How to Provide PPE Safety Training

Date First Published on SafetySmart Compliance: February 8th, 2012
Topics: PPE |

Once you select the PPE appropriate to protect your workers, you must train workers required to use the equipment how to properly use, care for, inspect and maintain it.

Why Is Training Required?

Never assume any worker understands why a particular piece of PPE is to be used, OR how to use it, OR how to inspect it OR how to know when it is damaged and needs replaced, OR how to properly clean, maintain and store it.

Even long-term workers may never have been taught to properly wear the PPE and may be too embarrassed to ask if they have a question.

When Is Training Required?

Some basic trigger points for PPE training include:

  • At the time of the initial hire and assignment to a work area that requires the use of PPE;
  • When there have been changes in a worker’s duties or the worker transfers to an area that requires the use PPE for which they have not been trained;
  • When there have been changes in equipment, work processes or procedures that now requires PPE or a change in the type of PPE;
  • When a worker is observed not wearing required PPE or not wearing it properly.

Note: In some cases, regulations require annual refresher training even if there have been no changes. These include the use of respirators and hearing protection.

What Should Training Include?

All PPE training, at a minimum, should cover:

  • An overview of when and what PPE must be worn and why it should be worn
  • where to find PPE;
  • How to fit, wear and maintain PPE;
  • How to inspect, care for, store and maintain PPE;
  • How to report defective PPE and how to obtain replacements.

Other topics required for some types of PPE include medical surveillance requirements for respirators and hearing protection as well as fit testing for respirators. Be sure to check the appropriate regulation for a list of the required topics.

Related Resources

Click here for an OSHA PPE Training Compliance Questionnaire

Click here for PPE Safety Talks for Training Use