Personal protective equipment is monitored by the United States Department of Labor’s

Occupational Safety and Health Administration. OSHA regulates personal protective equipment

with Standard 1910.132. This standard sets minimum requirements for personal protective

equipment, including storage, maintenance, replacement, and who is responsible to supply

personal protective equipment. Additionally, certain OSHA standards have further clarifications

for personal protective equipment for specific situations.

The reason there is such an emphasis on personal protective equipment is that it is literally the

last line of defense for employees in some of the most hazardous areas of occupational safety and

health. If machine guarding, for instance, fails, a pair of gloves might be the only thing

protecting an employee’s hands from serious amputation risks. In a hazardous environment with

toxic chemicals, proper breathing masks or protective suits could be the only thing protecting

employee lives.

So when reviewing Standard 1910.132 or other standards which have specific personal

protective equipment, it is important to understand the reason for the personal protective

equipment. This will help when trying to create policies and procedures and implementing safe


As you review and create your personal protective equipment policies and procedures, please

keep in mind both Standard 1910.132 and the additional, standard specific clarifications. And if

you run into an issue where you are unsure of how to properly enforce personal protective

equipment policies and procedures, it is important to bring a qualified third party occupational

safety and health auditing firm to ensure proper execution.

If you have any questions about the importance of personal protective equipment or how to

ensure your facility has adequate policies and procedures relating to personal protective

equipment, please contact us. If you have anything to add about the importance of personal

protective equipment, please leave a comment.