Personal Protective Equipment Program (PPE)



Regulations and Policy



Guides and Forms


Personal protective equipment (PPE) is used to create a protective barrier between a worker and hazards in the workplace. PPE includes such equipment as chemical resistant gloves, safety shoes, hard hats, safety glasses, respirators, and clothing such as gowns and aprons.


These procedures are intended to:

  • Assist departments and work units in completing hazard assessment surveys for PPE selection.
  • Provide resources for employee information and training.
  • Demonstrate compliance with safety regulations.

Regulations and Policies

  • University of Iowa Operations Manual, Part III Human Resources:

    • Division II Standards and Ethics, Chapter 16.4.d Policy on Ethics and Responsibilities for University of Iowa Staff
    • Division VII Personal Injury and Injury Prevention, Chapter 33: Personal Protective Equipment
  • General Industry Occupational Safety and Health Regulations, 29 CFR 1910, Subpart I.

    • General Requirements (1910.132)
    • Eye and Face Protection (1910.133)
    • Respiratory Protection (1910.134)
    • Head Protection (1910.135)
    • Foot Protection (1910.136)
    • Electrical Protective Equipment (1910.137)
    • Hand Protection (1910.138)


  • Deans, Directors and Department Heads are responsible to:

    • Designate and empower the department’s administrative Health and Safety Coordinator (or equivalent) and supervisors.
    • Actively support these procedures within individual units.
    • Ensure an environment where employees are encouraged to follow these procedures.
  • The Department Health and Safety Coordinator is responsible to:

    • Act as an administrative liaison between the department and EHS.
    • Provide administrative oversight of health and safety within the department.
    • Facilitate the correction of safety problems within the department.
  • Supervisors are responsible to:

    • Implement these procedures.
    • Assure that staff is aware of this program and provided with training and personal protective equipment.
    • Maintain documentation and records as required in these procedures.
  • Employees are responsible to:

    • Comply with these procedures and any further safety requirements set by supervisors.
    • Conduct assigned tasks in a safe manner, wear appropriate personal protective equipment, and obtain training and information.
  • EHS is responsible to:

    • Provide procedural guidelines, administrative consultations and reviews, and select services.
    • Exercise surveillance over health and safety issues at the University.


Procedures that Apply to All Work Locations

All work locations except offices and classrooms are required to complete a hazard assessment to determine whether hazards are present or likely to be present that would require the use of PPE. Even if PPE will not be required, completion of the hazard assessment is required.

Appendix A links to forms to use to fulfill OSHA’s requirement for a written certification of a hazard assessment. Shops, operations and maintenance, utility plants, business services, and academic areas that are not wet research labs should use the form “PPE Operations Hazard Assessment.”  Research laboratories should use the form “Certification of Hazard Assessment for PPE Use – Research Labs.

If it is determined that no hazards exist or are likely to exist for which PPE use would be required, note this on the certification form and sign it. 

A copy of the form should be kept on file in the department so a record of compliance can be produced for a regulatory inspection or audit.

Procedures that Apply Where PPE Use is Required

At work areas where the PPE hazard assessment survey determined that PPE use is required, procedures must be implemented for selection, use, maintenance, training, visitors, and periodic follow ups.

Selection, Use and Maintenance Procedures

The PPE Information and Training Guides in Appendix B provide general considerations for the categories and types of PPE, what they are used for, standards that govern their design, and guidelines for the wearing, limitations and care of PPE.

Only the appropriate type of PPE meeting certain specification criteria can be used. Therefore, when selecting protective clothing or equipment for specific chemical or biological material, it is best to directly consult the material safety data sheet and the manufacturer’s product specifications and testing data for that product. The Environmental Health & Safety Office may also be contacted for assistance.

Routine use PPE items such as gloves and goggles are available from University General Stores, Chem Stores, and BioChem Stores.

The employer (i.e., the department, unit, shop or lab in charge of or in control of a work location) must also ensure that PPE appropriate for that work location is available to and used by visitors to that work location. Visitors should be briefed on use of the PPE when it is provided to them.

Training Requirements
Initial training includes two parts: general awareness training and department training.

General Awareness Training
This part may be provided by the department or the employee may complete EHS’s online course. Employees working in research laboratories should take “PPE Awareness - Research Laboratories” and employees working at all other locations should take “PPE Awareness – Operations.”

Department-Specific Training
This part must be provided by the employing unit to address PPE selections specific to the work area.

Each employee that is required to use PPE must be trained on the following:

  1. When PPE is necessary
  2. What PPE is required
  3. How to properly don, doff, adjust, and wear PPE
  4. The limitations of the PPE
  5. The proper care, maintenance, useful life and disposal of the PPE

Each employee must demonstrate an understanding of the training and the ability to handle the PPE properly.

The department must certify the training (keep a record) by documenting that the employee received and understood the material presented.  Choices for acceptable records include:

  • The "Record for PPE Training" form in Appendix C
  • Record of completion of  EHS online generic training is included in the individual’s HR Self Service Site “My Training” and departments retain the completed site specific training and information form.
  • Any alternative record that meets the requirements of OSHA standard 1910.132(f) for written training certifications which include the name of the employee trained, the date(s) of the training, and identification of the material presented in the training. 

Repeat or Recurring Requirements

The OSHA standard on PPE does not have automatic annual repeating requirements.

Hazard assessments and training must be added to the existing program for:

  • A new or different hazard
  • A new or different type of PPE
  • A new process or procedure

Training only must be accomplished or repeated for:

  • A new employee
  • A previously trained employee who lacks understanding of PPE use