Community College of Rhode Island

Go to 50th Anniversary website

Personal Protective Equipment

PPE Program

Introduction

The Community College of Rhode Island has developed a written PPE program conforming to OSHA's Personal Protective Equipment regulation, found at 29 FR 1910.132-140(Subpart I), to provide protection from occupational injuries and illnesses to its employees and students and to document and specify all information relative to the College's PPE needs.

The Chemical Safety Coordinator is the program coordinator, acting as the representative of the Director of Administration. The Chemical Safety Coordinator will train employees in this program and will designate appropriate plant supervisors to assist in training employees and monitoring their use of PPE. This written plan is kept in the offices of the Physical Plant Directors and the Chemical Safety Coordinator. The Physical Plant Directors and the Chemical Safety Coordinator will review and update the program as necessary. Copies of this program are on file in the offices of the Chemical Safety Coordinator and Physical Plant Directors and may be obtained from them on request. Copies of the Program are also in the Libraries at all campuses.

We at the Community College of Rhode Island believe it is our obligation to provide a hazard free environment to our employees. Any employee encountering hazardous conditions must be protected against the potential hazards. The purpose of protective clothing and equipment (PPE) is to shield or isolate individuals from chemical, physical, biological, or other hazards that may be present in the workplace. (See separate documents for respiratory protection programs.)

Establishing an overall written PPE program detailing how employees use PPE makes it easier to ensure that they use PPE properly in the workplace and document our PPE efforts in the event of an OSHA inspection. The Community College of Rhode Island 's PPE program covers:

  • Purpose
  • Hazard assessment
  • PPE selection
  • Employee training
  • Cleaning and maintenance of PPE
  • PPE specific information

If after reading this program, you find that improvements can be made, please contact the Chemical Safety Coordinator or one of the Physical Plant Directors. We encourage all suggestions because we are committed to the success of our Personal Protective Equipment Program. We strive for clear understanding, safe behavior, and involvement in the program from every level of the company.

Purpose of Program

The basic element of any PPE program is an in depth evaluation of the equipment needed to protect against the hazards at the workplace; this is the initial hazard assessment for which written documentation is required. Two basic objectives of any PPE program should be to protect the wearer from incorrect use and/or malfunction of PPE. The purpose of this Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Program is to document the hazard assessment, protective measures in place, and PPE use at CCRI. PPE devices are not to be relied on as the only means to provide protection against hazards, but are used in conjunction with guards, engineering controls, and sound work practices. If possible, hazards will be abated first through engineering controls, with PPE to provide protection against hazards, which cannot reasonably be abated otherwise.

Go to top of page

Hazard Assessment

In order to assess the need for PPE the following steps are taken:

  1. The Chemical Safety Coordinator, with the Physical Plant Directors, Building Maintenance Supervisors and Ground Superintendents identifies job classifications where exposures occur or could occur. The Chemical Safety Coordinator or designee examines injury records, illness records and first aid logs to identify and rank jobs according to exposure hazards:
  2. The Chemical Safety Coordinator along with a Physical Plant Director, Building Maintenance Supervisor or Ground Superintendent conducts a walk through survey of workplace areas where hazards exist or may exist to identify sources of hazards to employees. They consider these basic hazard categories:
  • Impact
  • Heat
  • Penetration
  • Chemical
  • Harmful dust
  • Compression (roll over)
  • Light (optical) radiation

During the walk through survey the Chemical Safety Coordinator observes and records the following hazards along with PPE currently in use:

