Standard Interpretations - Table of Contents|
| Standard Number:||1926.100; 1926.100(a) ; 1926.102(a); 1926.95; 1926.95(a); 1926.28(a); 1926.102(a)(1)|
|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.|
(a) Application. Protective equipment, including personal protective equipment for eyes, face, and head, and extremities, protective shields and barriers, shall be provided, used, and maintained...wherever it is necessary by reason of hazards of processes or environment, chemical hazards, radiological hazards, or mechanical irritants encountered in a manner capable of causing injury or impairment in the function of any part of the body through... physical contact. [Emphasis added.]Section 1926.100 (Head protection) states:
(a) Employees working in areas where there is a possible danger of head injury from impact, or from falling or flying objects, or from electrical shock and burns, shall be protected by protective helmets. [Emphasis added.]By their terms, neither of the above-noted provisions' conditions the applicability of the requirement to use protective helmets on specific distances from operating equipment.
...by its express language, the standard applies whenever employees are exposed to "a possible danger of head injury." [Emphasis added.]The Court continued:
The legislative history makes clear that "death and disability prevention is the primary intent" of the Act. [Citation omitted.] The Act is remedial in nature and "does not wait for an employee to die or become injured. It authorizes the promulgation of health and safety standards...in the hope that these will act to prevent deaths or injuries from ever occurring. [citation omitted]... Imminent risk of injury or death to employees should not be required before the Secretary can compel protective action. [Citation omitted.]The Court concluded that accessibility to a "zone of danger" was sufficient to sustain a citation for failure to use a protective helmet.
...whenever it is necessary by reason of hazards... encountered in a manner capable of causing injury... through... physical contact.Further, §1926.102(a) in conjunction with §1926.28(a) more specifically identifies the hazards that may necessitate the use of eye protection equipment.
[t]he employer is responsible for requiring the wearing of appropriate personal protective equipment in all operations where there is an exposure to hazardous conditions or where this part indicates the need for using such equipment to reduce the hazards to the employees. [Emphasis added.]Section 1926.102(a)(1) (Eye and face protection) indicates "the need for using" eye protection arises:
...when machines or operations present potential eye or face injury from physical, chemical, or radiation agents. [Emphasis added.]Again, these provisions on eye protection (as well as those previously discussed provisions on head protection) focus on the potential for injury on a construction work site. The same above-described preliminary evaluation by the employer to determine the foreseeability of an employee being in a "zone of danger" is required to determine whether the use of this protective equipment is required.
|Standard Interpretations - Table of Contents|