Who Pays for Required PPE?

Date First Published on SafetySmart Compliance: February 10th, 2012
Topics: PPE |

Following a decision of the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission, (Secretary of Labor v. Union Tank Car Co.), OSHA modified all of its Standards to say that an employer must pay for nearly all types of PPE that you require workers to wear.


Click here for an OSHA Paying for PPE Compliance Questionnaire

There are very limited exceptions to this rule. They include:

  • Prescription safety glasses, as long as you provide some type of appropriate eye protection that goes over an employee’s own prescriptive eyewear and provides protection from the eye hazard; and
  • Non-specialized safety footwear that an employee is permitted to take home from the work site.

Employers still must pay for specialized footwear, such as metatarsals and electrically conductive footwear.

You have some limited provisions to require employees to pay for replacement PPE when you can demonstrate that an employee was negligent in the care of the PPE or lost it.  But the amount the employee can be required to pay can only be up to the value of the PPE at the time it was lost or damaged, not the value of a new piece of PPE.

Related Resource


Click here for an OSHA Paying for PPE Compliance Questionnaire