Chapter 33 – Personal Protective Equipment

(President 3/12/75; amended 9/93; 9/98; 6/01; 7/1/08; 3/10)

33.1 General Application

  1. University departments purchase and issue, to permanent staff, safety equipment required under the Iowa Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1972. The equipment is ordered by means of special requisition.
  2. Certain personnel, such as part-time temporary, who are required to use personal protective equipment (PPE) are issued toe caps, goggles, and ear protection, and are required to use such PPE as a condition of employment.

33.2 Environmental Health & Safety Guidance on Personal Protective Equipment Use

  1. The Environmental Health & Safety (EHS) director, with advice from EHS staff, provides guidance regarding general policy for the use of PPE.
  2. EHS staff members provide guidance and assistance to central Human Resources and departments on campus by identifying individuals in various work tasks to be protected by safety glasses, safety footwear, body protection apparel, gloves, respirators, etc. EHS staff members also provide guidance to departments that are required to meet the various aspects of the IOSH (Iowa Occupational Safety and Health) Personal Protective Standard.

    EHS staff members assist departments in determining which staff require the use of PPE in the performance of their duties.

33.3 Duties of Departmental Executives

  1. Departments supply PPE to staff members identified as needing protection.
  2. Departments inform staff that the use of PPE, once issued, is required whenever the individual's supervisor so indicates. If the required PPE is not being worn due to damage or inadvertence, the individual will be issued appropriate temporary equipment.
  3. Departments are responsible for the recovery of all items of PPE, except shoes and prescription glasses, from staff members who resign or transfer to a job which does not require such equipment.
  4. Enforcement of rules requiring the wearing of PPE is the responsibility of the department.

33.4 Personal Protective Equipment Specifics

(President 3/8/76)
  1. Shoes — Safety shoes, as authorized by the employing department, will be provided as needed to staff members required to wear them. Each department is responsible for determining the style of shoe that is to be worn by its employees. Staff members are responsible for maintaining shoes, including the cost of minor repairs.

    In the event the department determines that special shoe protection is necessary or special shoes are required to meet operational demands, said equipment will be furnished by the department at no cost to the staff member. Each department is responsible for procuring safety shoes from outside vendors for staff members required to wear safety shoes. Shoes maybe purchased with a departmental procurement card or purchase order, or the department may reimburse the staff member for shoes purchased directly.
  2. Safety Glasses — One pair of safety glasses is provided at the department's expense to those staff members needing them. If breakage or damage occurs to the glasses and the damage is an on-the-job incident, the department covers the cost of repair. Cost to repair damage to glasses unrelated to employment is the responsibility of the individual. Safety glasses are purchased through UI Optical with an interdepartmental requisition.

    Cost of eye examinations for those needing prescription safety glasses is the responsibility of the staff member. Those who have had a recent examination should obtain a copy of the prescription which will be used for providing safety glasses. Those whose most recent prescription is twelve months old or older are encouraged to update the prescription prior to receiving safety glasses.

    The department pays for replacement of safety lenses due to prescription change.
  3. All other items of safety equipment issued except shoes and prescription glasses are the department's property and are replaced on an as-needed basis. Staff members are responsible for those items. If any items are lost or damaged through individual neglect, the staff member is required to pay the cost of replacement.
  4. Staff members interested in obtaining additional pairs of safety shoes, glasses, or other equipment items are permitted to buy them at their expense.
  5.  Departments inform staff members that the use of PPE, once issued, is required whenever the individual's supervisor so indicates. If the required PPE is not being worn due to damage or inadvertence, the staff member will be issued appropriate temporary equipment.
  6. Staff members must use only PPE that is purchased through the University or the employing department, and that is approved by the department for a specific use.

(See also https://ehs.research.uiowa.edu/occupational-safety.)