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OSHA final PPE: Employers must pay for most ppe equipment (issued Nov 14, 2007)

On Nov. 14, OSHA issued a final rule that employers must pay the full cost for almost all personal safety equipment used by their workers. The requirement for employers to provide PPE has been in place for years, but was unclear about employee-owned PPE and replacement PPE.

Under the final rule all PPE, with a few exceptions, will be provided at no cost to the employee. Exceptions include ordinary safety-toed footwear, ordinary prescription safety eyewear, logging boots, and ordinary clothing and weather-related gear. OSHA noted the rule will have substantial safety benefits and estimates that it will result in over 21,000 fewer job injuries per year.”

The rule also provides that, if employees choose to use PPE they own, employers do not need to reimburse the employees for the PPE. But the employer must ensure that the equipment is adequate to protect the employee from hazards at the workplace. It also requires that the employer pay for replacement PPE used to comply with OSHA standards, excluding items that have been lost or intentionally damaged.

The rule, which was first proposed in March 1999, will go into effect May 2008. The rule posted on the OSHA website at http://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=FEDERAL_REGISTER&p_id=20094
The press release and information is provided on OSHA’s website at http://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=NEWS_RELEASES&p_id=14739

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