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General requirements for personal protective equipment (PPE).
(1) Supplying personal protective equipment
(a) Personal protective equipment (PPE) must be used wherever physical contact, absorption, or inhalation of a hazard could cause any injury or impairment to the function of any part of the body.
These hazards include:
• Hazardous processes;
• Environmental hazards;
• Chemical hazards;
• Radiological hazards;
• Mechanical irritants.
• Protective equipment for eyes, face, head, hearing, and extremities;
• Protective clothing;
• Respiratory devices;
• Protective shields and barriers.
(b) PPE must be maintained in a sanitary and reliable condition.
For requirements on maintaining specific personal protective equipment (PPE), see the following rules.
• Chapter 296-842
• Chapter 296-817
WAC, Hearing loss prevention.
(c) If employees provide their own protective equipment, then the employer is responsible to make sure the PPE is:
• Properly maintained;
(d) All personal protective equipment must be of safe design and construction for the work to be performed.
(2) Minimum clothing requirements.
(a) Employers must ensure that employees wear at least:
• A short-sleeved shirt;
• Long pants;
• Shoes that meet the requirements of WAC 296-155-212
, Foot protection.
A short-sleeved shirt covers the top of the shoulder and has material extending down the arm. If a short-sleeved shirt has a seam at the end of the shoulder, the material must extend down the arm from the seam.
Long pants have legs that extend past the knee when the wearer stands and leaves no exposed skin on the lower leg.
(b) Where there is a danger of contact with moving parts of machinery, or the work process is such that a hazard exists:
• The clothing of employees must fit closely about the body.
• Dangling neck wear, bracelets, wristwatches, rings, or similar articles must not be worn by employees.
For additional related requirements see WAC 296-155-205
, Head protection.
(3) The employer must require employees to wear appropriate PPE in all operations where:
• There is an exposure to hazardous conditions;
• WAC 296-155-200, General requirements for personal protective equipment (PPE), indicates a need for using such equipment to reduce the hazards to the employees.
(4) Employees must comply with job safety practices and procedures and PPE requirements that are relevant to the job site.
(5) High visibility garments.
(a) During daylight hours, when employees' duties are performed in close proximity to moving vehicles, employers must make sure that employees wear a high-visibility safety vest, shirt, or jacket that is fluorescent yellow-green, fluorescent orange-red, or fluorescent red in color. This garment must always be worn as an outer garment.
For the purpose of this rule, hours of darkness means from one-half hour before sunset to one-half hour after sunrise.
(b) During hours of darkness, when employees' duties are performed in close proximity to moving vehicles, the employer must make sure that employees wear, at a minimum, a high-visibility safety vest, shirt, or jacket:
• Designed according to ANSI/ISEA 107-1999 Class 2 specifications;
• Worn as an outer garment;
• Worn to provide three hundred sixty degrees of visibility around the employee.
A high-visibility garment meets Class 2 specifications if the garment:
• Has an ANSI "Class 2" label;
• Has at least seven hundred seventy-five square inches of background material and two hundred one square inches of retroflective material that encircles the torso and is placed to provide three hundred sixty degrees of visibility around the employee.
• Fading and soiling may degrade the high-visibility characteristics of the garments.
• ANSI/ISEA 107-1999 is available by:
– Purchasing copies of ANSI/ISEA 107-1999 by writing:
– American National Standards Institute
11 West 42nd Street
New York, NY 10036
– Contacting the ANSI web site at http://web.ansi.org/.
• Reading a copy of ANSI/ISEA 107-1999 at any Washington state library.
(6) Payment for PPE. Except as provided in (a) through (e) of this subsection, the protective equipment, including PPE, used to comply with this chapter shall be provided by the employer at no cost to employees.
(a) The employer is not required to pay for nonspecialty safety-toe protective footwear (including steel-toe shoes or steel-toe boots) and nonspecialty prescription safety eyewear, provided that the employer permits such items to be worn off the job site.
(b) When the employer provides metatarsal guards and allows the employee, at his or her request, to use shoes or boots with built-in metatarsal protection, the employer is not required to reimburse the employee for the shoes or boots.
(c) The employer is not required to pay for:
• Everyday clothing, such as long-sleeve shirts, long pants, street shoes, and normal work boots;
• Ordinary clothing, skin creams, or other items used solely for protection from weather, such as winter coats, jackets, gloves, parkas, rubber boots, hats, raincoats, ordinary sunglasses, and sunscreen.
(d) The employer must pay for replacement PPE, except when the employee has lost or intentionally damaged the PPE.
(e) Where an employee provides adequate protective equipment he or she owns to meet the requirements of this chapter, the employer may allow the employee to use it and is not required to reimburse the employee for that equipment. The employer shall not require an employee to provide or pay for his or her own PPE, unless the PPE is excepted in (a) through (d) of this subsection.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 49.17.010
. WSR 09-05-071, § 296-155-200, filed 2/17/09, effective 4/1/09; WSR 04-24-089, § 296-155-200, filed 12/1/04, effective 1/1/05. Statutory Authority: RCW 49.17.010
, [49.17].040, and [49.17].050. WSR 01-11-038, § 296-155-200, filed 5/9/01, effective 9/1/01. Statutory Authority: Chapter 49.17
RCW. WSR 94-15-096 (Order 94-07), § 296-155-200, filed 7/20/94, effective 9/20/94. Statutory Authority: RCW 49.17.040
. WSR 86-03-074 (Order 86-14), § 296-155-200, filed 1/21/86; Order 76-29, § 296-155-200, filed 9/30/76; Order 74-26, § 296-155-200, filed 5/7/74, effective 6/6/74.]