Standard Interpretations - Table of Contents Standard Interpretations - (Archived) Table of Contents
• Standard Number: 1910.132
• Status: Archived

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NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and may no longer represent OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.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


April 25, 2000

Matthew L. Moore
Business Representative
International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers
Local 51
301 E. Spruce Street
Springfield, Illinois 62703

Dear Mr. Moore:

Thank you for your August 25, 1999 letter to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA's) Regional Administrator in Chicago, Illinois. Your letter has been referred to the Directorate of Compliance Programs for an answer to your questions regarding the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) standard, 29 CFR 1910.132. In your letter, and a follow-up phone call to you from a member of my staff on September 28, 1999 you requested clarification on who pays for PPE, specifically, Lineman's leather gloves used to protect rubber gloves.

You ask if leather work gloves are considered PPE. Yes, Lineman's leather gloves used to protect rubber gloves are considered PPE. Lineman's leather gloves are used to maintain the electrical viability of rubber gloves. If there is a possibility of damage occurring to rubber gloves and lineman's leather gloves are used to prevent damage or deterioration to rubber gloves, then lineman's leather gloves become PPE. The lineman's leather gloves and the rubber gloves are used as a pair. The lineman's rubber gloves are used to prevent injuries and fatalities resulting from electrocution in the event of accidental contact with live electrical parts.

You state in your letter that Illinois Power Company (IPC) has changed their policy on how gloves are distributed to their employees. In the past, IPC exchanged gloves on an as needed basis. They have now changed their policy to give employees an even stipend of $50.00 a year for work gloves. You go on to state that workers are exposed to oils, gas, solvents, and other harmful products in their everyday work practices.

Resolving the issue of payment for personal protective equipment is important to ensure the safety and health of employees who must use such equipment. Because of the importance of this issue, OSHA has decided to promulgate, through rulemaking procedures, a proposed rule requiring employers to pay for most types of personal protective equipment. OSHA believes that a rule is necessary to finally resolve the question of who pays for personal protective equipment. We will keep your union leadership informed on the status of this rulemaking.

You also asked, what would happen if an employee who is out of glove allowance money has to use a worn out pair of gloves? The employer may not allow an employee to work with unsafe gloves. Section 1910.137(b) requires that electrical protective equipment be maintained in a safe and reliable condition. Until, the rulemaking is complete, the cost for replacement gloves may be left to labor-management negotiations.

Thank you for your interest in occupational safety and health. We hope you find this information helpful. Please be aware that OSHA's enforcement guidance is subject to periodic review and clarification, amplification, or correction. Such guidance could also be affected by subsequent rulemaking. In the future, should you wish to verify that the guidance provided herein remains current, you may consult OSHA's website at http://www.osha.gov. If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact the Office of General Industry Compliance Assistance at (202)-693-1850.

Sincerely,

Richard E. Fairfax, Director
Directorate of Compliance Programs





June 12, 2000

Matthew J. Moore
Business Representative
International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers
Local 51
301 E. Spruce Street
Springfield, Illinois 62703

Dear Mr. Moore:

This is a follow-up response to our April 25, 2000 letter to you regarding the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) standard, 29 CFR 1910.132. In your letter to the Directorate of Compliance on May 3, 2000, you stated that " We must have had a misunderstanding regarding the leather work gloves. We are not questioning whether or not the leather protectors for the rubber gloves are PPE. Our question is whether or not the leather work gloves are considered PPE."

The answer to your specific question is yes, leather work gloves are considered PPE.

Thank you for you interest in occupational safety and health. We hope you find this information helpful. Please be aware that OSHA's enforcement guidance is subject to periodic review and clarification, amplification, or correction. Such guidance could also be affected by subsequent rulemaking. In the future, should you wish to verify that the guidance provided herein remains current, you may wish to consult OSHA's website at http://www.osha.gov. If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact the Office of General Industry Compliance Assistance at (202) 693-1850.

Sincerely,

Richard E. Fairfax, Director
Directorate of Compliance Programs


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.


Standard Interpretations - Table of Contents Standard Interpretations - (Archived) Table of Contents