All employers are required by law to provide their employees with a safe and healthy workplace. Personal protective equipment (PPE) is worn to reduce exposure to hazards that can cause severe workplace injuries and illnesses, including contact with electrical, mechanical, radiological, chemical, biological and other workplace hazards.
With a few exceptions, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires employers to provide and pay for personal protective equipment. If a worker chooses to use PPE they already own, it must be on a voluntary basis. Even if a worker opts to provide his or her own protective gear, the employer still has a responsibility to make sure that the equipment is in good working order and will provide sufficient protection from workplace hazards.
Depending on your type of workplace, personal protective equipment may include:
- Rubber boots with steel toes
- Metatarsal foot protection
- Hard hats
- Coveralls, vests and full body suits
- Goggles, face shields and other types of eye protection
- Prescription eyewear inserts/lenses for full face respirators
- Hearing protection
- Firefighting personal protection equipment
- Welding personal protection equipment
Proper Use and Maintenance of Personal Protective Gear
All workplace gear should be safely designed and constructed, and fit comfortably to facilitate worker use. Ill-fitting PPE can mean the difference between being securely covered or perilously exposed, which can cause serious illness or injury. PPE should always be properly cleaned, maintained and periodically inspected to ensure it performs in a reliable manner. Employers must also train workers who use personal protective equipment on the reasons for using the protective gear and its proper use and maintenance.
Workers who use PPE have certain responsibilities as well, including attending training sessions so they are educated on how to use, care for, clean and maintain PPE. Workers also have a responsibility to inform a supervisor of the need to repair or replace PPE should it become damaged.
Our Workers’ Compensation Lawyers in New Jersey Can Help
If you have been injured on the job due to faulty personal protective gear, our workers’ compensation lawyers in New Jersey will assess your case and help you get the compensation you deserve. Contact the experienced legal team at Gold, Albanese, Barletti & Locascio, LLC at 732-936-9901 to schedule a free consultation.