Personal Protective Equipment

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    This policy establishes the minimum requirements for the selection and proper use of personal protective equipment.


    By authority delegated from the University President, the Vice-president for Business Affairs is responsible for the safety of all University facilities. Under this authority, policies are developed to provide a safe teaching, research, service, housing and recreational environment.

    OSHA 29 CFR 1910.132 Personal Protective Equipment General Requirements and other applicable OSHA General Industry regulations covering specific types and uses of PPE; Governor’s Executive Order 2000-92


    University staff exposed to physical and/or health hazards while performing their job duties are required to wear personal protective equipment (PPE). Whenever possible, an identified hazard must be eliminated through engineering or administrative controls before the use of PPE is authorized.

    A workplace hazard assessment must be performed in order to determine what PPE is appropriate for a given task.

    Workplace Hazard Assessment Form

    All PPE issued to University employees must comply with applicable third party certifying bodies (i.e. ANSI, NIOSH).

    All PPE required to safely perform job duties shall be provided at no cost to affected staff.

    Additional specialized PPE requirements may apply and may be viewed in other UF safety policies (i.e. Electrical Safety).


    Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S)
    EH&S is responsible for the development and periodic review of the Personal Protective Equipment policy at the University of Florida.

    EH&S shall provide technical assistance to campus organizations required to participate in this program and provide assistance in conducting job hazard assessment.

    EH&S shall have the authority to stop work in cases where personnel are observed misusing or not using appropriate PPE.

    Facilities Services and Other Maintenance and Facilities Departments
    All Divisions are required to comply with the requirements of this policy.

    Supervisors are expected to conduct job hazard assessments to determine what PPE is to be used by their staff.

    Each Division is required to provide all required training, unless otherwise noted, in the use and proper care of personal protective equipment.

    Every employee is expected to wear the assigned PPE and only use it for its intended purpose.

    The employee is responsible for taking care of assigned PPE including keeping equipment clean and in working order.

    All employees required to wear PPE must complete the required training prior to using the assigned equipment.

    Failure of employees to properly use assigned PPE when required may result in disciplinary action against the employee.


    Hazard Assessments
    The need for PPE use and the identification of the appropriate type of PPE is determined through the completion of hazard assessments. Supervisors must review and evaluate work tasks to identify any physical and health hazards that require the use of PPE by their staff.

    Hazard assessments must be completed using the designed form found in Appendix A. Completed hazard assessments must be kept on file and be available for review.

    Updated hazard assessments shall be completed if job processes change or if new types of equipment are placed into service.

    PPE Selection
    Selection of the appropriate PPE is determined by the results of the hazard assessment.

    All PPE used must be certified and be in compliance with applicable regulations.

    PPE without a recognized third party certification (i.e. NIOSH, ANSI) cannot be used at the University of Florida.

    PPE may also be selected based on the requirements noted in a Safety Data Sheet (SDS) for chemical products used in a job task. The SDS must be reviewed by the supervisor and employee prior to using the specific product.

    Required PPE must be made available to employees at no cost.

    Everyday clothing such as long sleeved shirts, long pants, street shoes and normal work boots are not considered PPE and are not required to be provided.

    Items used only for protection from the weather are also exempt from the PPE requirements.

    Specific Requirements
    Eye Protection
    All eye protection must be in compliance with ANSI Z87.1-1989. Compliance is typically signified by a Z87.1 stamp somewhere on the protective eyewear.

    Types of safety eyewear include:

    Safety Glasses
    Usually the most common form of protective eyewear used, safety glasses are effective in protecting the eyes from flying particles.

    Safety glasses should also be equipped with side shields.

    Safety goggles provide a seal around the eyes and protect the eyes from chemical splashes, chemical gases or vapors and flying particles.

    Face Shields
    Face shields are effective at protecting the face and eyes (to a lesser extent) from chemical splashes and flying particles. Face shields must always be worn in combination with goggles or safety glasses to protect the eyes from chemical splashes and flying particles, respectively.

    Welding Masks
    Welding masks are a form of specialized PPE that provides face and eye protection from molten metal, flying particles and radiant light. The shading of the glass is determined based on the type of welding being done.
    Head Protection
    The use of head protection is required whenever work is being done in areas where there is the potential for head injury due to falling objects.

    Only head protection complying with ANSI Z89.1 is allowed to be used by University staff. Compliance can be verified by locating the Z89.1 stamp on the individual piece of head protection.

    Types of head protection include:

    Class C Hard Hats

    Class C (Conductive) hard hats are designed to provide protection of the head from falling objects but provide no electrical insulation

    Class G Hard Hats

    Class G hard hats are meant for general use and rated for 2,200 volts.

    Class E Hard Hats

    Class E hard hats provide protection from falling objects and are intended to reduce the danger of exposure to high voltage electrical conductors. They are rated for 20,000 volts.

    Foot Protection
    Employees must use protective footwear when working in areas where there is a danger of foot injuries due to falling or rolling objects or objects piercing the sole and where an employee’s feet are exposed to electrical hazards.

    All foot protection must be in compliance with ANSI Z41.1

    Types of foot protection include:
    Safety Toed Boots
    These shoes are effective at protecting the foot from falling or rolling objects.

    Slip Resistant Shoes
    These are effective if work must be done on wet, oily and greasy walking surfaces.

    Metatarsal Guards/Steel Shoe Coverings
    These are effective at protecting against falling objects and should only be used in combination with safety toed boots.

    Hearing Protection
    A separate policy covers the University’s Hearing Conservation Program.

    EH&S should be contacted with questions regarding whether a work area has noise levels above the threshold limits.

    Hand Protection
    Hand protection must be worn when working with harmful substances, around hot surfaces and in cases where there is the potential to experience cuts, lacerations, severe abrasions and punctures.

    The type of gloves used must be determined through the hazard assessment. In the case of handling a chemical product, the type of glove required can be found on the Safety Data Sheet (SDS).

    Respiratory Protection
    A separate policy covers the University’s Respiratory Protection Program.

    No employee may wear a respirator without obtaining the required medical clearance and approval by EH&S.

    Inspection Requirements

    Employees are required to inspect their assigned PPE prior to each use. PPE that is damaged or no longer meets the manufacturer specifications must be removed from service and replaced.

    Intentional damage of PPE by employees may results in Division/Department disciplinary action.


    Employees assigned PPE must be provided training in the selection, proper use and care of the PPE they will be using.

    Training must be provided prior to using the PPE.

    Training must be documented. Documentation must include the employee’s name, UF ID number, signature, date of training, supervisor’s name and department.

    Training shall be repeated if the employee is observed misusing their PPE or if changes in the types of PPE used render the previous training obsolete.

    The PPE training curriculum shall include:

    • When PPE is necessary
    • What PPE is necessary
    • How to properly don, doff, adjust and wear PPE
    • The limitations of the PPE
    • The proper care, maintenance, useful life and disposal of the PPE