Agency issues final rule on clarifying employers' duty to provide PPE
The final rule -- Clarification of Employers' Duty to Provide Personal Protective Equipment and Train Each Employee -- was published in the Federal Register. The rule revises OSHA standards to clarify that, for employers to be in compliance, they must provide PPE and hazards training for each employee covered by the standards. The final rule amendments do not add new compliance obligations. Employers are not required to provide new kinds of PPE or hazards training or use a different approach than what is already required. Additionally, employers are not required to provide PPE or training to employees not already covered by existing requirements.
Under the final rule, each employee not protected may be considered a separate violation and penalties assessed accordingly. This revised language is consistent with language in other standards for which per-employee citations have been upheld, officials said.
"This technical correction to the PPE standard brings it in line with other OSHA safety and health standards," said Thomas M. Stohler, acting assistant secretary of labor for the agency. "By making this change, those few employers who egregiously violate the OSHA PPE standard can be held fully accountable for violations affecting each employee who is not provided proper PPE. This kind of vigorous enforcement is a vital component of OSHA's balanced approach to workplace safety and health."
January 19, 2009
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