Electric Power Generation, Transmission, and Distribution eTool
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) refers to items typically worn by a worker to provide protection from recognized hazards. Depending on the job task to be performed, PPE for the electric power industry generally includes safety glasses, face shields, hard hats, safety shoes, insulating (rubber) gloves with leather protectors, insulating sleeves, and flame-resistant (FR) clothing. Additional PPE, such as fall protection equipment, respirators, chemical-resistant or cut-resistant gloves, and chaps, may be required, depending on the results of the hazard assessment required under 1910.132 or on additional "269" requirements (for example, when working with brush chippers, chain saws, or stump cutters).
In addition to PPE, electric power workers often use Insulating Protective Equipment (IPE), such as line hoses, rubber hoods, rubber blankets, and insulating live-line tools (for example, hotsticks, switchsticks, or shotgun sticks) for protection. However, since IPE is not worn, it is technically not considered to be PPE and is discussed in a separate section of this eTool.
Prior to requiring workers to wear PPE, employers are required to:
- Perform hazard assessments, as required, and determine the PPE needed to protect workers.
- Provide training on the proper use of PPE for working on or near exposed energized parts
- Discuss PPE needs during required job briefings.
- Inspect and test certain PPE such as insulating (rubber) gloves and sleeves (29 CFR 1910.137) to ensure that they are not damaged or defective, and will provide the needed protection.