  • Sources of motion; i.e., machinery or processes where any movement of tools, machine elements or particles could exist such as power tools, pumps, motors, gasoline engines, fans, vehicles, etc.
  • Sources of high temperatures that could result in burns, eye injury or ignition of protective equipment such as cutting torches, arc welders, hot water heaters, hot water pipes, engines, generators, etc.
  • Sources of chemical exposures such as student laboratories, chemical storerooms, hazardous waste storerooms, cleaning materials, pesticide application, paining, gluing, pool chemicals, etc.
  • Sources of harmful dust such as saws, planers, drills, sanders, grinders, grounds maintenance activities, sweeping, etc.
  • Sources of light radiation such as welding, brazing, cutting, furnaces, high intensity lights, laboratory lasers, etc.
  • Sources of falling objects or potential for dropping objects such as ladders, scaffolds, catwalks, rooftops, etc.
  • Sources of sharp objects which might pierce the feet or cut the hands such as tools, razor knives, etc.
  • Sources of rolling or pinching objects which could crush the feet such as forklifts and hand trucks, etc.
  • Sources of electrical hazards such as circuit breaker panels, lighting fixtures, generators, portable power tools, laboratory equipment, etc.
  1. Following the walk through survey, the Chemical Safety Coordinator and Physical Plant Directors organize the data and information for use in the assessment of hazards to analyze the hazards and enable proper selection of protective equipment.
  2. An estimate of the potential for injuries is made. Each of the basic hazards is reviewed and a determination made as to the frequency, type, level of risk, and seriousness of potential injury from each of the hazards found. The existence of any situations where multiple exposures occur or could occur are considered.
Selection Guidelines

Once any hazards have been identified and evaluated through hazard assessment, the general procedure for selecting protective equipment is to:

  1. Become familiar with the potential hazards and the type of protective equipment (PPE) that are available, and what they can do.
  2. Compare types of equipment to the hazards associated with the environment.
  3. Select the PPE which ensures a level of protection greater than the minimum required to protect employees from the hazards.
  4. Fit the user with proper, comfortable, well fitting protection and instruct employees on care and use of the PPE. It is very important that the users are aware of all warning labels for and limitations of their PPE.

It is the responsibility of the Chemical Safety Coordinator and the Physical Plant Directors to reassess the workplace hazard situation as necessary, to identify and evaluate new equipment and processes, to review accident records, and reevaluate the suitability of previously selected PPE. This reassessment will take place as needed, but at least yearly.

Elements which should be considered in the reassessment include:

  • Adequacy of the PPE program
  • Accidents and illness experience
  • Levels of exposure (this implies appropriate exposure estimates)
  • Adequacy of equipment selection
  • Number of person hours that workers wear various protective ensembles
  • Adequacy of training and fitting of PPE
  • Adequacy of program records
  • Recommendation for program improvement and modification
  • Coordination with overall safety and health program

Go to top of page

Employee Training

The Chemical Safety Coordinator or the employees supervisor provides training for each employee who is required to use personal protective equipment. Training includes:

  • When PPE is necessary
  • What PPE is necessary
  • How to wear assigned PPE
  • Limitations of PPE
  • The proper care, maintenance, useful life, and disposal of assigned PPE

Employees must demonstrate an understanding of the training and the ability to use the PPE properly before they are allowed to perform work requiring the use of the equipment.

Employees are prohibited from performing work without donning appropriate PPE to protect them from the hazards they will encounter in the course of that work.

If the Chemical Safety Coordinator or the employee's supervisor has reason to believe an employee does not have the understanding or skill required, the employer must be retrained. Since an employee's supervisor is in the best position to observe any problems with PPE use, the Chemical Safety Coordinator will seek this person's input when making this determination. Circumstances where retraining may be required include changes in the workplace or changes in the types of PPE to be used which would render previous training obsolete and inadequacies in an affected employee's knowledge or use of the assigned PPE which indicate that the employee has not retained the necessary understanding or skills.

The Chemical Safety Coordinator certifies in writing that the employee has received and understands the PPE training.

Because failure to comply with College PPE policy can result in Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training citations and fines as well as employee injury, an employee who does not comply with this program will be disciplined for noncompliance as follows:

  • For a first offence, counseling and retraining by the employee's supervisor or the Chemical Safety Coordinator.
  • For subsequent offences, appropriate disciplinary action according to established College policy.
Cleaning and Maintenance

It is important that all PPE be kept clean and properly maintained by the employee to whom it is assigned. Cleaning is particularly important for eye and face protection where dirty or fogged lenses could impair vision. PPE is to be inspected, cleaned, and maintained by employees at regular intervals as part of their normal job duties so that the PPE provides the requisite protection. Supervisors are responsible for ensuring compliance with cleaning responsibilities by employees. If PPE is for general use, the Chemical Safety Coordinator has responsibility for cleaning and maintenance. If a piece of PPE is in need of repair or replacement it is the responsibility of the employee to bring it to the immediate attention of his or her supervisor or the Safety Manager. It is against work rules to use PPE that is in disrepair or not able to perform its intended function. Contaminated PPE which cannot be decontaminated is disposed of in a manner that protects employees from exposure to hazards.

