By Judi Coyne, MBA, MA and Maryann M. D’Alessandro, PhD

“When you purchase a product, you expect it to work. Construction workers on high-rise buildings need to be confident that their safety harnesses will protect them in a fall. Firefighters need to know that their gloves and other protective equipment can withstand high temperatures. Healthcare workers administering highly toxic chemotherapy agents need to know that their gloves will withstand penetration.” [H. Cohen and C. Liverman, Editors, Certifying Personal Protective Technologies Improving Worker Safety, Institute of Medicine of the National Academies, 2011].

How do you know if your personal protective equipment (PPE) will protect you or your workers? To help employers, users of PPE, and others determine which PPE standards must be met by their equipment, NIOSH (National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health) in collaboration with key partners including the International Safety Equipment Association, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the Mine Safety and Health Administration and other members of the PPE Conformity Assessment Working Group[1] developed the PPE-INFO database.

This newly developed database is currently available at  NIOSH continues to actively improve the database to address user feedback.   If you have comments after visiting the website, please use the comment box below to provide feedback.


A 2011 Institute of Medicine report indicated that the NIOSH National Personal Protective Technology Laboratory has a unique role to play as the nation’s focal point for occupational PPE. Among the IOM’s recommendations and observations was the acknowledgment that “more information on the extent and nature of [PPE] use in the workplace would inform improvements in both personal protective products and their use.” To achieve this...Click here to read the rest of the blog post.