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5004 - Personal Protective Equipment

Statement of Policy


The purpose of this policy is to minimize unnecessary employee exposure to unsafe situations.

Hazard Assessment

Department Directors should assess the workplace annually to determine if hazards requiring the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) are present or are likely to be present. If hazards or the likelihood of hazards are found, the department director should select PPE suitable for protection from these hazards and require affected employees to use it properly. Defective or damaged PPE should not be used.


Training should be held upon hiring and on an annual basis. Prior to performing work requiring the use of PPE, employees should be trained in the following:

  1. When PPE is necessary;
  2. What type of PPE is necessary;
  3. How PPE is to be worn; and
  4. What its limitations are, as well as know its proper care, maintenance, useful life, and disposal.

Following each training session, employees will certify in writing that they have received training and that they understand it. Each department will maintain training documentation.

Head Protection

Employees should wear an approved helmet where there is, or there is likely to be a potential hazard of injury. Each type and class of head protector is intended to provide protection against specific hazardous conditions. An understanding of these conditions will help in selecting the right helmet for the particular situation.

Protective helmets are made in the following types and classes:

For industrial purposes, three classes of helmets are recognized:

Class A - general service, limited voltage protection;

Class B - utility service, high-voltage helmets; and

Class C - special service, no voltage protection.

For firefighters, head protection must consist of a protective head device with ear flaps and a chin strap that meet the performance, construction, and testing requirements stated in Title 29 CFR, 1910.156(e)(5).

Helmets under Class A are intended for protection against impact hazards. They are used in mining, construction, shipbuilding, tunneling, lumbering, and manufacturing.

Class B, utility service helmets protect the wearer's head from impact and penetration by falling or flying objects and from high-voltage shock and burns. Electrical workers use them extensively.

The safety helmet in Class C is designed specifically for lightweight comfort and impact protection. This class is usually manufactured from aluminum and offers no dielectric protection. Class C helmets are used in certain construction and manufacturing occupations, oil fields, refineries, and chemical plants where there is no danger from electrical hazards or corrosion. They also are used on occasions where there is a possibility of bumping the head against a fixed object.

Materials used in helmets should be water-resistant and slow burning. Each helmet consists essentially of a shell and suspension. Ventilation is provided by a space between the headband and the shell. Each helmet should be accompanied by the instructions explaining the proper method of adjusting and replacing the suspension and headband.

The wearer should be able to identify the type of helmet by looking inside the shell for the manufacturer, ANSI designation and class.

Helmets are date stamped by the manufacturer and should be replaced no later than the date recommended by the manufacturer, e.g., 5 years. For example: Manufacturer's Name; ANSI Z89.1-1969 (or later year); Class A.


Headbands are adjustable in 1/8-size increments. When the headband is adjusted to the right size, it provides sufficient clearance between the shell and the headband. The removable or replaceable type sweatband should cover at least the forehead portion of the headband. The internal cradle of the headband and sweatband forms the suspension. Any part of that comes into contact with the wearer's head must not be irritating to normal skin.

Inspection and Maintenance

Manufacturers should be consulted with regard to paint or cleaning materials for their helmets because some paints and thinners may damage the shell and reduce protection by physically weakening it or negating electrical resistance.

A common method of cleaning shells is dipping them in hot water (approximately 140º F) containing a good detergent for at least a minute. Shells should then be scrubbed and rinsed in clear hot water. After rinsing, the shell should be carefully inspected for any signs of damage.

All components, shells, suspensions, headbands, sweatbands, and any accessories should be visually inspected daily for signs of dents, cracks, penetration, or any other damage that might reduce the degree of safety originally provided.

Users are cautioned that if unusual conditions occur, or if there are signs of abuse or mutilation of the helmet or any component, the margin of safety may be reduced. If damage is suspected, helmets should be replaced in accordance with ANSI Z89.1-1986.

Helmets should not be stored or carried on the rear-window shelf of an automobile, since sunlight and extreme heat may adversely affect the degree of protection.

Eye and Face Protection

Department Directors should provide suitable eye protectors where there is a potential for injury to the eyes or face from flying particles, molten metal, liquid chemicals, acids or caustic liquids, chemical gases or vapors, potentially injurious light radiation or a combination of these. Protectors should meet the following minimum requirements:

  • Provide adequate protection against the particular hazards for which they are designed;

  • Be reasonably comfortable when worn under the designated conditions;

  • Fit snugly without interfering with the movements or vision of the wearer;

  • Be durable;

  • Be capable of being disinfected;

  • Be easily cleanable; and

  • Be kept clean and in good repair.
Eye protection should be distinctly marked to facilitate identification of the manufacturer.
Each affected employee should use equipment with filter lenses that have a shade number appropriate for the work being performed for protection from injurious light radiation. The following table lists the appropriate shade numbers for various work operations.


Electrode Size (1/32 inch diameter standard

Arc Current (Amps)

Minimum* Protective Shade

Shielded metal arc welding

3/32 – 5/32
5/32 – 8/32



Gas metal arc welding and flux cored arc welding



Gas Tungsten
arc welding



Air carbon
arc cutting




Plasma arc welding



Plasma arc cutting




Torch brazing
Torch soldering Carbon
arc welding





As a rule of thumb, start with a shade that is too dark to see the weld zone (the darkest lens carries a value of 10). Then go to a lighter shade, which gives sufficient view of the weld zone without going below the minimum. In oxyfuel gas welding or cutting where the torch produces a high yellow light, it is desirable to use a filter lens that absorbs the yellow or sodium line in the visible light of the (spectrum) operation.

