• Record Type:
    OSHA Instruction
  • Current Directive Number:
    STD 02-04-002
  • Old Directive Number:
    STD 2-4.2
  • Title:
    29 CFR Part 1915, Subpart I, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for Shipyard Employment -- Inspection Procedures and Interpretive Guidelines
  • Information Date:
Archive Notice - OSHA Archive

NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and may no longer represent OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.

OSHA Instruction STD 2-4.2 September 27, 1996 Directorate of Compliance Programs

SUBJECT: 29 CFR Part 1915, Subpart I, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for Shipyard Employment -- Inspection Procedures and Interpretive Guidelines

A. Purpose. This directive provides current policy, procedures, information and guidance to ensure uniform enforcement of 29 CFR Part 1915, Subpart I, personal protective equipment (PPE) for shipyard employment.

B. Scope. This instruction applies OSHA-wide.

C. Action. OSHA Regional Administrators and Area Directors shall use the guidelines and procedures set forth in this instruction for the enforcement of occupational safety and health standards, and shall ensure that CSHO's performing inspections in shipyard employment are aware of this guide.

D. Application. OSHA has revised the shipyard employment safety standards addressing personal protective equipment (PPE). The revised standards update, reorganize and simplify shipyard employment PPE standards into a comprehensive framework that encompasses the ship repair, shipbuilding and shipbreaking industries. These Part 1915 standards apply to all work in shipyard employment regardless of geographical location, but do not apply to construction operations in shipyards covered by Part 1926.

E. Effective Date of Requirements. The final rule becomes effective August 22, 1996 except for 1915.159(b)(6) and 1915.160(b)(2), which become effective November 20, 1996, and for the introductory text of 1915.159 and 1915.160(a)(4), which become effective on January 1, 1998. In addition, 1915.152(b), hazard assessment and equipment selection, 1915.152(e), training, 1915.159(d), personal fall arrest systems training, and 1915.160(d), positioning device systems training, will not become effective until an Office of Management and Budget (OMB) control number is received and displayed for these "collections of information" in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.).

F. Federal Agencies. This instruction describes a change that affects Federal agencies. Executive Order 12196, Section 1-201, and 29 CFR 1960.16, maintains that Federal agencies must also follow the enforcement policy and procedures contained in this instruction.

G. Federal Program Change. This instruction describes a Federal program change which affects State plan coverage of public sector employees engaged in maritime employment and those States whose programs also cover portions of the private sector maritime issue, i.e., California, Oregon, Washington, Minnesota and Vermont. Each OSHA Regional Administrator shall:

1. Ensure that this change is promptly forwarded to each State designee, using a format consistent with the Plan Change Two-Way Memorandum (OSHA Instruction STP 2.22A, CH-3, Appendix P).
2. Explain the technical content of the change to the State designee and jointly determine its impact on the State's jurisdiction and residual Federal responsibility.
3. Ensure that State designees acknowledge receipt of this Federal program change in writing to the Regional Administrator as soon as the State's intention is known, but not later than 70 calendar days after the date of issuance (60 days for response, 10 days for mailing). This acknowledgement should include a description of (1) the State's intent to honor the Federal jurisdictional limits and the extent of resultant State jurisdiction that will be exercised in this area, (2) the State's intent not to honor the Federal jurisdictional limits and the extent of resultant State jurisdiction that will be exercised, or (3) the reasons why the change does not apply to that State.
4. Advise the State designee that a plan change supplement must be submitted within 6 months (or in accordance with the established schedule for submission of non-Field Operations Manual Federal program change supplements - STP 2.22A, Change 3) either adopting this instruction with appropriate State-specific modifications including extent of intended State jurisdiction or an "at least as effective" alternative establishing State procedures and the extent of expanded State jurisdiction.
5. Review policies, instructions, and guidelines issued by the State to determine that this change has been communicated to State program personnel.

H. Background. The OSHA standards for personal protective equipment (PPE) were included in OSHA's shipyard employment standards and in applicable provisions from the general industry and construction standards which addressed hazards or conditions not covered by shipyard employment standards. The original PPE standards were adopted in 1971 from established Federal standards and national consensus standards. Although in 1982 the ship repair, shipbuilding and shipbreaking standards were consolidated into 29 CFR 1915, this consolidation did not alter the substantive requirements of these standards nor affect the applicability of the 1910 and 1926 standards to hazards or conditions in shipyard employment.

