Employers need to provide protective equipment
Employers in Washington State are required to provide employees with protective equipment if they have been unable to eliminate injury hazards in the workplace.
The state requires employers to make sure employees are properly trained in the use and care of protective equipment. Such equipment could be used to protect the eyes, face, head, body, arms, hands, legs, and feet with items such as goggles, helmets, head covers, gloves, rubber slickers, disposable coveralls, respirators, protective shields and barriers. WAC 296-800-160
Even if a worker buy his own safety shoes, for example, the employer must ensure that the equipment is adequate to protect the worker from hazards on the job.
Retraining is required if an employer has reason to believe an employee lacks understanding or motivation to properly use protective equipment. Also, if an employer has changed job processes with new equipment, this would call for a review of any job hazard analysis and the new PPE needs, if any.
Rick Means, WRA’s Safety Specialist, is available to members to help draw up safety plans and suggest topics for safety meetings. Contact him at 360-943-9198 x18, or firstname.lastname@example.org.