OSHA Instruction STD 2-4.2 September 27, 1996 Directorate of Compliance
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
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
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
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
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
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
NOTE: Refer to paragraph E, "Effective Date of
The CSHO shall determine the effectiveness of training by
verifying (e.g., interviews, PPE demonstrations) that employees know at least
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
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
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
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
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.
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
The requirements for ring life buoys (life rings) and vessel
ladders, 1915.158(b), are identical to those in the previous shipyard
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
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
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,
c. Final rule 1915.160(d), positioning device system training,
becomes effective as detailed in paragraph E, "Effective Date of
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