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Personal Protective Equipment Policy

PREAMBLE

All reasonable measures should be taken to control or eliminate hazards in the workplace. The proper use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) provides an additional degree of protection against harm or injury in the workplace and therefore its importance must not be underestimated. PPE is intended to be used in conjunction with, and never to the exclusion of, other safe workplace practices.

It is critical that the appropriate PPE for the situation is used, and that:

  • The limitations of PPE are fully understood;
  • PPE is properly fitted for the individual;
  • The employee using the PPE is trained in its use, care and maintenance; and
  • The employee using PPE recognizes it as required attire for working in that environment or with the particular hazard.

Employees exposed, in the course of employment, to potentially hazardous materials, conditions or work environments shall be provided with, and must wear, appropriate PPE.

POLICY STATEMENT

In accordance with the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHS Act, Sec. 8), all employees are entitled to carry out the duties of their jobs in a working environment that neither impairs their health nor imperils their safety. This policy is intended to further encourage a safety culture within the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, by establishing clear roles, responsibilities and accountabilities regarding PPE.

APPLICATION

This policy applies to all employees, including students. Bargaining unit employees should also consult their respective collective agreements.

DEFINITIONS

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE):
Clothing and other work accessories that provide a barrier between the worker and a workplace hazard.

RESPONSIBILITIES

Departments
It is the responsibility of individual departments to:

  • Identify the requirements for PPE that must be worn by an employee or student working in a hazardous or a potentially hazardous work area;
  • Ensure that workers, and particularly supervisors, are familiar with health or safety hazards that they may be subject to in the workplace;

and where reasonably appropriate (OHS Act, Section 5) to:

  • Provide the needed PPE to all employees, including permanent, temporary, contract, seasonal, and students; and
  • Ensure that employees are adequately trained in the legislative requirements for and proper use of PPE.

Immediate Supervisors/Managers
It is the responsibility of immediate supervisors/managers to:

  • Advise employees of the health and/or safety hazards that they may encounter in the workplace;
  • Provide proper written or oral instructions regarding precautions to be taken for the protection of employees; and
  • Enforce the proper usage of PPE among employees.

Employees & Students
It is the responsibility of employees or students to:

  • Ensure that they take reasonable care to protect their own health and safety and that of their co-workers and other persons in or near the workplace;
  • Report to management, or designated personnel, any hazardous or potentially hazardous conditions or risks that they identify in their work environment;
  • Participate in training provided by the employer, or delegate, regarding the appropriate use, care, and maintenance of PPE;
  • Use PPE in accordance with instruction provided and follow established safety guidelines;
  • Comply with departmental policy and program requirements and the OHS Act and Regulations respecting PPE;
  • Take reasonable care of PPE;
  • Inspect PPE prior to each use; and
  • Ensure the use of PPE is restricted to those duties carried out while conducting the employer's business.

Employees who fail to comply with the above conditions may be subject to disciplinary action.

GENERAL CONDITIONS

All PPE must meet or exceed legislative requirements and recognized standards.

The PPE provided to an employee should be of a type and condition that will provide the employee with an appropriate level of protection given the work environment, as per recognized protection and manufacturer standards.

PPE provided to an employee may be replaced at any time as deemed appropriate, by the employer.

Clothing to protect an employee from adverse weather is only provided to employees who are required to work outdoors on a regular basis, or who are required to regularly operate or travel in open vehicles.

When determining what PPE to provide, the employer will consider such factors as frequency of use, occupational health and safety and environmental conditions.

The employer determines the PPE that may be issued to employees. In making such a determination, the employer will consider the relevant legislation (eg: OHS Act), risk factors, the season in which the employee is working, and the nature of the work.

CARE AND MAINTENANCE

It is mandatory for employees who are provided PPE to use, care for and maintain these items in accordance with legislative requirements, established procedures, and manufacturer standards.

FOOTWARE ALLOWANCE

The employer may provide a protective footwear allowance of up to $75.00 to an employee for each twelve months of service or the employer may provide replacement protective footwear upon the employee's request, subject to the employer's inspection of the footwear.

If the employee chooses to accept a protective footwear allowance, in lieu of protective footwear provided by the employer, the footwear used by the employee must meet or exceed the applicable safety standard. Further, protective footwear must be in acceptable condition, as determined by the employer.

Where an employee has been supplied with safety footwear, the twelve month period shall begin from the last date of issue.

SHARED EQUIPMENT AND CLOTHING

Where appropriate, and in situations where an employee would not regularly wear PPE, the employer may decide to supply certain articles (if necessary, in a variety of sizes) which are to be shared among employees. These decisions will consider legislative requirements, individual fitting and personal hygiene.

OWNERSHIP

PPE provided to an employee by the employer remains the property of the employer, unless otherwise specified.

The employer may request the return of PPE at any time.

RELATED LEGISLATION AND POLICIES:

Last Policy Update: December 6, 2011

 
Last Updated:
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