PPE Specific Information
Eye and Face Protection - Goggles and Face Shields

It is the policy of CCRI that as a condition of employment, all regular full time, part time, and temporary employees working in designated work areas and/or job assignments are required to wear ANSI approved goggles/face shields to help prevent eye and face injuries, including those resulting from flying particles, molten metal, liquid chemicals, acids or caustic liquids, chemical gases or vapors, or light radiation, for example. Employees in work areas such as laboratories, maintenance shops, carpentry shops, vehicle garages, chemical storage areas, among others are required to wear eye protection if any work with the potential to cause eye injury is being performed by anyone in the area. The following tasks, among others, require the wearing of impact goggles, chemical splash goggles or face shields, whichever is appropriate for the task: welding, drilling, grinding, spraying pesticides, cutting, brazing, planning, operating electric saws, operating chain saws, hammering, operating lawn mowers, operating leaf blowers, operating hedge trimmers, using drain cleaners, handling concentrated cleaning solutions, handling pesticides, using corrosive chemicals, spray paining, etc.

The following are examples of the types of eye protection that may be worn for a particular task: The choice of eye protection for each job is made by the Chemical Safety Coordinator in consultation with the employee's supervisor.

  • Welding - Ultraviolet-Filtering Welder's Goggles
  • Drilling, Cutting, Grinding, Planning, Saw Operation - Impact Goggles with Side Shields
  • Handling Chemicals, Drain Cleaners, Pesticides, Spray Painting - Chemical Splash Goggles

Go to top of page

Hand Protection - Gloves

It is the policy of the company that as a condition of employment, all regular full time, part time, and temporary employees working in designated work areas and/or job assignments are required to wear gloves to help prevent hand injuries, including cuts, burns, chemical exposure, etc.

Employees in the following designated work areas are required to wear protective gloves when performing tasks that expose them to the possibility of hand injury: laboratories, maintenance shops, carpentry shops, vehicle garages, chemical storage areas, etc.

The following tasks, among others, require the wearing of gloves appropriate for the task: welding, drilling, grinding, spraying pesticides, cutting, brazing, planting, operating electric saws, operating chain saws, hammering, operating lawn mowers, operating leaf blowers, operating hedge trimmers, using drain cleaners, handling concentrated cleaning solutions, handling pesticides, using corrosive chemicals, spray paining, etc.

The following are examples of the types of gloves that may be worn for a particular task: The choice of glove for each job is made by the Chemical Safety Coordinator in consultation with the employee's supervisor.

  • Welding - Leather gloves
  • Pesticide Application - Virgin rubber gloves
  • Using Ordinary Cleaning Materials - Disposable latex gloves
  • Painting - Disposable latex gloves
  • Drain cleaner Use - Heavy Rubber gloves

Employees from temporary work agencies and contractors are required to wear protective gloves if assigned to work in the designated work areas.

All supervisors and managers are responsible for ensuring employees under their charge are in compliance with this policy.

All employees who work in designated work areas and/or job assignments are responsible for wearing company provided gloves to comply with this policy. Failure to comply will result in disciplinary action up to and including discharge.

All employees required to wear protective gloves must routinely inspect and properly care for their assigned gloves (if the gloves are not disposable).

Head protection - Hard hats

It is the policy of the College that as a condition of employment, all regular full time, part time, and temporary employees working in designated work areas and/or job assignments are required to wear ANSI approved hard hats to help prevent head injuries, including those resulting from falling objects, bumping the head against a fixed object, or electrical shock.

Employees in the following designated work areas are required to wear hard hats: Personnel Lifts, Forklift Trucks, Ladders, Catwalks, Construction Areas, etc.

Employees from temporary work agencies and contractors are required to wear hard hats if assigned to work in the designated work areas.

All supervisors and managers are responsible for ensuring employees under their charge are in compliance with this policy.

All employees who work in designated work areas and/or job assignments are responsible for wearing company provided hard hats to comply with this policy. Failure to comply will result in disciplinary action up to and including discharge.

All employees required to wear hard hats must routinely inspect and properly care for their hard hats.

Go to top of page

This page developed and maintained by Environmental Health and Safety. Send comments and suggestions to .


Last Updated: 5/22/12