In 1988, OSHA published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) in the Federal Register (November 29, 1988, 53 FR 48092) for Subpart I of Part 1915, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). This proposed rule updated the pertinent references to national consensus standards, incorporated 1910.134 (respiratory protection) by reference to replace the less comprehensive provisions in 1915.152, and added requirements for hazard assessment, training, fall protection systems, and positioning device systems. The Shipyard Employment Standards Advisory Committee (SESAC) was established in early 1989 and provided OSHA with review comments on the proposed PPE standard and other applicable PPE-related issues.
Following publication of the proposed Part 1915 shipyard PPE standard, OSHA initiated two rulemakings to address PPE standards in general industry. The first of these PPE rulemakings (NPRM at 54 FR 33832, August 16, 1989) covered eye, face, hand and foot PPE. The Agency published the final standards for this rulemaking on April 6, 1994 (59 FR 16334). The second PPE rulemaking proposed to add requirements for personal fall arrest systems and positioning device systems to the general industry PPE standards (Docket S-057; NRPM at 55 FR 12323, April 10, 1990). This second general industry PPE rulemaking remains in process.
The Agency determined that the information in the above-noted rulemaking records was relevant to the issues raised in the shipyard employment PPE proposal. Accordingly, on July 6, 1994, OSHA reopened the shipyard employment PPE rulemaking record (59 FR 34586) to incorporate the general industry PPE docket and to allow an opportunity for the public to comment. The shipyard employment PPE reopening comment period ended August 22, 1994. In lieu of a hearing, OSHA held an informal public meeting on January 25, 1995 (59 FR 64173, December 13, 1994) to allow comments and testimony on the aforementioned rulemakings with emphasis on hazard assessment, certification of training requirements, body belts and body harnesses. The rulemaking record closed on February 18, 1995.
The 1996 revised shipyard employment PPE standards become effective as noted in paragraph E above. The revised shipyard employment PPE standards provide guidance for the selection and use of PPE as well as clearer requirements that are performance-oriented, where appropriate.

I. Inspection Guidelines. The compliance safety and health officer (CSHO) shall determine whether the employer is in compliance with the revised 29 CFR Part 1915, Subpart I requirements (effective August 22, 1996). The guidance and information in this instruction provides a general framework to assist the CSHO during inspections of workplaces involving personal protective equipment.

