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Section VI: General Administration

Policy Number: VI-19.00(A)

University of Maryland Policy on Protective Equipment Program

(Approved by the President )


  1. PurposeThe Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Program has been developed to provide the University community with the necessary information to identify work situations that require the use of PPE, the proper selection and use of PPE, and documentation of this information. This information is important to help ensure the safety and health of all employees at the University of Maryland.
  2. ScopeUniversity employees who currently utilize PPE or have the potential to encounter hazards to the eyes, face, head, feet, hands, or who conduct work involving electrical or fall hazards, as identified during the Hazard Assessment of the workplace, will be required to participate in this PPE Program. PPE will be selected and used to protect employees from the hazards and potential hazards that are likely to be encountered. Respiratory and hearing protection are covered under separate programs.PPE includes all clothing and work accessories designed to protect employees from workplace hazards. PPE should not be used as a substitute for engineering, work practices, and/or administrative controls to protect employees from workplace hazards. PPE should be used in conjunction with permanent protective measures, such as engineered guards, substitutions of less hazardous chemicals, and prudent work practices.
  3. Applicable RegulationOSHA Regulation 29 CFR Part 1910 Subpart I - Personal Protective Equipment.
  4. Department of Environmental Safety (DES)DES shall prepare a PPE manual and annually review and revise the manual to meet current OSHA regulations. DES will also annually distribute a memo to all Deans, Directors, Department Heads, and Compliance Officers as a reminder of all environmental health and safety policies and programs.


ANSI: American National Standard Institute, a nonprofit, voluntary membership organization that coordinates the U.S. Voluntary Consensus Standard System. Their standards have been adopted throughout government and industry for various types of personal protective equipment.

Competent Person: A person who, because of training and experience, is capable of identifying hazardous or dangerous conditions.

Hazard Assessment: Investigating the work environment for potential dangers which could result in injury or illness.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE): Devices worn by the employees to protect against hazards in the environment. Examples include safety glasses, face shields, respirators, gloves, hard hats, steel-toe shoes, and hearing protection.

Permissible Exposure Limit (PEL): The PEL for a substance is the 8-hour timeweighted average or ceiling concentration above which workers may not be exposed.

Qualified Person: A person designated by the employer who is knowledgeable about and familiar with all relevant manufactures’ specifications and recommendations; is capable of identifying existing or potential hazards in specific surroundings or working conditions which may be hazardous or dangerous to employees; and has been trained for the specific task assigned. When work is to be supervised by a qualified person, the qualified person shall have the necessary authority to carry out the assigned work responsibilities.


  1. Deans, Directors, and Department Heads Designate and empower individuals who must participate in and who will be responsible for the preparation and implementation of the PPE Program. Provide administrative and financial support for this program within individual departments.Ensure the PPE Program is implemented and maintained within the department. 
  2. SupervisorsImplement all aspects of this program, including documentation of the hazard assessment and training. The supervisor has been designated this responsibility, as he/she is involved with employees on a daily basis. Conduct hazard assessments and ensure that employees are informed, trained, and provided with appropriate PPE to be protected from potential hazards associated with job tasks.Be familiar with the applicable government regulations, safety standards, and prudent safety practices to protect themselves and their fellow employees. 
  3. EmployeesComply with the guideline and any further safety recommendations provided by supervisors and/or DES regarding PPE.Conduct assigned tasks in a safe manner and wear all assigned PPE.Report any unsafe or unhealthy work conditions and job related injuries or illnesses to the supervisor immediately. 
  4. Department of Environmental Safety (DES)Provide technical information and assist departments in implementing an effective PPE program in their workplace.Provide training for PPE instruction, as needed.Review and revise the PPE program, as needed for compliance with applicable regulations.


A hazard assessment is a formalization of what is done whenever personal protective equipment is selected based on the hazards of the job. When conducting a hazard assessment, a task is investigated and the hazards and the potential hazards associated with the task are determined. This allows selection of personal protective equipment that will protect the employee from the identified hazards.

A hazard assessment may be conducted of a single employee, of a single task, or a group of employees if all the employees perform an identical task. For example, if all employees in a group are exposed to ultraviolet radiation during one type of welding, the hazard assessment could include all of the welders conducting that task. Likewise, painters using similar types of materials or laboratory employees using similar types of chemicals could be grouped under the same assessment.

During the hazard assessment of each task, inspect the layout of the workplace and look for the following hazardous sources:

  1. High or low temperature that could result in burns, eye injury, ignition of equipment, heat/cold stress, frostbite, lack of coordination, etc.
  2. Chemical exposures, including airborne or skin contact, that would have the potential for splash on the skin or eyes, or the potential to breathe vapors or mists.
  3. Harmful dust or particulates.
  4. Light radiation, e.g., welding, arc lamps, heat treating, lasers, growth lights, etc.
  5. Sources of falling objects, potential for dropping objects, or rolling objects that could cause crush or pinch the feet.
  6. Sharp objects that may pierce the feet or cut the hands.
  7. Observe the layout of the workplace and the location of co-workers for the potential for collision with other personnel or objects.
  8. Electrical hazards.
  9. Any other identified potential hazard.

Where these hazards could cause injury to employees, personal protective equipment must be selected to substantially eliminate the injury potential. A Certification of Hazard Assessment and a Hazard Assessment Checklist must be completed by the supervisor to identify potential workplace hazards. (These forms are available on the DES web site at:


The Hazard Assessment forms must be signed by the supervisor to certify that this process has been performed as required by the regulation. The forms must be maintained with the departmental records.


Prior to conducting work requiring the use of personal protective equipment, employees must be trained to know:

When PPE is necessary;What type is necessary;How it is to be worn;What its limitations are; and,Proper care, maintenance, useful life, and disposal.

Upon completion of the training, the employee must be able to demonstrate the above mentioned information. Any type of training format can be used as long as a hands-on session is incorporated. Video tapes are available from DES to assist with employee PPE training. Documentation of training is required. 

Information regarding eye, face, head, foot and hand protection is provided on the DES web site at: Each section can be used as needed and be adapted to individual workplaces after the completion of a Hazard Assessment to select the proper PPE.

Whenever PPE is used, employee comfort should be considered. When PPE does not fit properly, employees will tend not to use it. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendation for proper PPE usage.



Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) includes all clothing and work accessories designed to protect employees from workplace hazards. Protective equipment should not replace engineering, administrative, or procedural controls for safety. It should be used in conjunction with these controls. Employees must wear protective equipment as required and when instructed by a supervisor.

For each hazard identified, select personal protective equipment that will protect the employee by creating a barrier against workplace hazards. Consider the likelihood of an accident and the seriousness of a potential accident. Personal protective equipment must be selected to protect against any hazard that is likely to occur or has a serious injury impact if it does occur. It is important that employees become familiar with the potential hazards, the type of protective equipment that is available, and the level of protection that is provided by that equipment, i.e., splash protection, impact protection, etc. The personal protective equipment selected must fit the employee it is intended to protect. Make certain that employees have the correct size of protective equipment. Whenever possible, select adjustable personal protective equipment. Employee input in the selection process is critical. Employees will more likely wear personal protective equipment that fits properly and is comfortable. Damaged or defective protective equipment shall be immediately taken out of service to be repaired or replaced.

For proper selection of the PPE listed below, please refer to the DES web site.

Head ProtectionEye and Face ProtectionEar ProtectionRespiratory ProtectionFoot ProtectionHand and Arm ProtectionAdditional information may also be obtained from:

DES and the manufacturers of PPE;MSDS for chemicals; andProduct descriptions.