4.24 Personal Protective Equipment

Safety, Health, and Environmental Manual


These guidelines provide information necessary to comply with Church standards and best practices for personal protective equipment (PPE). PPE includes devices and clothing designed to provide a barrier of protection between a person and harmful objects, substances, operations, or conditions. Use PPE only when it is infeasible or impractical to eliminate hazards through substitution, engineering controls, warnings, or administrative controls or when a person must handle an emergency.

Managers and supervisors are to assess the workplace to determine if hazards are present or are likely to be present that necessitate the use of PPE by employees and visitors. A workplace hazard assessment must be performed. Use the PPE Hazard Assessment form in chapter 7 to help conduct the evaluation. Managers and supervisors must provide the necessary PPE and training and ensure that the PPE is used to prevent unnecessary exposure to hazardous objects, substances, operations, or conditions.

If employees provide their own PPE, the supervisor is responsible to assure it is adequate, properly maintained, and sanitary. At no cost to the employees, the employer must provide them the PPE required for the job. However, the employer is not required to pay for nonspecialty toe-protective footwear (including steel-toe shoes or steel-toe boots) and nonspecialty prescription safety eyewear as long as the employee is allowed to wear these items off the job. When an employee provides adequate PPE that he or she owns, the employer may allow the employee to use it but is not required to reimburse the employee for that equipment.

In addition, managers and supervisors should:

  • Post signs showing appropriate types of PPE, if required.

  • Where applicable, review the safety data sheets (SDS) to help determine required PPE.

  • Train employees and visitors in at least the following:

    • When PPE is necessary

    • What PPE is necessary

    • How to properly put on, adjust, wear, and remove PPE

    • The limitations of PPE

    • The proper care, maintenance, storage, and disposal of PPE and its useful life

  • Formally document the required training with the name of the trainee, the date of training, and the subject of certification.

  • Ensure that employees maintain their PPE in good working condition, properly store it, and keep it in a sanitary condition. PPE must be inspected before each use and cleaned or replaced when necessary.

  • Employee clothing should be appropriate for the work being done. Loose sleeves, shirttails, ties, gloves, and other clothing that can become entangled in moving machinery must not be worn. Clothing saturated with flammable liquids, corrosive substances, irritants, oxidizing agents, or other toxic materials must be removed immediately and not be worn again until properly cleaned.

  • Employees may not wear wristwatches, rings, or other jewelry on the job when such items constitute a safety hazard.

  • Employees’ hair should be confined when there is a risk of it becoming entangled in machinery’s moving parts.