**These values apply where the actual arc is clearly seen. Experience has shown that lighter filters may be used when the arc is hidden by the work piece.


Plate Thickness

Minimum Protective Shade



Gas welding:

< 1/8
1/8 to ½
> 1/2

< 3.2
3.2 to 12.5


Oxygen cutting:

< 1
1 to 62
> 6

< 25
5 to 150
> 150


Emergency eyewash should be placed in all hazardous locations. First-aid instructions should be posted close to potential danger spots since any delay to immediate aid or any early mistake in dealing with an injury can result in lasting damage.

Each eye, face, or face-and-eye protector is designed for a particular hazard. In selecting the protector, consideration should be given to the kind and degree of hazard, and the protector should be selected on that basis. Where a choice of protectors is given, and the degree of protection required is not an important issue, worker comfort may be a deciding factor.

Persons using corrective spectacles and those who are required by OSHA to wear eye protection should wear face shields, goggles, or spectacles of one of the following types:

  • Spectacles with protective lenses providing optical correction;

  • Goggles worn over corrective spectacles without disturbing the adjustment of the spectacles; or

  • Goggles that incorporate corrective lenses mounted behind the protective lenses.

Any limitations or precautions indicated by the manufacturer shall be strictly observed.

Inspection and Maintenance

It is essential that the lenses of eye protectors be kept clean. Continuous vision through dirty lenses can cause eyestrain -- often an excuse for not wearing the eye protectors. Daily inspection and cleaning of the eye protector with soap and hot water, or with a cleaning solution and tissue, is recommended.

Pitted lenses, like dirty lenses, can be a source of reduced vision. They should be replaced. Deeply scratched or excessively pitted lenses are apt to break more readily.

Slack, worn-out, sweat-soaked, or twisted headbands do not hold the eye protector in proper position. Visual inspection can determine when the headband elasticity is reduced to a point beyond proper function.

Goggles should be kept in a case when not in use. Spectacles, in particular, should be given the same care as ones own glasses, since the frame, nose pads, and temples can be damaged by rough usage.

Personal protective equipment that has been previously used should be disinfected before being issued to another employee.

Also, when each employee is assigned protective equipment for extended periods, it is recommended that such equipment be cleaned and disinfected regularly.

Several methods for disinfecting eye-protective equipment are acceptable. The most effective method is to disassemble the goggles or spectacles and thoroughly clean all parts with soap and warm water. Carefully rinse all traces of soap, and replace defective parts with new ones. Swab thoroughly or completely and immerse all parts for 10 minutes in a solution of germicidal deodorant fungicide. Remove parts from solution and suspend in a clean place for air-drying at room temperature or with heated air. Do not rinse after removing parts from the solution because this will remove the germicidal residue, which retains its effectiveness after drying.

The dry parts or items should be placed in a clean, dust-proof container, such as a box, bag, or plastic envelope, to protect them until reissue.

Ear Protection

Hearing protection should be used when exposed to high noise levels including all mechanized equipment.

Exposure to high noise levels can cause hearing loss or impairment. It can create physical and psychological stress. There is no cure for noise-induced hearing loss, so the prevention of excessive noise exposure is the only way to avoid hearing damage.

Waxed cotton, foam, or fiberglass wool earplugs are self-forming. When properly inserted, they work as well as most molded earplugs.

Some earplugs are disposable, to be used one time and then thrown away. The non-disposable type should be cleaned after each use for proper protection. Plain cotton is ineffective as protection against hazardous noise and should not be used.

Arm and Hand Protection

Department directors should determine what hand protection their employees need. The work activities of employees may be considered to determine the degree of dexterity required, the duration, frequency, and degree of exposure to hazards and the physical stresses that will be applied.

Each employee should wear gloves when exposed to heat and sparks, wet concrete, acids, corrosives, electrical exposures, or substances which could cut.

Foot and Leg Protection

For protection of feet and legs from falling or rolling objects, sharp objects, molten metal, hot surfaces, and wet slippery surfaces, workers should use appropriate foot guards, safety shoes, or boots and leggings. Leggings protect the lower leg and feet from molten metal or welding sparks. Safety snaps permit their rapid removal.

Aluminum alloy, fiberglass, or galvanized steel foot guards can be worn over usual work shoes, although they may present the possibility of catching on something and causing workers to trip. Heat-resistant soled shoes protect against hot surfaces like those found in the roofing, paving, and hot metal industries.

Safety shoes should be sturdy and have an impact-resistant toe. In some shoes, metal insoles protect against puncture wounds. Safety footwear is classified according to its ability to meet minimum requirements for both compression and impact tests.

Working Over or Near Water

A Coast Guard-approved life jacket or buoyant work vest should be worn if there is danger of drowning or falling into the water while working. For emergency rescue operations, boats, and ring buoys with at least 90 feet on line must be provided.

Prior to and after each use the buoyant work vests or life preservers should be inspected for defects, which would alter their strength or buoyancy. Defective units shall not be used.

Ring buoys with at least 90 feet of line should be provided and readily available for emergency rescue operations. The distance between ring buoys should not exceed 200 feet.

At least one lifesaving skiff should be immediately available at locations where employees are working over or adjacent to water.

The goal of Layton City is to provide a safe and healthy working environment for employees.

Enacted, 7/22/1993
Minor Edit, 1/6/2004
Amended, 9/16/2015, Previous Policy 5004