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Wilfrid Laurier University Safety, Health, Environment & Risk Management
December 22, 2014
 
 
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Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)



Wearing Personal Protective Equipment can prevent serious injuries and illness.


WHAT IS PPE?

Personal Protective Equipment or PPE for short can reduce or prevent a worker's exposure to a hazard in the workplace and can include respirators, hearing protectors, protective clothing, footwear, face shields and safety glasses or goggles.

WHEN IS PPE REQUIRED?

PPE should be provided to workers wherever there are health or safety risks that cannot be adequately controlled by engineering,  work practices or administrative controls.

WHAT ARE MY RESPONSIBILITIES?

Employer Responsibilities

Employers have a legal responsibility to ensure that:

  1. The appropriate Personal Protective Equipment as prescribed in the regulations is provided;
  2. PPE provided is maintained in good condition;
  3. PPE provided is used as prescribed;
  4. Workers are provided information, instruction and supervision on the use and care of required PPE;
  5. They comply with the regulations or standards limiting the exposure of a worker to biological, chemical or physical agents as prescribed in the regulation; and
  6. Every reasonable precaution is taken to protect the health and safety of the worker.

Supervisor Responsibilities

Supervisors have a legal responsibility to ensure that:

  1. Workers use and wear properly, the appropriate PPE (including protective clothing) that the employer requires to be used or worn;
  2. Workers are trained in the use and care of required PPE before they wear or use the protective equipment;
  3. Records of this training are maintained and kept in an accessible location;
  4. Workers are informed of the existence of any potential or actual danger to the health and safety of which the supervisor is aware;
  5. Every reasonable precaution is taken to protect the health and safety of the worker.

Worker Responsibilities

Workers have a legal responsibility to ensure that:

  1. They use or wear properly the PPE that the employer requires to be used or worn;
  2. They inspect PPE regularly before each use;
  3. Absences or defects in any PPE of which the worker is aware and may endanger themselves or another worker is reported to their supervisor or employer immediately;
  4. Contraventions of the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) or the existence of any hazard that they are aware of are reported to their supervisor or employer immediately;
  5. They do not use PPE in a manner that may endanger themselves or others.

“A worker required to wear or use any protective clothing, equipment or device shall be instructed and trained in its care and use before wearing or using the protective clothing, equipment or device.” R.R.O. 1990, Reg. 851, s. 79; O. Reg. 420/10, s. 12.

References:

  1. Ministry of Labour. 2010. Workplace Hazards: FAQ’s (http://www.labour.gov.on.ca)
  2. Service Ontario e-Laws. 2011. Occupational Health and Safety Act: R.S.O 199, c. 0.1, S. 25-28. (http://www.e-laws.gov.on.ca)
  3. Service Ontario e-Laws. 2011. Industrial Regulations: R.R.O. 1990, Reg. 851, s. 79-86 (http://www.e-laws.gov.on.ca

*All of the information provided on this page or through any of the associated links are for general information purposes only and may not reflect the complete requirements that the Standards or Regulations prescribe. Please refer to the Occupational Health and Safety Act, all applicable regulations and standards or contact the EOHS Department for more information.  

    Eye and Face Protection

    Section 81 of the Industrial Regulations (Reg. 851) requires that:

    “A worker exposed to the hazard of eye injury shall wear eye protection appropriate in the circumstances.” R.R.O. 1990, Reg. 851, s. 80.

    Information Sheet

    Standards/Guidelines

    • CSA Standard Z94.3-07: Eye and Face Protectors
    • CSA Standard Z94.3-92: Industrial Eye and Face Protectors
     
    Fall Protection

    Section 85 of the Industrial Regulations (Reg. 851) requires the use of fall protection where:

    “A worker is exposed to the hazard of falling and the surface to which he or she might fall is more than three meters below the position where he or she is situated, the worker shall wear a serviceable safety belt or harness and lifeline that is adequately secured to a fixed support and so arranged that the worker cannot fall freely for a vertical distance of more than 1.5 meters…”R.R.O. 1990, Reg. 851; O. Reg. 420/10, s. 14.

    Standards/Guidelines

    • CSA Standard Z295.10-06: Full Body Harnesses
    • CSA Standard Z259.1-95: Safety Belts and Lanyards
    • CSA Standard Z259.2.1-98: Fall Arresters, Vertical Lifelines and Rails
    • CSA Standard Z259.2.2-98: Self-Retracting Devices for Personal Fall-Arrest Systems
    • CSA Standard Z259.3.3-99: Decent Control Devices

    Resources

     
    Foot Protection

    Section 82 of the Industrial Regulations (Reg. 851) requires that:

    “A worker exposed to the hazard of foot injury shall wear foot protection appropriate in the circumstances.” R.R.O. 1990, Reg. 851, s. 82.

    Information Sheet

    Standards/Guidelines

    • CSA Standard Z195-09: Protective Footwear
    • ANSI Standard Z41-1999: American National Standard for Personal Protection - Protective Footwear
    • ISO Standard 20345, 2004(E): Personal Protective Equipment - Safety Footwear
    • ISO Standard 20346, 2004(E): Personal Protective Equipment - Protective Footwear
     
    Head Protection

    Section 80 of the Industrial Regulations (Reg. 851) requires that:

    “A worker exposed to the hazard of head injury shall wear head protection appropriate in the circumstances.” R.R.O. 1990, Reg. 851, s. 80.

    Information Sheet

    • Head Protection Selection Sheet

    Standards/Guidelines

    CSA Standard Z94.1-92: Industrial Protective Headwear

    Resources

    Headwear, Care of

     
    Hearing Protection

    • Section 139 of the Industrial Regulations (Reg. 851) requires that:

    • “Every employer shall take all measures reasonably necessary in the circumstances to protect workers from exposure to hazardous sound levels.

    The protective measures shall include the provision and use of engineering controls, work practices and, personal protective equipment. 

    Without limiting the generality of the previous, every employer shall ensure that no worker is exposed to a sound level greater than an equivalent sound exposure level of 85 dBA, Lex,8.” R.R.O. 1990, Reg. 851, s. 139; O. Reg. 565/06, s. 2.

    Information Sheet

    Standards/Guidelines

    CSA Standard Z94.2-02: Hearing Protection Devices – Performance, Selection, Care and Use

    Resources

     
    Limb and Body Protection

    Section 84 of the Industrial Regulations (Reg. 851) requires that:

    A worker exposed to the hazard of injury from contact of the worker’s skin ... shall be protected by, wearing apparel sufficient to protect the worker from injury or a shield, screen or similar barrier, appropriate in the circumstances.” R.R.O. 1990, Reg. 851, s. 84.

    Information Sheet

    Standards/Guidelines

    • ISO 11393-1,1998: Protective Clothing for users of handheld chainsaws-Part 1
    • ISO 11393-2,1999: Protective Clothing for users of handheld chainsaws-Part 2
    • CSA Standard Z96-02: High-Visibility Safety Apparel

    Resources

     
    Respiratory Protection

    Section 3.1 of the CSA Standard Z94.4-02 states that a respiratory shall be used:

    “To protect the a worker from inhaling a hazardous atmosphere when engineering or administrative control measures are not practicable or not adequate, while such controls are being instituted or during shutdown for maintenance, repair, or emergency. ” CSA Z94.4-02 (R2007).

    Standards/Guidelines

    • CSA Standard Z94.4-02: Selection Use and Care of Respirators
    • ANSI Standard Z88.6-1984: Physical Qualifications for Respirator Use
    • NFPA 1982: Personal Alert Safety Systems (PASS) for Fire Fighters, 1993 Ed.

    Resources