Personal Protective Equipment

PPE: Minimum Requirements

It should come as no surprise that, in addition to specific PPE standards, many other OSHA regulations also require PPE. Here’s a complete list for general industry and construction.

Here’s a quick review of some minimum PPE requirements.

OSHA’s PPE general requirements standard (29 CFR 1910.132) says that all protective devices have to meet these minimum requirements:

  • Provide adequate protection against the particular hazards for which they are designed
  • Be of safe design and construction for the work to be performed
  • Be reasonably comfortable when worn under the designated conditions
  • Fit snugly and not unduly interfere with the movements of the wearer
  • Be durable
  • Be capable of being disinfected
  • Be easily cleanable
  • Be distinctly marked to facilitate identification only of the manufacturer


The standard imposes minimum requirements for training, too. Each employee who is required to wear any type of PPE must be trained to know at least the following:

  • When PPE is necessary
  • What PPE is necessary
  • How to properly don, doff, adjust, and wear PPE
  • Limitations of the PPE
  • Proper care, maintenance, useful life, and disposal of the PPE

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PPE training must be conducted by a knowledgeable person and presented in a manner that the employee can understand. (This means in a language employees can understand as well as a comprehension level they can understand.)

And employees have to demonstrate an understanding of the training and the ability to use PPE properly before being allowed to perform work requiring the use of PPE.


When you have reason to believe that any employee who has already been trained in PPE selection, fit, use, and care does not have the requisite understanding and skill, you must retrain that employee.

OSHA says circumstances where retraining is required "include, but are not limited to," situations where:

  • Changes in the workplace render previous training obsolete
  • Changes in the types of PPE to be used render previous training obsolete
  • Inadequacies in an affected employee’s knowledge or use of assigned PPE indicate that the employee has not retained the requisite understanding or skill

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—Machine guarding and lockout/tagout
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