OSHA has published a notice of proposed rulemaking to clarify the personal protective equipment (PPE) standard for the construction industry.
Unlike the agency's general industry and maritime industry standards, the current construction standard does not clearly state that PPE must fit each affected employee properly. The proposed change would clarify that PPE must fit each employee properly
to protect them from occupational hazards.
Safety and health professionals have long recognized that standard-sized PPE typically fails to protect physically smaller construction workers properly, especially women.
The proposed rule would clarify the existing requirement to align with the language in OSHA’s PPE standard for general and maritime industries.
ASSP addressed the issue of the need for PPE specifically designed for women during a breakout discussion at its Women's Workplace Safety Summit in 2018. Attendees noted that "costs of customization and offering a broader range of sizes are common barriers that must be addressed with suppliers and those making purchasing decisions." Women's PPE is also highlighted during the popular Runway: Safety Apparel and PPE Fashion Show during our annual conference. Improving options for women's PPE has long been a goal of our Women in Safety Excellence Common Interest Group.
Stakeholders are encouraged to submit comments and hearing requests by Sept. 18 using the federal eRulemaking portal. Be sure to reference Docket No. OSHA-2019-0003.