PPE: Helping Protect Empleyees frem
Construction jobsites can be dangerous places to work. There often are many activities going on at the same time, with various trades working side by side. Work can be done below-grade in excavations, above-grade on scaffolding and in scissor hfts and on the ground with forklifts and other heavy equipment.
BY MARK STROMMr
ll of the activity above, below and on the ground at a construction worksite can create hazards for your employees and for contractor employees. One way to protect your employees is by providing appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE). The General Duty Clause of the OSH Act indicates that the employer"shall furnish to each of his employees employment and a place of employment which are free from recognized hazards that are causing or are likely to cause death or serious physical harm to his employees." PPE is the last line of defense, used when administrative controls (like scheduling work so that trades people are not in the same area at the same time) and engineering controls (such as designing the jobsite so that hazards are far enough away from employees so there is no exposure) have been exhausted and hazards remain. EMPLOYER RESPONSIBILITY The basic element of any PPE management program should be an in-depth evaluation of the equipment needed to protect against the hazards at the jobsite. What hazards are your employees exposed to or potentially could be exposed to? A hazard analysis is required to provide you with the knowledge of those hazards. OSHA requires that the employer is responsible for providing and requiring the wearing of appropriate PPE in all operations where employees are exposed to hazardous conditions. In addition, if a hazard-specific regulation requires that you provide PPE, then you must do so. There are certain exceptions where the employee pays for the PPE,such as steel-toed boots or non-specialty prescription safety eyewear, provided the...