1. Inspections of workplaces subject to the revised personal protective equipment (PPE) standards shall be conducted by CSHO's in accordance with the Field Inspection Reference Manual (FIRM).
2. The CSHO shall verify that the employer has conducted a workplace hazard assessment and has written document (NOTE: Hazard assessment "certification" as required per Part 1910 is not applicable to shipyard employment) that contains the following information: occupation, the date(s) of the hazard assessment, and the name of the person performing the hazard assessment. Non-mandatory Appendix A to 29 CFR Part 1915, Subpart I, contains examples of procedures that will comply with the requirement for an occupational hazard assessment. The following hazard assessments are acceptable:
a. Employers who have performed appropriate hazard assessments of their worksites prior to this standard's effective date, which conform to the requirements of 29 CFR 1915.152(b), may reply upon such hazard assessments as compliance with the standard.
b. An employer may rely upon a hazard assessment conforming to 29 CFR 1915.152(b) that a previous employer had conducted for the worksite prior to this standard's effective date, provided that the job conditions have not substantially changed.
NOTE: If an employer relies upon a hazard assessment that it or another employer conducted prior to the effective date of 29 CFR Part 1915, Subpart I, the documentation (1915.152(b)(4)) may contain the date the employer determined that the prior hazard assessment was adequate rather than the date(s) of the actual assessment.
c. An employer may rely upon a hazard assessment conducted generally for the trade or occupation of affected employees if the assessment addresses all PPE-related hazards to which employees are exposed in the course of their work activities. Non-mandatory Appendix A of 29 CFR Part 1915, Subpart I, provides examples of procedures that will comply with the requirement for hazard assessment.
After the occupational hazard assessment has been done, the standard does not explicitly require the employer to review the hazard assessment on any periodic basis. To have continuing relevance and validity, hazard assessments must be conducted at "intervals" and on a schedule dictated by the risks in the workplace. For example, when there is a change in technology, production operations, or an occupation's task that has the potential to affect PPE-related hazards, the employer must review the appropriateness of the existing hazard assessment and the PPE being used and update the hazard assessment as necessary.
3. The CSHO shall determine if the employer has selected and is having each affected employee use the types of PPE that will protect the affected employee from identified hazards, has communicated selection decisions to each affected employee, and has selected PPE that properly fits each affected employee. (1915.152(a) and (b))
NOTE: Refer to paragraph E, "Effective Date of Requirements."
4. The CSHO shall determine if affected employees are using defective or damaged personal protective equipment. Employers are required to ensure that defective or damaged personal protective equipment is not used by their employees. (1915.152(c))
5. The CSHO shall evaluate the employer's training program, 1915.152(e)(1), to determine whether it meets the revised PPE standard's requirements.
NOTE: Refer to paragraph E, "Effective Date of Requirements."
The CSHO shall determine the effectiveness of training by verifying (e.g., interviews, PPE demonstrations) that employees know at least the following:
a. When PPE is necessary;
b. What PPE is necessary;
c. How to properly don, doff, adjust, and wear PPE;
d. The limitations of the PPE;
e. The proper care, maintenance, useful life and disposal of the PPE.
NOTE: An employer may rely upon training conforming to 29 CFR 1915.152(e) that a previous employer had provided an employee, or upon the knowledge and ability to use PPE properly that an employee can demonstrate to have gained through his or her prior experience, in determining if an employee has the requisite knowledge and skill.
6. The employer is required, 1915.152(e)(2), to ensure that each affected employee has the knowledge and ability (e.g., interviews, PPE demonstrations) to use PPE properly before being allowed to perform work which requires the use of PPE. The Agency does not prescribe the means by which employers comply with this provision (i.e., no written certification as required by 1910.132(f)(4)).
Under 1915.153(e)(3), situations where retraining is required include: (a) changes in occupation or work render previous training obsolete, (b) changes in the types of PPE to be used render previous training obsolete, and (c) inadequacies in an employee's knowledge or use of assigned PPE indicate that the employee has not retained the requisite understanding or skill.
7. Employers are also required, 1915.152(e)(4), to verify that each affected employee has received the required training through documentation that includes: employee(s) name, the date(s) of training, and the type of training the employee received.
NOTE: Refer to paragraph E, "Effective Date of Requirements."
a. If the employer relies upon training provided by another employer to an employee prior to this standard's effective date, or relies upon the knowledge and ability gained by an employee through his or her experience, the document may contain the date that the employer determined that the prior training, or the employee's knowledge and ability, was adequate rather that the date of the actual training.
b. Most shipyard employers currently document training in the form of a log, computer database, or some type of written document. Examples of acceptable documentation could include records of stand-up safety meetings and tool box meetings, or a tool room log (where an employee has checked out PPE such as safety glasses, hard hat, gloves, face shield). Any form or format that effectively communicate the required information is acceptable for documentation purposes.

J. General Inspection Procedures. The CSHO shall determine whether the following items are in compliance with the revised standard:

1. Eye and face protection 1915.153. The employer shall ensure that each affected employee uses appropriate eye or face protection when exposed to eye or face hazards from flying particles, molten metal, liquid chemicals, chemical gases or vapors, or potentially injurious light radiation. (1915.153(a)(1)).
a. Front and side protection must be used when there is a hazard from flying objects. Detachable side protectors (e.g., clip-on or slide-on shields) meeting the pertinent requirements (ANSI Z87.1-1989) of this section are acceptable. (1915.153(a)(2))
b. The CSHO shall ensure that each employee who wears prescription lenses while engaged in operations that involve eye hazards is wearing eye protection that incorporates the prescription in its design, or protection that can be work over the prescription lenses without disturbing the proper position of the prescription lenses. (1915.153(a)(3))
c. The CSHO shall ensure that each affected employee using protective eyewear with filter lenses has eyewear with a shade number appropriate for the work being performed for protection from injurious light radiation. 1915.153, Table I-1, "Filter Lenses for Protection Against Radiant Energy" lists the necessary shade numbers for various operations. (1915.153(a)(4))
NOTE: When goggle lenses and helmet lens are worn together, the shade value of the two lenses can be summed to satisfy the shade requirements of 1915.153, Table I-1.
d. Protective eye and face devices purchased August 22, 1996 or thereafter, shall comply with ANSI Z87.1-1989, "American National Standard Practice for Occupational and Educational Eye and Face Protection", or shall be demonstrated by the employer to be equally effective.
Eye and face protective devices purchased before August 22, 1996 shall comply with the ANSI "USA Standard for Occupational and Educational Eye and Face Protection", Z87.1-1968, or shall be demonstrated by the employer to be equally effective.
2. Respiratory Protection 1915.154. Determine compliance using 29 CFR Part 1910.134 requirements.
NOTE: OSHA has published a proposed revision of 1910.134, Respiratory Protection, which covers general industry, construction and shipyard employment (59 FR 58884, November 15, 1994). When the revised respiratory protection standard becomes a final rule, OSHA will apply that rule to shipyard employment.
3. Head Protection 1915.155. Each affected employee shall wear a protective helmet when working in areas where there is potential for injury to the head from falling objects. Also, protective helmets shall be designed to reduce electrical shock hazards when employees are working near exposed electrical conductors.
a. These 1915.155 requirements are based upon ANSI Z89.1-1986, "Requirements for Protective Headwear for Industrial Workers." Although there is no explicit "grandfathering" of this requirement, employers can continue to have their employees use head PPE which was produced to comply with a pre-1986 edition of ANSI Z89.1 if the employer establishes that the equipment either satisfies the performance criteria of ANSI Z89.1-1986 or provides equivalent protection.
NOTE: The 1969 and 1986 editions of ANSI Z89.1 set essentially the same requirements, except with regard to electric insulation for Class B helmets. The Agency has concluded that Class B helmets already in use which satisfy the criteria set by the 1969 edition would also satisfy the 1986 criteria.
4. Foot Protection 1915.156. Each affected employee shall wear protective footwear when working in areas where there is a danger of foot injuries due to falling and rolling objects, objects piercing the sole, and where such employee's feet are exposed to electrical hazards.
a. The hazard assessment provision requires employers to identify the hazards to which their employees may be exposed and have employees equipped accordingly. Employers are required to provide employees with protective footwear only when workplace hazards pose an identified danger of foot injuries. Although employers should expect to pay for specialty foot protection, PPE which is personal in nature and useable away from the workplace (such as safety shoes) is a matter for labor-management negotiations.
b. The Agency has adopted a performance-oriented approach to encourage innovation and the use of improved equipment. Protective footwear purchased after August 22, 1996 shall comply with ANSI Z41-1991, or shall be demonstrated by the employer to be equally protective. Protective footwear purchased prior to this date may be continued in use if it complies with ANSI Z41-1983, or can be demonstrated to be equally protective. PPE which satisfies the criteria set by subsequent editions of the pertinent ANSI standard will be considered to comply with 1915.156(b), criteria for protective footwear, if the updated ANSI criteria are substantively unchanged or provide equivalent protection.
NOTE: The 1991 edition of ANSI Z41 imposed essentially the same requirements as the 1983 edition except that the 1991 edition provides more specific performance requirements for resistance to compressive forces and standardizes the puncture resistance testing methods.
5. Hand and Body Protection 1915.157.
The 1915.157(a) final rule requires employers to ensure that affected employees use appropriate PPE when their hands of other parts of their bodies are exposed to hazards that could lead to injuries. Examples provided in the final rule include lacerations, severe abrasions, punctures, chemical burns, thermal burns, harmful temperature extremes, and sharp objects.
The 1915.157(b) final rule requires employers to ensure that no employee wears clothing impregnated or covered in part with flammable of combustible materials (such as grease or oil) while engaged in hot work operations or working near an ignition source.
The 1915.157(c) final rule requires that the employer have employees wear protective electrical insulating gloves and sleeves, or other rubber protective equipment that provides equivalent protection when the employees are exposed to electrical shock hazards while working on electrical equipment. This is identical to the previous rule except that the standard now provides for the use of "other electrical protective equipment."
6. Lifesaving Equipment 1915.158.
The final rule has been editorially revised to clarify compliance requirements and to be consistent with terminology used by the U.S. Coast Guard in 46 CFR Part 160, Coast Guard Lifesaving Equipment Specifications.
The 1915.158(a) final rule requires that personal flotation devices (PFDs) worn by employees be approved by the U.S. Coast Guard as a Type I PFD, Type II PFD, Type III PFD or Type V PFD. Any PFD which is U.S. Coast Guard approved and marked as a Type I, II or III PFD is acceptable for worker use. A Type V PFD, including Type V Hybrid PFDs, is in compliance if it is U.S. Coast Guard approved and marked for use as a work vest, for commercial use, or for use on vessels.
The previous 1915.154(b) rule for the inspection of devices and their removal from use if found defective, will now be cited under 1915.158(a)(2), which is a specific requirement for the inspection of personal flotation devices prior to each use and their removal from use if defective.
The requirements for ring life buoys (life rings) and vessel ladders, 1915.158(b), are identical to those in the previous shipyard employment standard.
7. Personal Fall Arrest System 1915.159.
This is a new requirement for shipyard employment standards. The final rule sets performance criteria and requirements for the use of personal fall arrest systems. These requirements are identical to those currently in Part 1926 rules and those proposed for Part 1910 rules.
a. Effective January 1, 1998 body belts and non-locking snaphooks shall no longer be acceptable for use with a personal fall arrest system used in shipyard employment.
b. Final rule 1915.159(b)(6), which sets the system performance criteria for personal fall arrest systems, becomes effective on November 20, 1996.
c. Final rule 1915.159(d), personal fall arrest system training, becomes effective as detailed in paragraph E, "Effective Date of Requirements."
8. Positioning Device Systems 1915.160.
This is a new requirement for shipyard employment standards. Positioning device systems are used to access work areas and/or to prevent falls by holding affected employees in place while they perform work on vertical surfaces at elevations.
a. Effective January 1, 1998, only locking type snaphooks shall be used in positioning device systems.
b. Final rule 1915.160(b)(2), which sets system performance criteria for positioning device systems, becomes effective November 20, 1996.
c. Final rule 1915.160(d), positioning device system training, becomes effective as detailed in paragraph E, "Effective Date of Requirements."
9. Appendix A to Subpart I.
Appendix A to Subpart I (Shipyard Employment PPE) provides suggested guidelines for complying with the requirements for hazard assessment for the selection of personal protection equipment. OSHA has added a detailed Appendix A to the shipyard PPE standard to provide some examples of guidelines which an employer may follow in complying with OSHA's performance-oriented final rule.
10. Appendix B to Subpart I.
Appendix B to Subpart I (Shipyard Employment PPE) contains testing methods and other information to assist employers in complying with the performance-oriented criteria for personal fall arrest systems and positioning device systems contained in this standard.

