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Personal Protective Equipment

Sample Written Program

This sample program has been prepared to provide assistance in compliance with USA OSHA standards and/or Best Management Practices.  It should not be used without consideration of the unique conditions and requirements at each site.  It may be necessary to modify the program for your specific needs.  You remain under obligation to comply with all applicable standards, and use of this program should not be considered to be a guarantee that compliance with applicable requirements will be achieved.  It is strongly suggested that your final program be reviewed by a qualified person.   The best written program without implementation is inadequate.



COMPANY: __________________________________________________

ADDRESS: __________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________


Protective equipment, including personal protective equipment (PPE) for eyes, face, head, and extremities, protective clothing, respiratory devices, and protective shields and barriers are provided, used, and maintained in a sanitary and reliable condition.

The protective equipment is provided wherever it is necessary by reason of hazards of processes or environment, chemical hazards, radiological hazards, or mechanical irritants encountered in a manner capable of causing injury or impairment in the function of any part of the body through absorption, inhalation or physical contact.


Where employees provide their own protective equipment as authorized by their supervisors, the equipment must meet all applicable rules, procedures, standards, codes, and regulations. Also, the proper maintenance and sanitation of the equipment is provided.


All personal protective equipment is of a safe design and construction for the work to be performed. Applicable standards, codes, and regulations are followed in the design and construction of protective equipment.


Protective eye and face equipment is provided and required where there is a reasonable probability of injury that can be prevented by such equipment. Eye and face protection used meet the requirements of ANSI Standard Z 87.1 - Eye and Face Protection. All employees are required to wear the prescribed eye and face protection to protect themselves from a hazardous environment.

Situations where suitable eye protection is required, but not limited to, machine operations involving flying objects, glass, liquids, injurious radiation, or a combination thereof.

Eye and face protection meets the following requirements:

A. Provide adequate protection.

B. Reasonably comfortable.

C. Fit snugly and do not unduly interfere with movements.

D. Durable.

E. Capable of being disinfected.

F. Easily cleanable.

G. Kept clean and in good repair.

H. Persons requiring corrective lenses shall wear:

1. Spectacles whose protective lenses provide the correction.

2. Goggles that can be properly worn over corrective spectacles.

3. Goggles that incorporate corrective lenses.

Every eye and face protector is distinctly marked to facilitate identification of the manufacturer and ANSI Z 87.1.

When protector limitations and precautions are provided by the manufacturer, they are transmitted to the users and compliance enforced.


Feasible engineering controls are the primary measures used to control employee exposure to harmful dusts, fogs, fumes, mists, gasses, smokes, sprays, or vapors. Such engineering controls include, but are not limited to enclosures and confinement, general and local ventilation, and substitution of less toxic materials.

When effective engineering controls are not feasible, or while they are being instituted, appropriate respirators are used as specified by the following requirements.

Applicable and suitable respirators are provided when necessary to protect employee health.

A respiratory protection program has been established and is properly maintained to protect employees from atmospheric contamination and/or hazards. Key elements of the program include:

A. A written standard operating procedure governing the selection and use of respirators. See Appendix A.

B. Selection of respirators based on hazardous exposure per ANSI Z 88.1. See Appendix B.

C. Instruction and training of users concerning proper respirator use and their limitations. See Appendix F.

D. Regular cleaning and disinfection of respirators and thorough cleaning and disinfection before use by another employee.

E. Respirators are stored in a convenient, clean, and sanitary location.

F. Routine inspection of respirators during cleaning and replacement of worn or deteriorated parts. Respirators for emergency use such as self-contained breathing apparatus, are thoroughly inspected at least monthly and after each use. Records are maintained of these inspections.

G. Work areas are routinely surveyed to review work area conditions and degree of employee exposure or stress.

H. Regular inspections and evaluations are conducted to determine continued program effectiveness. A formal annual evaluation is conducted and a written report prepared.

I. A determination must be made and recorded that employees are physically able to wear respiratory protection and are able to perform the work and use the equipment prior to assigning them to wear respirators. The consulting physician has determined the pertinent physical conditions. See Appendix C. The respirator users' medical status is reviewed at least annually.

J. Only approved respirators (per ANSI Z 88.1) are worn which provide adequate respiratory protection against the particular hazard. Recognized authorization for respirator approval include ANSI, U.S. Department of Interior, Mine Safety and Health Administration, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

A. Air Quality

Where compressed air, compressed oxygen, liquid air, and liquid oxygen are used for respiration, it is of high purity. All oxygen used meets the requirements of the United States Pharmacopoeia for medical or breathing oxygen.

Breathing air meets at least the requirements of the specification for Grade D breathing air as described in Compressed Gas Association Commodity Specification G7.1.

Compressed oxygen is not used in supplied-air respirators or in open circuit self- contained breathing apparatus that have previously used compressed air. Oxygen is prohibited from use with air line respirators.

Breathing air is supplied to respirators from cylinders or air compressors. Breathing air cylinders are tested and maintained as prescribed in the Shipping Container Specification Regulations of the Department of Transportation 49 CFR 178.

