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NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and may no longer represent OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.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 requirements are set by statute, standards and regulations. Our interpretation letters explain these requirements and how they apply to particular circumstances, but they cannot create additional employer obligations. This letter constitutes OSHA's interpretation of the requirements discussed. Note that our enforcement guidance may be affected by changes to OSHA rules. Also, from time to time we update our guidance in response to new information. To keep apprised of such developments, you can consult OSHA's website at

June 15, 1977

Mr. Glen P. Wery
Post Office Box #147
Suanico, Wisconsin 54173

Dear Mr. Wery:

This is in response to your letter dated May 17, 1977, addressed to Assistant Secretary Eula Bingham, regarding the wearing of personal protective equipment, which has been forwarded to this office for responses.

The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 and its standards require personal protective equipment be used when there is a reasonable probability of injury that can be prevented by such protective equipment. The use of personal protective equipment under conditions not required by established Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards is solely a matter of employment conditions existing between the employer and his employees, and where applicable, subject to any labor/management contractual arrangement.

I have enclosed a copy of OSHA's occupational safety and health standards applicable to construction, 29 CFR 1926 and to general industry, 29 CFR 1910. Sections 1910.132 and 1926.28 of these regulations, outline the general requirements for the use of personal protective equipment.

Should you desire further clarification, you may find it convenient to contact the OSHA Area Office in Appleton. The address and telephone number of that office follow:

Area Director U.S. Department of Labor - OSHA 2618 North Ballard Road Appleton, Wisconsin 54911

If I may be of any further assistance, please contact me.


Richard P. Wilson
Deputy Director,
Federal Compliance and State Programs