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What personal protective equipment must employers provide?

| Jun 10, 2021 | Construction Litigation |

Recently, you hurt yourself while working on a construction site. To strengthen your case, you must determine the level of fault your employer holds for your injuries and resulting medical bills.

The Occupational Safety & Health Administration explains what personal protective equipment employers must provide for construction workers. Your company should take steps to safeguard you from common workplace hazards that may cause injury or illness.

Company obligations

Since 2008, OSHA requires construction companies and other employers to cover the cost of personal protective equipment related to adhering to the administration’s standards. Under the law, your company cannot force you to supply your own protective equipment, nor can your employer make you use protective equipment you already own.

Examples of equipment companies must provide workers include welding PPE, steel-toed rubber boots, hard hats, hearing protection, metatarsal foot protection and non-prescription eye protection. Employers must also provide goggles, face shields and proximity suits to protect against fire hazards.

Payment exceptions

Under specific circumstances, companies do not have to comply with OSHA PPE regulations. For instance, because lifting belts do not offer irrefutable back protection, employers do not have to pay for or supply them. Your company does not have a legal obligation to provide you with pants, street shoes or other articles of everyday clothing, nor must your employer supply non-specialty safety-toe protective footwear.

If a worker purposefully damages or loses replaceable PPE, employers have no obligation to pay for or provide new equipment. Do you wear non-specialty prescription safety eyewear off construction sites? If so, OSHA does not require companies to pay for them.

Understand where your obligations end and your company’s begin. That way, you better understand your legal rights and options.