There are a lot of hazards with jobs that can cause injury, no matter how careful you are. This is why special equipment is required, to keep people safe. Personal Protection Equipment, or PPE Safety equipment, is anything that can protect workers and keep them from being injured or from getting sick due to exposure to dangerous materials. Simple things like protective eyewear or steel toe shoes can prevent many accidents and injuries without a lot of expense.
The government has come up with a lot of rules for businesses in order to ensure worker safety. That also ends up protecting the company in the form of avoiding lost production time due to injury, or even from lawsuits that might develop if someone was injured. There has been some debate over who should pay for this equipment – the employer or the employee.
For the most part, the company must provide the PPE Safety equipment that workers use. Protective prescription eyewear and steel toe shoes or boots are excluded and are the responsibility of the employee. The protection may still be required but the employee is responsible. The ruling was made because often these are personal items that don’t fit everyone, and they can also be used when the employee is not at work. Of course, many companies provide plastic generic protective eyewear as PPE Safety equipment, and that meets requirements in many instances.
Some electrical workers are required to wear long sleeve shirts, and there is some debate there over who should pay for the shirts. If employees are able to wear any kind of shirt the employee is the one responsible. If the company logo is used, or if a specific uniform is required then the employer has to foot the bill.
Originally there was a proposal that the employer provides and pay for all PPE safety equipment. This was because the employer is more aware of safety hazards, and it would keep the equipment under control of the company, preventing it from being abused outside of work. It was also felt employees would cooperate more fully if employers paid for everything.
Otherwise, companies are for the most part required to provide and pay for PPE safety equipment such as hard hats, goggles, welding helmets, chemical protection materials and fall protection equipment.
The rules are different for different industries, and in many cases, states create their own rules. Lumberjacks, for instance, would need much different PPE safety equipment than people working in oilfields. Each industry has its own standards as each industry has its own risks that employees face on a daily basis.
The point of the regulations is to keep workers safe. The rules are aimed at preventing job related illnesses or injuries, and even fatalities.