B. Air Compressors

Compressors for supplying breathing air are equipped with the necessary safety and standby devices. Breathing air-type compressors are used which avoid entry of contaminated air into the systems and have suitable in-line air purifying sorbent beds and filters installed to further assure breathing air quality.

An air receiver of sufficient capacity is provided to enable respirator users to escape contaminated atmospheres in event of compressor failure. Also, alarms to indicate compressor failure and overheating are installed in the system.

If an oil-lubricated air compressor is used to supply breathing air, it will be provided with a high temperature or carbon monoxide alarm, or both. If only a high-temperature alarm is used, the air from the compressor is frequently tested for carbon monoxide to ensure it meets breathing air specifications described above.

Air line couplings are incompatible with outlets for other gas systems to prevent inadvertent servicing of air line respirators with nonrespirable gases or oxygen. All modifications, changes, and/or additions to the breathing air supply system including, but not limited to, the compressor, piping, couplings, etc. must be approved and inspected to ensure that the work was done properly, and that the changes, modifications and/or additions did not adversely affect the quality of the breathing air, such as the mistaken connection of a breathing air line to an argon, or other gas line.

All breathing air containers are marked in accordance with American National Standard Method of Marking Portable Compressed Gas Containers Z 48.1; Federal Specification BB-A-1034a, air compressed for breathing purposes; or Interim Federal Specification GG-B-0067b, breathing apparatus, self-contained.

C. Respirator Use

Standard procedures for emergency and routine respirator use have been developed which include all information and guidance necessary for proper selection, use, and care.

The correct respirator has been specified for each job by the respiratory program coordinator who is a qualified individual supervising the program. The coordinator has received adequate instructions to ensure that the correct respirator is issued. See Appendix D.

D. Dangerous Atmospheres

Procedures have been written covering the safe use of respirators in dangerous atmospheres that might be encountered in normal operations or in emergencies. These procedures are located in the work areas where respirators are used and employees have been informed of the procedures and the available respirators.

At least one additional person is required for respirator use in areas where the wearer, with respirator failure, could be overcome by a toxic or oxygen-deficient atmosphere. Communications, including visual, voice, or signal line, are maintained between the respirator user and the attendant. Plans are provided such that one individual will be unaffected by any likely incident and will have the proper rescue equipment necessary to assist the others in an emergency.

When self-contained breathing apparatus or hose masks with blowers are used in atmospheres immediately dangerous to life and health (IDLH), an attendant is required outside the work area with suitable rescue equipment.

Persons using air line respirators in IDLH atmospheres are equipped with a safety harness and safety lines for lifting or removing them from the hazardous atmosphere or other equivalent provisions for rescue used. The attendant(s) and/or standby person shall have suitable self-contained breathing apparatus and be stationed at the nearest fresh air base for emergency rescue. All confined space entry and rescue comply with OSHA standard 1910.146.

E. Respiratory Protection Inspections

Frequent random respiratory protection inspections are conducted by the respiratory protection program coordinator to assure that respirators are properly selected, used, cleaned, and maintained. See Appendix E.

F. Education and Training

Supervisors and employees are properly instructed by competent persons in the selection, use, and maintenance of respirators. During the training program respirator users are provided an opportunity to handle the respirator, have it fitted properly, test its face piece-to-face seal, wear it in normal air for a long familiarity period, and to wear it in a test atmosphere. See Appendix F.

G. Fitting

Every respirator wearer receives fitting instructions including demonstration and practice in how the respirator should be worn, how to adjust it, and how to determine if it fits properly. See Appendix G.

Respirators must not be worn when conditions prevent a good face seal including growth of a beard, sideburns, a skull cap projecting under the face piece, temple pieces on glasses, or absence of dentures.

Worker diligence in observing respirator fit factors is evaluated by periodic checks. Also, the respirator wearer has been instructed to check the respirator facepiece fit each time the respirator is donned as prescribed by the respirator manufacturer instructions.

H. Corrective Glasses and Respirator Use

There may be problems with respirator seals due to the temple pieces, therefore individuals wearing corrective lenses must obtain special authorization and approved to wear full face respirators. Special provisions will be made to ensure that employees can safely wear the respirator.

I. Maintenance and Care of Respirators

A respirator maintenance and care program is provided which covers the type of operations, working conditions, and hazards involved. The program includes:

1. Inspection for defects (including leak checks),

2. Cleaning and disinfecting,

3. Repair, and

4. Storage

J. Respirator Inspections

All respirators are routinely inspected before and after use by the user to ensure they meet their original effectiveness. Any defects, or possible defects, detected are reported to supervision so the necessary evaluations and maintenance can be performed prior to reuse.

Respirators not routinely used, but kept ready for emergency use, are inspected after each use and at least monthly to assure they are in satisfactory working condition. A record is maintained of these inspections showing the date of the inspection and findings.

