For the first time in many years, OSHA has made significant changes in their PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) requirements. We urge you to take a look at this “Quick Glance Card” they have issued, to make it easier to understand.
The basics of these new requirements regarding policy and certificates are:
- When it comes to liability insurance for contractors in terms of PPE, it is vital that you have a current liability policy for yourself and any and all employees at all times.*
- You’ll always be issued a Certificate of Insurance that should be kept with you at all times on the job.
- This certificate verifies that you hold fully active insurance coverage, workers’ compensation, employer (contractor) liability, general liability, and what the liability limits are.
- There is a lot of coverage in this, but to boil it down, ensure that the coverage includes premises and operations, independent contractor, products, completed operations and contractual liability.
- The Certificate should clearly state that your primary coverage is contractor liability.
What are your obligations?In brief—please remember, this is not an all-inclusive list and we, along with OSHA’s guidelines, will help you make your way through all the jargon-filled twists and turns!
- Performance of a complete and comprehensive survey and assessment of any and all workplace hazards
- Identification of all required PPE and ensuring adequate quantity
- Full training in the usage of PPE
- Inspection and maintenance of the PPE, replacing when necessary
- Record-keeping of any and all safety incidents
- Remember—it is your responsibility to strictly enforce the wearing of and adherence to all PPE regulations, and to update your compliance program whenever circumstances may change
A few best practice tips for you as a contractor to achieve safety compliance and work without complications:
- Make sure your PPE policy is in writing, and everyone can easily and quickly refer to it when necessary. A written policy is a requirement of OSHA.
- Keep up-to-date with state and federal regulations that are specific to your industry. Professional associations can help you with this, if you’re unsure of them.
- Enforcement, enforcement, and enforcement yet again! Hold everyone responsible, set the rules, and be ready and willing at all times to set the example. Remember, you and your employees are your responsibility.
- Your PPE policy should follow all regulations set forth in any Material Safety Data Sheets—make sure these are at-hand and everything is in perfect sync.
- Check you have the correct level of hard-hat protection for the job, as there are three classes of protection.
- The proof is in the details! Check to make sure, just as with the hard-hats, that gloves and the like are adequate to the job hazard presented.
- Record-keeping, record-keeping, and more record-keeping! Just like with enforcement, this needs to be stressed.