OSHA has established new procedures for enforcing its personal protective equipment (PPE) standards in general industry.  The compliance directive "provides general guidance for the enforcement of standards applicable to personal protective equipment (PPE) in general industry, including guidance on payment for PPE."  The new procedures became effective on February 10, 2011.

The directive provides useful information to employers to help them understand how OSHA’s employer payment for PPE final rule should be implemented.  That rule requires that employers pay for most PPE, but carves out certain exceptions where employer payment is not required.  Since the rule came into effect, many employers have struggled to understand exactly how these exceptions can be applied to their worksites.  OSHA’s directive may help employers in this area.

The directive gives examples of PPE that employers must provide to their employees, provides examples of exempted PPE, and lists a series of FAQs to assist employers with compliance.  It also provides citation scenarios "of potential workplace conditions that would lead to a citation."

All employers that are required to provide PPE to employees should review the directive carefully to ensure compliance.