K. Employer Obligation to Pay for Personal Protective Equipment. The personal protective standards 29 CFR 1915.151 through 1915.160 establish the employer's obligation to provide personal protective equipment to employees. In particular, 29 CFR 1915.152(a) states as follows:

"The employer shall provide and shall ensure that each affected employee uses the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) for the eyes, face, head, extremities, torso, and respiratory system; including protective clothing, protective shields, protective barriers, personal fall protection equipment, and life saving equipment, meeting the applicable provisions of this subpart, wherever employees are exposed to work activity hazards that require the use of PPE."
1. In order to accommodate those work situations where it is customary for workers to provide their own PPE without compromising employee protection, 29 CFR 1915.152(a), (b), (c) and (d) provide that the employer must ensure the proper selection and adequacy of such equipment.
2. The PPE standard requires employers to provide and to pay for personal protective equipment required by the company for the worker to do his or her job safely and in compliance with OSHA standards. Where equipment is personal in nature and may be used by workers off the job, the matter of who pays for the PPE may be left to labor-management negotiations.
Examples of PPE that would not normally be used away from the worksite include, but are not limited to: welding gloves, wire mesh gloves, respirators, hard hats, specialty glasses and gloves (e.g., designated for laser or ultraviolet radiation protection), specialty foot protection (such as metatarsal shoes and linemen's shoes with built in gaffs), face shields and rubber gloves, blankets, cover-ups, hot sticks and other live-line tools used by power generation workers.
Examples of PPE that is personal in nature and often used away from the worksite include non-specialty safety glasses, safety shoes, and cold-weather outer wear of the type worn by construction workers. However, shoes or outwear subject to contamination by carcinogens or other toxic or hazardous substances which cannot be safely worn off-site must be paid for by the employer. Failure of the employer to pay for PPE that is not personal and not used away from the job is in violation of 29 CFR 1910.152(a) and shall be cited.

Joseph A. Dear Assistant Secretary

DISTRIBUTION: National, Regional and Area Offices Compliance Officers State Designees NIOSH Regional Program Directors 7(c)(1) Project Managers
Archive Notice - OSHA Archive

NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and may no longer represent OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.