US Dept of Labor

Occupational Safety & Health AdministrationWe Can Help

Regulations (Standards - 29 CFR) - Table of Contents
• Part Number: 1926
• Part Title: Safety and Health Regulations for Construction
• Subpart: D
• Subpart Title: Occupational Health and Environmental Controls
• Standard Number: 1926.65 App B
• Title: General Description and Discussion of the Levels of Protection and Protective Gear
• GPO Source: e-CFR

This appendix sets forth information about personal protective equipment (PPE) protection levels which may be used to assist employers in complying with the PPE requirements of this section.

As required by the standard, PPE must be selected which will protect employees from the specific hazards which they are likely to encounter during their work on-site.

Selection of the appropriate PPE is a complex process which should take into consideration a variety of factors. Key factors involved in this process are identification of the hazards, or suspected hazards; their routes of potential hazard to employees (inhalation, skin absorption, ingestion, and eye or skin contact); and the performance of the PPE materials (and seams) in providing a barrier to these hazards. The amount of protection provided by PPE is material-hazard specific. That is, protective equipment materials will protect well against some hazardous substances and poorly, or not at all, against others. In many instances, protective equipment materials cannot be found which will provide continuous protection from the particular hazardous substance. In these cases the breakthrough time of the protective material should exceed the work durations.

Other factors in this selection process to be considered are matching the PPE to the employee's work requirements and task-specific conditions. The durability of PPE materials, such as tear strength and seam strength, should be considered in relation to the employee's tasks. The effects of PPE in relation to heat stress and task duration are a factor in selecting and using PPE. In some cases layers of PPE may be necessary to provide sufficient protection, or to protect expensive PPE inner garments, suits or equipment.

The more that is known about the hazards at the site, the easier the job of PPE selection becomes. As more information about the hazards and conditions at the site becomes available, the site supervisor can make decisions to up-grade or down-grade the level of PPE protection to match the tasks at hand.

The following are guidelines which an employer can use to begin the selection of the appropriate PPE. As noted above, the site information may suggest the use of combinations of PPE selected from the different protection levels (i.e., A, B, C, or D) as being more suitable to the hazards of the work. It should be cautioned that the listing below does not fully address the performance of the specific PPE material in relation to the specific hazards at the job site, and that PPE selection, evaluation and re-selection is an ongoing process until sufficient information about the hazards and PPE performance is obtained.

Part A. Personal protective equipment is divided into four categories based on the degree of protection afforded. (See Part B of this appendix for further explanation of Levels A, B, C, and D hazards.)

I. Level A - To be selected when the greatest level of skin, respiratory, and eye protection is required.

The following constitute Level A equipment; it may be used as appropriate;

1. Positive pressure, full face-piece self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA), or positive pressure supplied air respirator with escape SCBA, approved by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).

2. Totally-encapsulating chemical-protective suit.

3. Coveralls.(1)

4. Long underwear.(1)

5. Gloves, outer, chemical-resistant.

6. Gloves, inner, chemical-resistant.

7. Boots, chemical-resistant, steel toe and shank.

8. Hard hat (under suit).(1)

9. Disposable protective suit, gloves and boots (depending on suit construction, may be worn over totally-encapsulating suit).

II. Level B - The highest level of respiratory protection is necessary but a lesser level of skin protection is needed.

The following constitute Level B equipment; it may be used as appropriate.

1. Positive pressure, full-facepiece self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA), or positive pressure supplied air respirator with escape SCBA (NIOSH approved).

2. Hooded chemical-resistant clothing (overalls and long-sleeved jacket; coveralls; one or two-piece chemical-splash suit; disposable chemical-resistant overalls).

3. Coveralls.(1)

4. Gloves, outer, chemical-resistant.

5. Gloves, inner, chemical-resistant.

6. Boots, outer, chemical-resistant steel toe and shank.

7. Boot-covers, outer, chemical-resistant (disposable).(1)

8. Hard hat.(1)

9. [Reserved]

10. Face shield.(1)

III. Level C - The concentration(s) and type(s) of airborne substance(s) is known and the criteria for using air purifying respirators are met.

The following constitute Level C equipment; it may be used as appropriate.

1. Full-face or half-mask, air purifying respirators (NIOSH approved).

2. Hooded chemical-resistant clothing (overalls; two-piece chemical-splash suit; disposable chemical-resistant overalls).

