Earlier this month, OSHA announced that it is seeking to revise the national Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) standard for the construction industry to make clear that PPE must fit each employee properly. OSHA’s proposed revision to the standard would align the PPE standard for construction with that of general industry and maritime standards, which already require that PPE properly fit workers.
OSHA’s Proposed Changes
Unlike OSHA’s General Industry PPE standards, the Construction PPE rules do not require that PPE properly fit workers. Instead, OSHA 1926.95 only requires that employers ensure PPE is safely designed and constructed.
OSHA has proposed changes to 1926.95 to add a section requiring employers to select PPE that properly fits each affected employee. This proposed language is intended to address an important issue for smaller workers, particularly some women.
OSHA’s proposed rule will go through the comment period, and if adopted, the new rules will go into effect by the end of 2023 or early 2024.
In the meantime, employers should evaluate their PPE procedures to ensure that employees have access to PPE that is appropriately sized, and that employees are actually using appropriately fitted PPE.
If you have questions about this rule or your company’s PPE policies, we recommend you contact an experienced construction attorney.