OSHA Seeks Comments on Proposed Rule Regarding Clarifications to Its Personal Protective Equipment Standard for Construction
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) published a proposed rule to revise its personal protective equipment (PPE) standard for construction to explicitly require that PPE must fit properly to protect workers from workplace hazards.
OSHA notes that PPE that “properly fits” means the PPE is the appropriate size to provide an employee with the necessary protection from hazards and does not create additional safety and health hazards arising from being either too small or too large. OSHA reasons that when PPE fits properly, employees are unlikely to discard or modify it because of discomfort or interference with their work activities. OSHA adds that it is not concerned with the cosmetic appearance, or “exact fit” of PPE.
The proposed standard therefore does not include the phrase “exact fit” in the regulatory text. Instead, the proposed rule uses the phrase “properly fits,” consistent with the OSHA general industry and maritime PPE standards. As a result, OSHA anticipates that application/enforcement of the proposed language requiring properly fitting PPE in the construction standard would align with its application and enforcement of the PPE standards for general industry and maritime.