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In case you missed it:
OSHA wants you to pay
for safety equipment

Proposed Rule first
published in 1999
was effective 2/13/08

    For example, safety shoes are on your tab, and you must pay for replacements that the employee does not lose or intentionally damage.

Here is the final rule, published near the end of last year:

    Sec.  1910.132  General requirements.

    * * * * *
    (h) Payment for protective equipment.

    (1) Except as provided by paragraphs (h)(2) through (h)(6) of this section, the protective equipment, including personal protective equipment (PPE), used to comply with this part, shall be provided by the employer at no cost to employees.

    (2) The employer is not required to pay for non-specialty safety-toe protective footwear (including steel-toe shoes or steel-toe boots) and non-specialty prescription safety eyewear, provided that the employer permits such items to be worn off the job-site.

    (3) When the employer provides metatarsal guards and allows the employee, at his or her request, to use shoes or boots with built-in metatarsal protection, the employer is not required to reimburse the employee for the shoes or boots.

    (4) The employer is not required to pay for:
        (i) The logging boots required by 29 CFR 1910.266(d)(1)(v);
        (ii) Everyday clothing, such as long-sleeve shirts, long pants, street shoes, and normal work boots; or
        (iii) Ordinary clothing, skin creams, or other items, used solely for protection from weather, such as winter coats, jackets, gloves, parkas, rubber boots, hats, raincoats, ordinary sunglasses, and sunscreen.

    (5) The employer must pay for replacement PPE, except when the employee has lost or intentionally damaged the PPE.

    (6) Where an employee provides adequate protective equipment he or she owns pursuant to paragraph (b) of this section, the employer may allow the employee to use it and is not required to reimburse the employee for that equipment. The employer shall not require an employee
to provide or pay for his or her own PPE, unless the PPE is excepted by paragraphs (h)(2) through (h)(5) of this section.

    (7) This paragraph (h) shall become effective on February 13, 2008.
Employers must implement the PPE payment requirements no later than May 15, 2008.