Under the new rule, employers must pay for replacement PPE, except when the employee has lost or intentionally damaged the PPE. The rule does not address how often PPE is to be replaced, as replacement is already governed by each standard that requires PPE.
The final rule states that employers are free to develop and implement workplace rules and disciplinary measures to ensure that employees have and use employer-provided PPE in a responsible manner. However, disciplinary systems that circumvent the PPE payment requirements and shift payment to employees when PPE is not lost or intentionally damaged will be considered a violation of the standard.
If employees choose to use adequate PPE they own and bring it to the workplace, an employer may allow them to do so and is not required to reimburse employees for that equipment. However, the employer cannot require an employee to provide or pay for his own PPE, unless the PPE falls under one of the exceptions noted above. OSHA included this employee-owned PPE exception to the employer-payment rule in recognition of the many industries where employees move frequently from job to job, supplying their own equipment. To qualify: (1) the employee’s use of his own PPE must be completely voluntary, (2) the employee must be able to withdraw use of his own PPE at any time, and (3) if the employer allows an employee to use PPE he already owns, the employer is still responsible for making sure the PPE is adequate, properly maintained and sanitary under the applicable PPE standard.
For further information regarding OSHA compliance requirements for the surfacing idustry, visit www.technetrainonline.com or contact TechneTrain Inc. at 800-852-8314. TechneTrain has a full line of training programs and reference materials to help assist businesses in meeting compliance with OSHA regulations.