Self-contained breathing apparatus are inspected monthly to ensure:

1. The breathing air cylinder is fully charged according to the manufacturer's instructions.

2. The regulator and warning devices function properly,

3. Connections are tight,

4. Facepiece, headband, valve, connecting tubes, and canister condition,

5. Rubber or elastomer parts are pliable, and not deteriorated, and are kept pliable by massaging to prevent a set during storage.

K. Cleaning and Disinfection

Routinely used respirators are collected, cleaned, and disinfected as frequently as necessary to ensure proper wearer protection. Emergency use respirators are cleaned and disinfected after each use.

L. Replacement and Repairs

Respirator replacement and repairs are performed with parts designed for the respirator only by authorized and experienced persons approved by the respiratory protection program coordinator and per the manufacturers recommendations. Reducing or admission valves or regulators are returned to the manufacturer or to a trained technician for adjustment or repair. Trained technicians must be authorized by the respiratory protection program coordinator to perform repairs.

M. Storage

Respirators are stored so as to protect against dust, sunlight, heat, extreme cold, excessive moisture, or damaging chemicals. Routinely used respirators may be placed in plastic bags.

Emergency respirators placed at stations and in work areas for quick accessibility are stored in special compartments built for that purpose. These compartments are clearly marked.

Storage of respirators in lockers or tool boxes are prohibited unless they are in carrying cases or cartons.

Respirators are packed or stored so that the facepiece and exhalation valve rest in a normal position and functions will not be impaired by elastomer setting in an abnormal position.

N. Identification of Gas Mask Canisters

Gas mask canisters are primarily identified by properly worded labels. Color codes are used as a secondary means of identification. Those persons purchasing, issuing, advising, or using gas masks are responsible to ensure the canisters purchased or used are properly labeled and color coded before being placed in service. All labels and color codes are properly maintained at all times the canisters are in use.

Bold letters are placed on each canister stating:

CANISTER FOR (name of atmospheric contaminant)



In addition, essentially the following wording appears beneath the appropriate phrase on the canister label:

"For respiratory protection in atmospheres containing not more than ______ percent by volume of (name of atmospheric contaminant)."

Canisters having a special high efficiency filter for protection against radionuclides and other highly toxic particulates are labeled with a statement of the type and degree of protection afforded by the filter. Such labels are affixed to the neck end of, or to the gray stripe around and near the top of the canister. The degree of protection is marked as the percent of penetration of the canister by a 0.3 micro- diameter diocty phthalate (DOP) smoke at a flow rate of 85 liters per minute.

Each canister has a level warning that gas masks must be used only in atmospheres containing sufficient oxygen to support life (at least 16 percent by volume) since gas mask canisters are only designed to neutralize or remove contaminants from the air.


Atmospheric Contaminants Colors Assigned1

to be Protected Against

Acid gases White.

Hydrocyanic acid gas White with 1/2-inch green stripe completely around the canister near the bottom.

Chlorine gas White with 1/2-inch yellow stripe completely around the canister near the bottom.

Organic vapors Black.

Ammonia gas Green.

Acid gases and ammonia gas Green with 1/2-inch white stripe completely around the canister near the bottom.

Carbon monoxide Blue.

Acid gases and organic vapors Yellow.

Hydrocyanic acid gas and chloropicrin Yellow with 1/2-inch blue stripe

vapor completely around the canister near the bottom.

Acid gases, organic vapors, and ammonia Brown.


Radioactive materials, excepting tritium Purple (magenta).

and noble gases

Particulates (dusts, fumes, mists, fogs, Canister color for contaminant,as or smokes) in combination with any of designated above, with 1/2- inch the above gases or vapors. gray stripe completely around the canister near the top.

All of the above atmospheric Red with 1/2-inch gray stripe contaminants completely around the canister the top.

1 Gray shall not be assigned as the main color for a canister designed to remove acids or vapors.

Note: Orange shall be used as a complete body, or stripe color to represent gases not included in this table. The user will need to refer to the canister label to determine the degree of protection the canister will afford.

O. Color Codes

Each gas mask canister is painted a distinctive color or combination of colors as indicated by Table 1 attached. All colors used are clearly identifiable by the user and clearly distinguishable from one another. Appropriately colored pressure sensitive tape may be used for the stripes.


Helmets (safety hard hats) for the protection of employee heads from impact and penetration from falling and flying objects and from limited electric shock and burns are provided that meet the requirements and specifications per ANSI Standard Z 89.1.


Safety-toe footwear is required for employees routinely handling solid objects weighing 15 pounds or more which can fall on their toes. All such safety-toe footwear (safety shoes) meets the requirements and specifications of ANSI Standard Z 41.1.


Rubber protective equipment for protecting workers from live electrical current greater than 50 volts conforms to the requirements of the following ANSI Standards.

Item Standards

Rubber insulating gloves ................. J6.6-1967.
Rubber matting for use around ..........J6.7-1935 (R1962).
electric apparatus.
Rubber insulating blankets ................. J6.4-1970.
Rubber insulating hoods ..........J6.2-1950 (R1962).
Rubber insulating line hose ......... J6.1-1950 (R1962).
Rubber insulating sleeves ...................J6.5-1962.




Original articles © WorkCare™; Orange, California.