General Requirements – Personal Protective Equipment
OSHA 1910.132 offers employers guidelines on protective equipment for workers.
“Personal equipment, including personal protective equipment for eyes, face, head, and extremities, protective clothing, respiratory devices, and protective shields and barriers, shall be provided, used and maintained in a sanitary and reliable condition wherever it is necessary by reason of hazards of processes or environment, chemical hazards, radiological hazards, or mechanical irritants encounter in a manner capable of causing injury or impairment in the function of any part of the body through absorption, inhalation or physical contact. ”
The standard delivers guidelines for employers on what is required including hazard assessment, employee training in proper care and use of personal protective equipment (PPE), and identifies the party responsible for paying for the required PPE.
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In March 2010, OSHA issued an addendum regarding specific industries susceptible to the flash fire hazard—namely drilling, servicing, and production-related occupations—and mandating the use of flame resistant (FR) clothing in these occupations under certain working conditions.
OSHA explains, “The use of FR greatly improves the chance of a worker surviving and regaining quality of life after a flash fire. FR can significantly reduce both the extent and severity of burn injuries to the body.”
Citing accident and injury data for flash fire incidents, which have resulted in a 16% fatality rate in oilfields in recent years, OSHA reinforces the value of FR clothing in the event of engineering and administrative control failure.
The addendum is available by clicking on the following link: http://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=INTERPRETATIONS&p_id=27296