DOL Proposes Rule to Clarify PPE Standard and Ensure Construction Industry Workers Safety
The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) proposed a rule last week clarifying a personal protective equipment (PPE) standard for the construction industry.
The current standard does not clearly state that PPE must fit each affected employee properly, yet the general industry and maritime standards of the DOL’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) do. The proposed change would require that PPE fit each employee properly to protect them from occupational hazards.
The failure of standard-sized PPE to protect physically smaller construction workers properly, as well as problems with access to properly fitting PPE, have long been safety and health concerns in the construction industry, especially for some women. The proposed rule clarifies the existing requirement, and OSHA does not expect the change will increase employers’ costs or compliance burdens. The proposed revision would align the language in OSHA’s PPE standard for construction with standards for general industry and maritime.
“If personal protective equipment does not fit properly, an employee may be unprotected or dangerously exposed to hazards and face tragic consequences,” said Doug Parker, assistant secretary for occupational safety and health. “We look forward to hearing from stakeholders on this important issue as we work together to ensure that construction workers of all genders and sizes are fitted properly with safety gear.”