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A Guide to Personal Protective Equipment

D. Allen Hughes, PE

Various hazards exist in every workplace: sharp edges, falling objects, flying sparks, chemicals, noise and countless other potentially dangerous situations. OSHA requires that employers protect their employees from workplace hazards that can cause injury. Controlling a hazard at its source is the best way to protect employees. Depending on the situation, the employer may be required to use engineering or work practice controls first to manage or eliminate hazards. For example, building a barrier between the hazard and the employees is an engineering control; changing the way in which employees perform their work is a work practice control. When engineering, work practice and administrative controls do not or cannot provide sufficient protection, employers must provide personal protective equipment to their employees and ensure its use. Personal protective equipment, commonly referred to as “PPE,” is equipment worn to minimize exposure to a variety of hazards. Examples of PPE include such items as gloves, foot and eye protection, protective hearing devices (earplugs, muffs), hard hats, respirators and full body suits.

The information in this guide is general in nature and does not address all workplace hazards or PPE requirements. Respiratory protection Is covered in a separate course. The information, methods and procedures in this guide are based on the requirements for PPE as set forth in various versions of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR’s). If material in this course is found to conflict with a CFR or other regulation, then the regulation should be followed.

This course includes a multiple-choice quiz at the end, which is designed to enhance the understanding of the course materials.

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NY PE & PLS: You must choose courses that are technical in nature or related to matters of laws and ethics contributing to the health and welfare of the public. NY Board does not accept courses related to office management, risk management, leadership, marketing, accounting, financial planning, real estate, and basic CAD. Specific course topics that are on the borderline and are not acceptable by the NY Board have been noted under the course description on our website.