The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) ruled that employers are required to pay for almost all personal protective equipment (PPE) required by OSHA’s general industry, construction and maritime standards.
The employer is expected to make sure the employees’ PPE meets OSHA standards. All employers must change their existing PPE payment policies by May 14, 2008, six months after the new rules were published.
There are exemptions to the rule. Certain ordinary equipment such as safety-toe footwear, prescription safety eyewear, everyday clothing and weather-related gear are not required to be paid for by the employer. If the employee chooses to use their own PPE, the employer is not required to reimburse the employee. If an employee has lost or intentionally damaged PPE, the employer is not required to pay for its replacement.
The entire rule can be found on OSHA’s web site, www.osha.gov.