Safetip #127: Designate a Person Responsible for PPE Policies

May 23, 2018

This week’s Safetip is about designating a person who is responsible for the development, implementation and administration of PPE policies.

What Are the Tasks of Someone Responsible for PPE Policies?

A Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Guide from the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries (L&I) highlights the need to designate someone who will be responsible for the development, implementation and administration of an organization’s PPE policies. The tasks of this person include:

1) Conducting workplace hazard assessments to determine the presence of hazards that necessitate the use of PPE. This step can also be achieved by using a .

2) Selecting and purchasing PPE.

3) Reviewing, updating and conducting PPE hazard assessments at least every year, or whenever:

  • A job or job step changes
  • New equipment is used
  • There is an accident
  • A supervisor or employee requests it

4) Maintaining records on hazard assessments.

5) Maintaining records on PPE assignments and training.

6) Providing training, guidance and assistance to supervisors and employees on the proper use, care, and cleaning of approved PPE.

7) Periodically re-evaluating the suitability of previously selected PPE.

8) Reviewing, updating and evaluating the overall effectiveness of PPE use, training and policies.

Supervisors Also Have a Role to Play

The designation of a person responsible for PPE policies doesn’t mean others have no obligations regarding PPE, or that they don’t have to think about PPE. It is the responsibility of everyone in an organization to make sure that PPE policies are followed and that workers are wearing the proper PPE.

Supervisors in the workplace (Directors, Foremen, Managers, Shift Leads, Superintendents, Team Leads, etc.) must ensure that workers are protected by implementing and enforcing PPE use and policies in their work area. This involves:

1) Providing appropriate PPE and making it available to employees.

2) Ensuring that employees are trained on the proper use, care and cleaning of PPE.

3) Ensuring that PPE training certification and evaluation forms are signed, and given to the person responsible for PPE policies or the person responsible for the workplace safety and health program.

4) Ensuring that employees properly use and maintain their PPE, and follow the PPE policies and rules.

5) Notifying management and the person responsible for PPE policies when new hazards are introduced or when processes are added or changed.

6) Ensuring that defective or damaged PPE is immediately disposed of and replaced.

Also, remember that PPE is the least effective way to protect workers because it does not eliminate or reduce a hazard. It only places a barrier between the worker and the hazard. Before selecting PPE, you should consider a more effective control method that is part of the Hierarchy of Controls.

Finally, make sure that your PPE policy, and all other safety and health policies, are controlled in a standardized way through a Document Control software solution. This allows you to access, edit, approve, distribute, revise and archive internal policies used throughout the enterprise in a single, secure and central location.

Visit Enablon Insights again next Wednesday for a new Safetip!

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