body it protects, the type of hazard it protects from, and the type of garment or accessory. Designed to protect from head to toe, different body protection equipment can include: Skin protection: This is any type of barrier between the hazard and the worker’s skin. Common… 

What does PPE stand for?

PPE is the commonly used acronym for personal protective equipment and refers to any garments or equipment designed to be worn and protect employees from occupational hazards including physical, chemical, biological, electrical, mechanical, and radiological hazards. All types of workplaces can pose a number of risks for injury: fire hazards, sharp blades, forklifts and heavy… 

PPE Infographics

Top 10 OSHA Violations in 2018

Top 10 OSHA Violations in 2018

Top 10 OSHA Violations from 2018 Fall Protection (1926.501) - 7,270 Violations Hazard Communication (1910.1200) - 4,552 Violations Scaffolding (1926.451) -… 

Eye Injuries in the Workplace

Eye Injuries in the Workplace

Eye Injuries in the Workplace 1000 eye injuries occur every day in U.S. workplaces, according to OSHA estimates. Injuries range from eye… 

Arc Flash PPE Categories

Arc Flash PPE Categories

Arc Flash PPE Categories The Arc Flash Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Category is determined by consulting the PPE tables in article… 

PPE Podcasts

A safety vest that alerts a roadside worker of oncoming vehicles is in the works. Hear about the InZoneAlert safety… 

Fall prevention requires employer planning and employee training. Listen to Matt McNicholas of OSHA discuss the annual Construction Fall Safety… 

Fall prevention saves lives. Hear Dr. Christine Branche of NIOSH talk passionately about the annual Construction Fall Safety Stand-Down May… 

  Flame resistant clothing now means comfort. Hear about the new polyester FR fabric, a comfort and safety breakthrough from Bulwark… 

Hot work dehydrates employees. A urine color chart can help workers monitor hydration by checking the shade of yellow. So… 

PPE vending machines in the workplace can increase safety and lower cost. Hear about the many types of machines and… 

Arc blast dangers can be minimized with a Hierarchy Of Controls. Hear the difference between arc flash and arc blast,… 

A car wash chemical can burn skin and even be fatal. A new hazard alert warns of handling hydrofluoric acid… 

Pesticide safety needs an uptick! Thousands of people are poisoned every year and many don’t know the cause. Listen to… 

Work-related asthma can be stopped dead in its tracks if employers and employees work together. Hear nine ways to prevent… 

Nail gun safety increases with modern, well maintained equipment. Keep nail gunners from getting an injury with these six tips. The… 

Who pays for temp PPE? Not the worker. The host employer or the staffing agency are ultimately responsible for keeping… 

Chemical spill! Stay and clean up, or call 911? Be ready to decide with these 9 steps on evaluating and… 

A hazard control hierarchy is simply the steps a company can take to reduce workplace hazards. Hear how to build… 

Contaminated work clothes should be washed or tossed. Only some can safely be washed at home. Others should be laundered… 

Chemicals that cause hearing loss are called OTOTOXIC substances. Hear how to protect workers from these common industrial chemicals. Loud sounds… 

Workplace safety myths are hazardous hogwash. We debunk four common myths about safety. Listen to stay safe! Folklore that “accidents happen”… 

Cement burns and irritations are the #1 occupational skin disease in the U.S. Why is wet cement such a widespread… 

Vibration White Finger is an injury from using vibrating tools over extended periods. Also known as Hand-Arm Vibration Syndrome, it… 

Not wearing a hard hat can kill. A tape measure fell 50 stories. A man, whose hard hat was in… 

Personal fall arrest systems (PFAS) are life savers in construction and industry. Hear how to use and maintain them in… 

Eye injury first aid only happens if your workplace is prepared. Have a first aid kit, and in hazardous areas,… 

Eye protection at work could eliminate 90% of eye injuries. Listen to hear how easy it is to protect your… 

Indoor air quality hazards are a pain in the brain! In this podcast, learn how to avoid worker headaches by… 

Hard hat selection and care is critical to safety. It’s your brain. Keep it in a good bucket. Hear about… 

Safety gloves and skin protection can help fingers last a lifetime. Hear about many types of work gloves and how… 

FR wear finally has an improvement. Now you can buy lightweight, comfortable, breathable garments made from a new polyester. Flame-resistant clothing has a… 

Cooling shirts are a water cooled PPE for working in heat. They are used by industrial workers, athletes and medical… 

N95 respirators are part of a family of respirators which filter airborne hazards. The letter N means the respirator does… 

Fall protection is critical near ledges, manholes, catwalks, windows and other openings and holes. Falls are one of the leading… 

Fall protection is critical. Falls are the leading cause of death and injury in construction. In residential construction, risks can sometimes… 

Respirator safety increases if you know the basics. Here we talk about both types, air purifying and atmosphere supplying. Respirators don’t… 

It’s easy to forget how dangerous tools can be. They’re around every worksite, in constant use. But tool safety is… 

Loud sound in the workplace can sneak up on people causing hearing damage. 60% of workers are exposed to sound… 

Falling object hazards can be hidden in plain sight. They’re a threat in many businesses, not just warehouses or construction.… 

Keep clothing tucked and tight! If not, workers could be pulled into a machine. Baggy pants, neck ties and untied… 

One million people have back injuries in the workplace every year, according to OSHA. And most of those injuries are… 

Helmets, ear protection, eye protection are all important. However, safety managers must ensure foot protection is a priority too. The foot… 

PPE Guides

 

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