OSHA announced Wednesday it will reopen for 45 days its rulemaking record on the proposed rule, Employer Payment for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

Due to the significant amount of comments received in the record and after analyzing the issues raised in the comments, OSHA has determined that further information is necessary to fully explore the issues concerning paying for PPE that is considered to be a "tool of the trade."

The agency is seeking comments on issues that relate to whether or how a general rule on payment for PPE should address types of personal protective equipment that are typically supplied by the employee, taken from job site to job site or from employer to employer, and considered to be "tools of the trade."

The provisions in current OSHA standards that require PPE usually state that the employer is to provide or ensure the use of PPE. Certain provisions specify that the employer is to provide PPE at no cost to the employee; others suggest that the PPE is owned by the employee, while other provisions are silent as to who is obligated to pay for this equipment.