In general, according to the standards of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) in the United States, employers are required to provide and pay for personal protective equipment (PPE) needed to ensure the safety of their employees on the job. This includes items:
- Hard hats
- Foot protection
- Non-prescription eye protection
- Safety Goggles
- Face shields
- Welding PPE
- Hearing protection
- Protective gloves
- Fall protection equipment
- Chemical resistant clothing
- High-visibility vests
However, there are exceptions to what an employer is required to pay for. Employers are not required to pay for certain items that are not used exclusively at work or could be worn off the job site for personal use, such as:
- Steel-toe boots
- Prescription eyewear (that are not inserts/lenses for full-face respirators)
- Everyday clothing (such as long-sleeve shirts, long pants, street shoes, and normal work boots)
- Weather-related gear (such as winter coats, hats, gloves, etc.)
It’s essential to note that these guidelines are specific to the United States and may vary in other countries. Always consult your local regulations or a legal expert for advice specific to your location.
Remember, the primary goal of PPE is to protect workers from specific hazards in the workplace. Employers should conduct a thorough hazard assessment to identify and manage potential risks and to determine the appropriate PPE required.
For more information, you can refer to OSHA’s PPE Standard (29 CFR 1910.132) which provides comprehensive guidelines on the employer’s responsibilities related to PPE.