Washington State University

Revised 8-08
Environmental Health and Safety

General Requirements for Personal Protective Equipment

PDF link


This section describes procedures for ensuring that employees, students and visitors are protected from hazards through the use of personal protective equipment (PPE). (WAC 296-800-160)

PPE are designed to protect the body from absorption, inhalation, physical contact, and extreme temperature hazards. Such hazards have the potential to cause bodily injury or impairment.

Personal protective equipment includes, but is not limited to:


University administrators, faculty, and supervisors are to ensure employees, students, and visitors have and use proper personal protective equipment in potentially hazardous situations.



The University selects and provides personal protective equipment when required by provisions in this section.


Supervisors evaluate workplaces to identify hazards requiring the use of personal protective equipment.

Supervisors ensure employees are provided with and are trained in the proper use of personal protective equipment.


Employees and students are responsible for using personal protective equipment as described in this and other sections of the Safety Policies and Procedures Manual or whenever warranted by hazardous conditions.

Employees are to contact their supervisor or Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S) with questions or concerns regarding workplace hazards and personal protective equipment.


Supervisors must assess their workplaces to determine if hazards are present, or are likely to be present, which require the use of personal protective equipment.

To perform a hazard assessment, supervisors conduct a walk-through survey. Such a survey involves:

Contact EH&S for assistance with conducting hazard assessments, if desired.


Conduct a hazard reassessment whenever new equipment or processes are introduced, or injury and illness records indicate the need for personal protective equipment.

Hazard Categories

General hazard categories requiring assessment include, but are not limited to:

*EH&S is responsible for conducting noise (3.21) and respiratory (3.24) hazard assessments. Telephone 335-3041 to arrange for a hazard assessment.

PPE Hazard Assessment Guidelines

To assist in implementing this policy, EH&S provides PPE Hazard Assessment Guidelines upon request. The guidelines include charts to assist supervisors in assessing workplace hazards and selecting appropriate PPE.

Laboratory units should use the Laboratory Safety Manual, section IV, Standard Operating Procedures to assess chemical hazards and select appropriate protective equipment.

Contact EH&S for a copy of the guidelines and/or to request a review of a workplace hazard assessment; telephone 335-3041.


After surveying work areas and practices, the supervisor documents the hazard assessment.

Use the certification form in the PPE Hazard Assessment Guidelines or create a memorandum to document and certify the assessment.

This documentation must:

The department must retain this hazard assessment certification document.


Eliminate or control identified hazards by using engineering and administrative controls when technologically and economically feasible. EH&S can assist departments by recommending and evaluating potential engineering and administrative controls.

Engineering Controls

Engineering controls are passive measures designed into the work environment to prevent contact with a hazard.

Examples of engineering controls are:

Administrative Controls

Administrative controls include:


When engineering and administrative controls are not feasible, timely, or do not completely eliminate a hazard, personal protective equipment must be used.


Select personal protective equipment based on the types of hazards identified during the assessment.

Give careful consideration to:

All personal protective equipment is to be of safe design and constructed for the specific work to be performed. Eye, face, head, and foot protection must meet American National Standards Institute (ANSI) specifications.

The PPE Hazard Assessment Guidelines include charts to be used as a general guide in selecting appropriate PPE.

Contact EH&S to request assistance in selecting suitable PPE; telephone 335-3041.


Employing and academic departments are responsible for providing and maintaining required personal protective equipment.

Department-provided PPE may include, but is not limited to:

When an employee decides to supply any of the personal PPE (cont.) protective equipment listed above, the supervisor is responsible for ensuring that the equipment is:

University Stores carries a wide selection of certified/approved personal protective equipment. See BPPM 70.35.

Contact EH&S or Purchasing Services for assistance in locating a vendor if an item is unavailable at University Stores.


Employees are to provide equipment that is personal in nature, except safety-toe footwear and extreme cold weather apparel. See 3.16 and 3.42.

Examples of employee-provided equipment include, but are not limited to, items such as apparel appropriate for inclement weather normally expected in the area.


The supervisor is to ensure that each employee assigned personal protective equipment is adequately trained.

Employees must receive information and training about:

Determining Employee Understanding

Each employee must demonstrate an understanding of the training elements before being allowed to perform work requiring the use of personal protective equipment.

Acceptable methods of determining employee understanding include:


An employee must be retrained when there has been:

An employee must also be retrained if:

Sources of Training Information

Training information and materials can be obtained from manufacturers, supplying vendors, and EH&S.

Training videos are available from EH&S; telephone 335-3041. Go to the EH&S web site at:


Select Training, then
Select Video Library


Supervisors are to document that each affected employee has received and understood the training.

The documentation must include:

Use the training report template included in the PPE Hazard Assessment Guidelines or create a memorandum to certify and document employee training.

Records Retention

Departments are responsible for ensuring that training documentation is retained in accordance with the University records retention schedules. See BPPM 60.71 and 90.01.


Employees inspect personal protective equipment before each use and after any incident that could impair the equipment's effectiveness.

Inspect personal protective equipment in accordance with the manufacturer's specifications.

Defective/Damaged Equipment

Employees and supervisors take defective and damaged equipment out of service.

The department repairs/replaces personal protective equipment in accordance with the manufacturer's specifications.


Employees maintain and store personal protective equipment in a sanitary and reliable condition in accordance with the manufacturer's specifications.


The department provides clean facilities (i.e., sealable container, locker or cabinet) for employees to store their personal protective equipment.


The department provides cleaning supplies specified by the manufacturer at the storage location.


Call Environmental Health and Safety (335-3041) for assistance with: