Description: Description: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Logo

241 FW 3
Personal Protective Equipment

FWM#: 442  (Supersedes 241 FW 3, Appendixes 1, 2, 3, & 4, &
Exhibit 1, 03/24/92, FWM 018)

Date:   March 19, 2004

Series:Occupational Safety and Health

Part 241: Safety Operations

Originating Office: Division of Safety and Health

 PDF Version

3.1 What is the purpose of this chapter? This chapter outlines the Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) requirements and responsibilities for giving you clothing and equipment that protects you from hazards that you may encounter while performing your job tasks.

3.2 Who does the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Program apply to? It applies to all Service employees, volunteers, Job Corps and Youth Conservation Corps members and students, and seasonal workers who need PPE to protect them from hazards we have identified in their workplaces.

3.3 What are the authorities for this chapter?

A. Executive Order 12196, Occupational Safety and Health Programs for Federal Employees.

B. Public Law 91-596, Sec 19, Federal Agency Safety Programs and Responsibilities.

C. 29 CFR 1910.132-133 and 135-138, Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA) General Industry Personal Protective Equipment Standards.

D. 29 CFR 1960, Basic Program Elements for Federal Employee Occupational Safety and Health Programs and Related Matters.

E. American National Standards Institute (ANSI) standards incorporated in the Occupational Safety and Health Act (29 CFR 1910).

F. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Personal Protective Equipment Guidance.

3.4 Who is responsible for the Personal Protective Equipment Program?

A. The Chief, Division of Safety and Health will:

(1) Revise and update this chapter, as necessary.

(2) Provide interpretation of the Personal Protective Equipment Program requirements and serve as a consultant to resolve Servicewide questions or issues.

B. Regional Directors must provide sufficient support and resources to effectively implement the Personal Protective Equipment Program in their areas of responsibility.

C. Regional Managers must:

(1) Provide interpretation of the Personal Protective Equipment Program requirements and serve as an advisor to resolve Regionwide questions and issues.

(2) Evaluate implementation of the Personal Protective Equipment Program during Regional field station safety program evaluations.

(3) Assist project leaders/supervisors with developing job hazard assessments.

D. Project Leaders/Supervisors must make sure all aspects of the PPE Program are implemented in their facilities and workplaces. They must:

(1) Conduct thorough job hazard assessments to make sure that all hazards are identified, and take action to eliminate or reduce the hazards. Verify that these assessments have been performed through a written certification. Consult with the Regional Safety Manager for assistance with developing hazard assessments.

(2) Make sure employees have proper PPE to protect them from workplace hazards and are trained on how to select, use, maintain and clean it. Consult with the Regional Safety Manager for assistance in selecting appropriate PPE.

(3) Attend PPE training.

(4) Make sure that employees properly select, use, maintain and clean their PPE. Take appropriate disciplinary action if employees do not wear and properly maintain and clean their PPE.

(5) Immediately repair or replace defective or damaged PPE.

(6) Maintain records on PPE assignments and training.

E. Employees must comply with all Personal Protective Equipment Program requirements, including:

(1) Wear PPE as we require.

(2) Complete all PPE training.

(3) Clean and keep all PPE in good and serviceable condition.

(4) Tell their supervisors when PPE needs to be repaired or replaced.

3.5 What is the Service policy regarding use of Personal Protective Equipment? We will take actions that protect you from known hazards in your workplace. We will use PPE only when equipment engineering controls, or management controls do not adequately protect you. When we cannot eliminate all known hazards, we will give you PPE at no cost to you. We will select PPE that is designed to protect you from the workplace hazards we have identified. The equipment will meet all current ANSI or equivalent industry standards, and we will make sure that it fits you properly. We will train you on how and when to use the PPE, its limitations, and how to maintain and clean it.

3.6 What is the definition of Personal Protective Equipment? Any clothing or equipment that is designed to protect any part of your body from workplace hazards that you can absorb, inhale, or that can physically touch you.

3.7. What is the Personal Protective Equipment Program? The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires us to protect you from potentially hazardous conditions in your workplace. When we are unable to eliminate all identified hazards in your workplace, we must provide equipment that will act as a barrier against injury to you and your health. Specific information on the PPE Program can be found at . The program must include protection of the eye, face, foot, hand, head and leg.

3.8. What are the major elements of the Personal Protective Equipment Program? A Personal Protective Equipment Program will contain, but is not limited to:

A. Job hazard assessments.

B. Selection of appropriate PPE.

C. Employee training.

D. Recordkeeping.

3.9 What is a job hazard assessment? A job hazard assessment is a process of identifying real or potential safety and occupational health risks for specific jobs within the workplace that might require the use of PPE to protect employees. The assessment includes identifying the specific PPE needed in each workplace. Note: Project leaders/supervisors responsible for conducting hazard assessments must use FWS Form 3-2279 (Job Hazard Assessment) to record their findings and recommendations for type of PPE, its use, and necessary employee training. Exhibit 1 contains a description of the process and the procedure for conducting a job hazard assessment.

3.10 What are the Service requirements for selecting PPE? All PPE will be of safe design and construction for the work you perform. We will purchase or allow you to use only PPE that meets ANSI, NIOSH or equivalent industry standards. We will consider your comfort and fit of PPE when selecting it. All PPE will be maintained in a sanitary condition, by you or by a person we assign to maintain it.

3.11 Am I allowed to buy and wear my own PPE? You may use PPE you buy for your personal convenience, although we do not recommend it. Before we allow you to use PPE you purchase for yourself, it must:

A. Meet the same requirements as the Service provided PPE and

B. Be approved by your project leader/supervisor and the Regional Safety Manager.

3.12 Do I own the PPE the Service gives me to use? While you may have exclusive use of the Service-purchased PPE, it remains the property of the Service. You must return those PPE items that can be reused by other personnel. Items such as prescription safety glasses or safety shoes/boots that are generally used by only one person may be kept by the employee.

3.13 What are the types of PPE that I might be required to use? Exhibit 2 lists our recommendations for types of PPE you should use for various job tasks. This is only general information. Your project leader/supervisor may require you to use other PPE, based on your job hazard assessment. Note: We have separate programs for respiratory and hearing protection because industrial hygiene monitoring is required to participate in those programs. Hearing Protection Program requirements are in 242 FW 3 and Respiratory Protection Program requirements are in 242 FW 14.

A. Electrical Protective Equipment (paragraph 3.14).

B. Eye and Face Protection (paragraphs 3.15, 3.16, and 3.17 and Exhibit 2).

C. Foot Protection (paragraph 3.18).

D. Hand Protection (paragraph 3.19 and Exhibit 3).

E. Head Protection (paragraph 3.20).

F. Leg Protection (paragraph 3.21).

G. Other special types of protective equipment we determine you need (paragraph 3.22).

3.14 What are the requirements for electrical protective equipment? You may be required to use electrical protective equipment such as insulating blankets, matting, covers, line hose, gloves, and sleeves made of rubber when exposed to electrical hazards. Your project leader/supervisor will decide what specific PPE you need to protect you from electrical hazards in your workplace.

3.15 What are the requirements for eye protection? We require all persons who may be in eye hazard areas to wear ANSI approved protective eyewear, including employees, visitors, volunteers, and contractors. Project leaders/supervisors must have a sufficient quantity of suitable eye protectors available for all persons who might come into or through the eye hazard area. No one will be allowed in the workplace if suitable eye protection is not available. Note: You may refer to the Eye and Face Protection Selection Chart in Exhibit 3 for more information on what PPE is recommended for specific job tasks.

A. Project leaders/supervisors will make sure that caution signs are placed outside eye hazard areas. The signs will require everyone to put on eye protection before entering the area.

B. Suitable protectors will be used when you are exposed to hazards from flying particles, molten metal, acids or caustic liquids, chemical liquids, gases, or vapors, or potentially injurious light radiation.

C. You will wear an eye protection device that provides side protection if there is a hazard from flying objects. Detachable side protectors are permitted.

D. Your project leader/supervisor will make sure that eye and face PPE is distinctly marked to easily identify the manufacturer.

E. You must use filter lenses that have a shade number appropriate for the work you are doing if there is a hazard from light radiation (i.e., welding). Refer to Exhibit 3 for a chart of appropriate shade numbers for various job tasks.

F. We will provide ANSI approved emergency eyewash facilities in all workplaces where your eyes may be exposed to corrosive materials. The eyewash facilities will be easily accessible to you in an emergency and provided for continuous flushing of the eyes for at least 15 minutes. First-aid instructions will be posted nearby.

3.16 I wear prescription glasses. What are the Service requirements for my eye protection? If we require you to go into an eye hazard area:

A. We will buy prescription safety glasses for you if you are exposed to eye hazards on a routine basis. Note: Be sure to inform your project leader/supervisor if your eyewear prescription changes.

B. We will give you goggles or face shields designed to fit over standard eye glasses if you are only occasionally exposed to eye hazards. The goggles or face shields must fit properly over your prescription glasses.

3.17 I wear contact lenses. Do I have to wear eye protection? Contact lens wearers must wear appropriate eye and face protection devices in areas we have determined require eye protection.

A. Contact lenses may increase the hazard to your eyes in some instances. Your project leader/supervisor will thoroughly evaluate the hazards in your workplace to decide if we can allow you to wear contact lenses while you do your job.

B. You are not allowed to wear contact lenses while you are working with or around chemicals, fumes, smoke, dust, flying particles, or molten metals that may increase your chance of injury because of the contact lenses.

3.18 What are the requirements for wearing foot protection? We will give you steel-toed safety shoes or other appropriate foot protection if we decide your job exposes you to possible foot injury.

A. You must wear safety shoes or boots with impact protection when your work involves carrying or handling materials such as packages, objects, parts or heavy tools which could be dropped; and for other activities where objects might fall onto your feet and cause injury.

B. You must wear safety shoes or boots with compression protection for work activities involving skid trucks (manual material handling carts), heavy equipment, and around heavy pipes.

C. You must wear safety shoes or boots with puncture protection if you work where you could step on sharp objects such as nails, wire, tacks, screws, large staples, scrap metal.

D. You must wear special types of foot protection when you work around electrical equipment or in areas with extreme temperatures (hot or cold).

3.19 What are the requirements for wearing hand protection? You must use protective gloves whenever you work with or handle any equipment or materials likely to be hazardous to your hands. Hand hazards include skin absorption of harmful substances; severe cuts or scrapes; punctures; chemical or thermal burns; and harmful temperature extremes. We recommend you use barrier creams to prevent dermatitis when you work with chemicals. Project leaders/supervisors will give you the appropriate hand protection materials based on their assessment of your workplace hazards. Note: See Exhibit 4 for a guide to the most common types of protective work gloves and the types of hazards they can protect against.

A. Gloves should be replaced periodically, depending on how often you use them and how dirty they get.

B. Do not wear gloves around moving machinery, such as drill presses, mills, lathes, and grinders.

3.20 What are the requirements for wearing head protection? We will give you head protection that resists penetration and absorbs the shock of a blow. Protective hats are also used to protect you against electric shock.

A. Project leaders/supervisors will make sure that safety helmets or hard hats are kept in stock and given to everyone entering a workplace or vessel when there is a danger of head injuries from falling objects or other hazards.

B. You will wear protective head gear (i.e., safety helmets or hard hats) when working in areas or on jobs where there is a potential for injury to the head from falling objects. Such areas or jobs would involve construction, moving or dumping of earth, rock and gravel; operating cranes; logging and clearing bush and woodlands; whenever chain saws are being used; and other similar types of work.

C. Safety helmets and hard hats will meet the ANSI standards for Industrial Head Protection, Type 1, Class A or B. Note: Type 1, Class B helmets protect the head from high-voltage shock and burns in addition to protecting from falling or flying objects. They should be used by electrical workers.

D. Project leaders/supervisors must make sure that employees know how to properly adjust the headband and suspension, and how to properly store and clean their helmet or hard hat.

3.21 What are the requirements for wearing leg protection? We require you to use special equipment to prevent leg injuries when and where circumstances warrant. For example:

A. You must wear leg chaps when you are operating a chain saw or working in an area where chain saws are being operated.

B. You must wear leg guards to protect you from snake bite when you work in areas where you may encounter snakes.

3.22 What other types of protective equipment might the Service require me to wear? We will give you other types of protective equipment to meet special conditions, provided you would not normally purchase the equipment for your personal use. For example, we would buy you winter liner or ear covers for your hard hat; but you would buy your own sweater or shirt. Project leaders/supervisors may buy any other PPE not listed in this chapter, if they decide it is necessary to protect you, and if you would not ordinarily purchase it for your personal use. Examples of other types of protective equipment are:

A. We will give you protective aprons, rubber boots, waders and rain gear at fish hatcheries, refuges, laboratories and for other activities and installations requiring them. Rubber boots will have steel toe protection.

B. We will give you and require you to wear fire retardant clothing for special use, low level (less than 152.4 meters/500 feet) or mountainous flight missions. Note: Some aviation PPE requirements are different, see the aviation policies (Part 334) for specifics.

3.23 What are the Service requirements for cleaning and maintaining PPE? It is important that you keep PPE clean and properly maintained. Cleaning is particularly important for eye and face protection where dirty or fogged lenses could impair your vision.

A. You are responsible for cleaning and maintaining the PPE we give you to use, unless your project leader/supervisor specifically assigns that responsibility to someone else.

B. Project leaders/supervisors must make sure their employees' PPE is inspected, cleaned, and maintained regularly.

C. Project leaders/supervisors should establish a written schedule for PPE inspection, and assign someone the responsibility for monitoring the condition of all PPE.

D. Employees will not share PPE until it has been properly cleaned and sanitized. We will distribute PPE for individual use whenever possible.

E. Employees will not use defective or damaged PPE.

F. When not in use, goggles and safety glasses should be stored in a location where they will not be damaged, and can be stored in a "Ziploc" type baggie, for added protection from potential environmental contamination.

3.24 What training do I need if I have to wear Personal Protective Equipment while performing my job?

A. We will train you to know the following, as a minimum:

(1) When PPE is necessary.

(2) What PPE is necessary for which job tasks.

(3) How to properly put on, remove, adjust and wear PPE.

(4) The limitations of the PPE.

(5) The proper care, maintenance, useful life and disposal of the PPE.

B. Your project leader/supervisor will require you to demonstrate that you understand the PPE training and that you can use your PPE properly before we allow you to use it on the job.

C. We will retrain you when there are changes in your workplace conditions or in the types of PPE we require you to use, or when we think your need to have additional PPE training.

3.25 What recordkeeping is required?

A. The project leaders/supervisors must keep written records of PPE training you receive for the duration of employment. Training records will include:

(1) Name of person trained.

(2) Date of the training.

(3) Type of training provided.

B. Project leaders/supervisors must certify in writing that they have evaluated each workplace for hazards that might need PPE use.

(1) The document must state that it is a "certification of hazard assessment."

(2) The document must identify the workplace evaluated, the person certifying that the evaluation was performed, and the dates of the hazard assessment.

(3) The person certifying the evaluation may use FWS Form 3-2279 to meet this requirement.

(4) Project leaders/supervisors must keep the Certification of Hazard Assessment for their workplaces for the duration of your employment.

For information on the specific contents of this chapter, contact the Division of Safety and Health.  For additional information regarding this Web page, contact Krista Bibb, in the Division of Policy and Directives Management.


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