Personal Protective Equipment (for general industry) 1910.132 was promulgated on June 27, 1974, Federal Register 23502; and amended April 6, July 1 and July 6, 1994; Nov. 15, 2007; and, June 8, 2011.

Why this standard is important

Personal protective equipment or PPE is equipment worn to minimize exposure to chemical, radiological, physical, electrical, mechanical, or other workplace hazards.


A lack of PPE, inappropriate PPE or a lack of training in how to use PPE correctly can result in injuries and illnesses ranging from concussions, fractures, burns, lacerations, abrasions and diseases from flying or falling objects, hot sparks, electrical shock, heat, radiation, hot metals, scalding liquids, body fluids and other hazardous materials.

Enforcement Statistics

October 2015 through September 20161 – totals for all industries

308 Citations

1,081 Inspections

$2,612,754 penalties

Most Frequently Cited Provisions

• OSHA’s general personal protective equipment requirements mandate that employers conduct a hazard assessment of their workplaces to determine what hazards are present that require the use of protective equipment, provide workers with appropriate protective equipment, and require them to use and maintain it in sanitary and reliable condition.

• 1910.132 Protective equipment, including personal protective equipment for eyes, face, head, and extremities, protective clothing, respiratory devices, and protective shields and barriers, shall be provided, used, and maintained in a sanitary and reliable condition wherever it is necessary by reason of hazards of processes or environment, chemical hazards, radiological hazards, or mechanical irritants encountered in a manner capable of causing injury or impairment in the function of any part of the body through absorption, inhalation or physical contact. Where employees provide their own protective equipment, the employer shall be responsible to assure its adequacy, including proper maintenance, and sanitation of such equipment. All personal protective equipment shall be of safe design and construction for the work to be performed. The employer shall assess the workplace to determine if hazards are present, or are likely to be present, which necessitate the use of PPE.

  • The employer shall ensure that each affected employee uses appropriate eye or face protection when exposed to eye or face hazards from flying particles, molten metal, liquid chemicals, acids or caustic liquids, chemical gases or vapors, or potentially injurious light radiation.
  • The employer shall ensure that each affected employee who wears prescription lenses while engaged in operations that involve eye hazards wears eye protection that incorporates the prescription in its design, or wears eye protection that can be worn over the prescription lenses without disturbing the proper position of the prescription lenses or the protective lenses.
  • The employer shall ensure that each affected employee wears a protective helmet when working in areas where there is a potential for injury to the head from falling objects.
  • The employer shall ensure that each affected employee uses protective footwear when working in areas where there is a danger of foot injuries due to falling or rolling objects, or objects piercing the sole, or when the use of protective footwear will protect the affected employee from an electrical hazard, such as a static-discharge or electric-shock hazard.
  • Employees shall wear protective equipment for the eyes or face wherever there is danger of injury to the eyes or face from electric arcs or flashes or from flying objects resulting from electrical explosion. To counteract the extreme heat from an arc flash, FR clothing is required. FR clothing with an “arc thermal performance value” (ATPV) appropriate to the potential exposures in the workplace must be worn.
  • Employers shall select and require employees to use appropriate hand protection when employees' hands are exposed to hazards such as those from skin absorption of harmful substances; severe cuts or lacerations; severe abrasions; punctures; chemical burns; thermal burns; and harmful temperature extremes.

Most frequently cited industries

  1. Manufacturing
  2. Administrative and Support and Waste Management and Remediation Services
  3. Wholesale Trade
  4. Other Services (except Public Administration)
  5. Construction
  6. Retail Trade
  7. Accommodation and Food Services
  8. Mining, Quarrying, and Oil and Gas Extraction
  9. Health Care and Social Assistance
  10. Transportation and Warehousing

What must employers do to protect employees?

  • All personal protective equipment should be safely designed and constructed, and should be maintained in a clean and reliable fashion. It should fit comfortably, encouraging worker use.
  • Employers are also required to train each worker required to use personal protective equipment to know: when it is necessary; what kind is necessary; how to properly put it on, adjust, wear and take it off; the limitations of the equipment and the proper care, maintenance, useful life, and disposal of the equipment
  • If PPE is to be used, the employer must implement a PPE program that addresses the hazards present; the selection, maintenance, and use of PPE and the training of employees.

Personal Protective Equipment Standard Compliance Directive

Directive Number: CPL 02-01-050

Effective date: 02/10/2011

Subject: Enforcement Guidance for Personal Protective Equipment in General Industry