Personal Protective Equipment

Chapter 296-800-160, WAC

1.0 Introduction

PLU will provide most required personal protective equipment (PPE). The employee may be required to provide PPE that is of a personal nature and that may be worn off the job, such as slip resistant footwear. An employee who comes to work without their PPE may be sent home on their own time to retrieve the equipment.

2.0 Hazard Assessment

Each supervisor is responsible for conducting regular hazard assessments. The process involves looking for and identifying potential hazards in the workplace to determine whether PPE is needed and what type. The Environmental Health & Safety Manager is available to assist in this process.

PPE alone is not to be relied on to provide protection for employees. PPE may be used after all other reasonable means of reducing hazards have been explored. Take active steps to eliminate all identified hazards through the use of other methods, materials, processes or engineering controls. A periodic review of the hazard assessment should be conducted.

The hazard assessment or review must be documented, in writing or electronic form and approved by the Environmental Health & Safety Manager. The hazard assessment must contain the following information:

    • Name of the Department
    • Name of person certifying that a workplace hazard assessment was done
    • Date(s) the workplace hazard assessment was done
    • Statement identifying the document as the certification of hazard assessment of PPE for the workplace

Sample evaluation forms can be found in Appendix A.

3.0 Selection and Use of PPE

Following the hazard assessment, appropriate PPE must be selected to protect against injuries or damage from the hazards that could not be otherwise eliminated.

PPE must meet the most current ANSI (American National Standards Institute) standard. Eye and face protection must meet ANSI Z87.1 – 2003. Head protection must meet ANSI Z89.1 – 2003. Foot protection must meet ANSI Z41 – 1999. Employees exposed to hazards that could injure their hands must use appropriate hand protection (See Section 5.3). Employees wear personal flotation devices (PFD) when they work in areas where the danger of drowning exists. The safety equipment vendor must supply upon your request, written evidence that PPE purchased by Pacific Lutheran University meets these ANSI standards.

Before each day’s use, employees must carefully inspect PPE, clothing and equipment to make sure they are clean and undamaged. Those items found to be defective must be taken out of service.

4.0 Training

Employees must be trained so that each employee knows what PPE is required for the various work areas or tasks that s/he may be assigned. Employees should know:

    • When PPE is necessary
    • What PPE is necessary
    • How to put on the equipment correctly
    • How to adjust and remove equipment
    • The limitations of the PPE
    • Proper care, maintenance, lifespan, and disposal of the PPE

The supervisor must keep training records.. Training records should include the name of the employee and the date(s) of the training. The PLU Personal Protective Training List may be used to track employee training. See Appendix B

The supervisor is responsible for assuring compliance with this policy. Retraining may be necessary when an employee does not use the equipment as directed by the manufacturer and according to code requirements.

5.0 PPE Standards

5.1 Occupational Head Protection

Employees must wear appropriate head protection whenever exposed to hazards that could cause head injuries, such as, from flying, propelled, or falling objects or materials. Head protection must meet ANSI Z89.1 Caps with metal buttons or metal visors may not be worn around electrical hazards.

Persons working around machinery or in locations that present a hair-catching hazard or fire hazard must wear caps or another type of head covering that completely covers the hair.

    • Note 1: The following is the Washington State definition of hair that is considered hazardous:
      • Hair is as long as the radius of pressure rolls with exposed in-running nip points. Hair is twice as long as the circumference of exposed revolving shafts or tools in fixed machines.
    • Note 2: Employees must wear a hair covering of solid material when the employee is exposed to an ignition source and may run into an area containing class 1 flammable liquids, such as ether, benzene, or combustible atmospheres if their hair is on fire.
5.2 Eye and Face Protection

The Washington Industrial Safety & Health Act standard requires employees to use appropriate eye or face protection when exposed to eye or face hazards from flying particles, molten metal, liquid chemicals, acids, or caustic liquids, chemical gases or vapors, or potentially injurious light radiation.

Further, each affected employee must use eye protection that provides side protection when there is a hazard from flying objects. Employees who wear prescription glasses will be provided with safety eye wear that fits over the glasses. Employees may, at their own expense, opt to purchase their own prescription safety glasses that meet ANSI standards.

    • Proper eye protection must be worn whenever there is a reasonable possibility that an eye injury could occur.
    • Suitable eye protection may include safety glasses, goggles, face shields or approved dark glasses. The degree and type of hazard indicates the type of eye protection.
    • Eye protection is required in operations involving welding, drilling, chipping, hammering, sawing, chemical handling, weed-whacking, or other hazardous equipment and operations.
5.3 Hand Protection

Employees must use appropriate hand protection when their hands are exposed to hazards such as those from skin absorption of harmful substances, cuts or lacerations, abrasions, punctures, chemical burns, temperature extremes s, harmful radiation or other material handling hazards. Make sure when choosing hand protection, you consider how well the hand protection performs relative to the: Task; Conditions present; Duration of use; Hazards and Potential hazards. Hands must be kept out of the immediate cutting area or point of operation of any cutting type of equipment, such as the paper cutter.

5.4 Foot Protection

The State of Washington requires employees to wear “substantial” footwear made of leather or other equally firm material whenever there is a danger of injury to the feet through falling or moving objects, or from burning, cutting, penetration, electrical, or like hazard. Footwear must meet ANSI standard Z41-1999 specifications.

Employees in Dining Services must wear slip resistant footwear.

5.5 Hearing Protection

Hearing protection must be worn whenever an employee is exposed to high or long duration noise levels such as grinders, gas-powered machines, or air tools. Employees who are exposed to sound levels that exceed 85 dB time weighted average (TWA) will be included in our formal hearing protection program. Please refer to the Hearing Conservation section.

5.6 Respiratory Protection

Respiratory protection must be worn whenever there is an inhalation risk. Before using a respirator, you must pass a medical evaluation and fit test. Please refer to the Respiratory Protection section for more information or contact the Environmental Health & Safety Manager.

6.0 Clothing and Jewelry

Clean clothing sufficient to protect against the hazards of the operations being performed must be used. Loose shirtsleeves, coverall sleeves or rings, earrings, wristwatches, and other jewelry must not be worn when working with power equipment or machinery.

Long sleeves and pants must be worn when there is the risk of chemical splash or flying objects. Cooks must wear loose, natural fabric clothing, such as cotton, so that hot water or grease spills will not be as likely to burn the skin as it would with clingy materials and styles.

7.0 Illumination of Work

Whenever natural light is insufficient to illuminate work operations, artificial illumination will be provided to enable the work to be performed safely.