The final rule on Clarification of Employers’ Duty to Provide Personal Protective Equipment and Train Each Employee was published Dec. 15. The rule revises OSHA standards to clarify that for employers to be in compliance, they must provide personal protective equipment (PPE), such as respirators, and hazards training for each employee covered by the standards.
Each employee not protected may be considered a separate violation, and penalties will be assessed accordingly. This revised language is consistent with language in other standards for which per-employee citations have been upheld, OSHA says.
The final rule amendments do not add new compliance obligations. Employers are not required to provide new kinds of PPE or hazards training or use a different approach than what is already required. Additionally, employers aren’t required to provide PPE or training to employees not already covered by existing requirements.
“This technical correction to the PPE standard brings it in line with other OSHA safety and health standards,” said Acting Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA Thomas M. Stohler. “By making this change, those few employers who egregiously violate the OSHA PPE standard can be held fully accountable for violations affecting each employee who is not provided proper PPE.”