Personal protective equipment ( PPE ) is any type of specialized clothing, barrier product, or breathing (respiratory) device used to protect workers from serious injuries or illnesses while doing their jobs. Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA - OSHA General PPE Requirements Standard 29CFR1910 Subpart I ) requires the use of PPE to reduce employee exposure to hazards when engineering and administrative controls are not feasible or effective in reducing these exposures to acceptable levels.
Employers, including local health departments, are required by OSHA and Wisconsin Administrative Code to perform a hazard assessment to determine when and if PPE should be used to protect their workers.
Public health workers are potentially exposed to two main categories of workplace hazards: communicable diseases and environmental health hazards. If PPE needs to be used, a PPE program must be implemented. This program should address the hazards present; the selection, maintenance, and use of PPE; the training of employees; and monitoring of the program to ensure its ongoing effectiveness.
While not all local health departments conduct environmental health hazard investigations, all public health workers should be aware of the PPE requirements for these possible exposures, because ultimately, the local health officer is responsible for human health hazard abatement in his or her jurisdiction (DHS 140.04) as well as assuring the National Public Health Essential Services are implemented as described in Wisconsin Statute 250.03(10)(L).
The resources found on this website are intended to assist local health departments with developing and managing their PPE responsibilities.
- Hazard Assessment
- Equipment Selection and Use
- Reassessment of Hazards
- Training Standard 29CFR1910.132 (f)(1)
- Payment for PPE Standard 29CFR1910.132 (h)(1)
- Model Plans and Templates
- Respirator and Facemask Calculator for Pandemic Influenza (Excel, 121 KB)
If you have any questions, e-mail Gwen Borlaug at firstname.lastname@example.org.