3. Coveralls.(1)

4. Gloves, outer, chemical-resistant.

5. Gloves, inner, chemical-resistant.

6. Boots (outer), chemical-resistant steel toe and shank.(1)

7. Boot-covers, outer, chemical-resistant (disposable).(1)

8. Hard hat.(1)

9. Escape mask.(1)

10. Face shield.(1)

IV. Level D - A work uniform affording minimal protection, used for nuisance contamination only.

The following constitute Level D equipment; it may be used as appropriate:

1. Coveralls.

2. Gloves.(1)

3. Boots/shoes, chemical-resistant steel toe and shank.

4. Boots, outer, chemical-resistant (disposable).(1)

5. Safety glasses or chemical splash goggles*.

6. Hard hat.(1)

7. Escape mask.(1)

8. Face shield.(1)

__________
 Footnote(1) Optional, as applicable.

Part B. The types of hazards for which levels A, B, C, and D protection are appropriate are described below:

I. Level A - Level A protection should be used when:

1. The hazardous substance has been identified and requires the highest level of protection for skin, eyes, and the respiratory system based on either the measured (or potential for) high concentration of atmospheric vapors, gases, or particulates; or the site operations and work functions involve a high potential for splash, immersion, or exposure to unexpected vapors, gases, or particulates of materials that are harmful to skin or capable of being absorbed through the skin;

2. Substances with a high degree of hazard to the skin are known or suspected to be present, and skin contact is possible; or

3. Operations are being conducted in confined, poorly ventilated areas, and the absence of conditions requiring Level A have not yet been determined.

II. Level B - Level B protection should be used when:

1. The type and atmospheric concentration of substances have been identified and require a high level of respiratory protection, but less skin protection;

2. The atmosphere contains less than 19.5 percent oxygen; or

3. The presence of incompletely identified vapors or gases is indicated by a direct-reading organic vapor detection instrument, but vapors and gases are not suspected of containing high levels of chemicals harmful to skin or capable of being absorbed through the skin.

Note: This involves atmospheres with IDLH concentrations of specific substances that present severe inhalation hazards and that do not represent a severe skin hazard; or that do not meet the criteria for use of air-purifying respirators.

III. Level C - Level C protection should be used when:

1. The atmospheric contaminants, liquid splashes, or other direct contact will not adversely affect or be absorbed through any exposed skin;

2. The types of air contaminants have been identified, concentrations measured, and an air-purifying respirator is available that can remove the contaminants; and

3. All criteria for the use of air-purifying respirators are met.

IV. Level D - Level D protection should be used when:

1. The atmosphere contains no known hazard; and

2. Work functions preclude splashes, immersion, or the potential for unexpected inhalation of or contact with hazardous levels of any chemicals.

Note: As stated before, combinations of personal protective equipment other than those described for Levels A, B, C, and D protection may be more appropriate and may be used to provide the proper level of protection.

As an aid in selecting suitable chemical protective clothing, it should be noted that the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has developed standards on chemical protective clothing. The standards that have been adopted by include:

NFPA 1991 - Standard on Vapor-Protective Suits for Hazardous Chemical

Emergencies (EPA Level A Protective Clothing) NFPA 1992 - Standard on Liquid Splash-Protective Suits for Hazardous

Chemical Emergencies (EPA Level B Protective Clothing) NFPA 1993 - Standard on Liquid Splash-Protective Suits for Non-emergency,

Non-flammable Hazardous Chemical Situations (EPA Level B Protective

Clothing)

These standards apply documentation and performance requirements to the manufacture of chemical protective suits. Chemical protective suits meeting these requirements are labeled as compliant with the appropriate standard. It is recommended that chemical protective suits that meet these standards be used.

[58 FR 35144, June 30, 1993; 59 FR 43268, Aug. 22, 1994]


Next Standard (1926.65 App C)

Regulations (Standards - 29 CFR) - Table of Contents

Thank You for Visiting Our Website

You are exiting the Department of Labor's Web server.

The Department of Labor does not endorse, takes no responsibility for, and exercises no control over the linked organization or its views, or contents, nor does it vouch for the accuracy or accessibility of the information contained on the destination server. The Department of Labor also cannot authorize the use of copyrighted materials contained in linked Web sites. Users must request such authorization from the sponsor of the linked Web site. Thank you for visiting our site. Please click the button below to continue.

Close