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Employer responsibilities and personal protective equipment

There are times when job duties at a New Jersey workplace may put workers in danger, even though the companies have done everything possible to eliminate hazards. In these cases, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration states that employers should provide the necessary personal protective equipment to lower the chances of harm in an accident.

Making PPE available is not enough to keep workers safe. Employers should ensure that employees are trained in what to wear, when and how to wear it, and how to maintain it. If the fit is not correct or the PPE is damaged in some way, a worker could be at high risk of an injury in a workplace accident.

Even though employers are required to provide PPE in most cases, the Institute for Safety and Health Management points out that there are exceptions to this rule. This includes the following:

  •          Non-specialty footwear that may be worn outside of work
  •          Protection from weather conditions
  •          Everyday clothes
  •          Safety prescription eyewear that may be used outside of work
  •          PPE that is not legally required for the job duties

If an employee owns the appropriate PPE and chooses to use this instead of the employer’s, he or she does not have to be reimbursed for the cost of that equipment. A worker who purposefully damages a company’s PPE or loses it may have to pay replacement costs.

The employer is responsible for conducting an assessment of the job duties in the workplace to determine what PPE will keep workers safe. This includes hazards that may harm employees through contact, inhalation or absorption.

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