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SEC-022: Personal Protective Equipment

Date: 07/25/2004 Status: Final
Last Revised: 02/26/2020
Policy Type: University
Oversight Executive: Vice President for Research
Applies To:

Academic Division and the Medical Center.

Reason for Policy:

The University has established requirements to protect University faculty, staff and students from the risk of injuries as a result of being exposed to safety hazards in the work environment.

Definition of Terms in Statement:
  • Hazard Assessment Survey (HAS):A walk-through survey of work areas for the purpose of identifying sources of hazards to faculty, staff, or students. Basic categories that should be considered include but are not limited to: impact from flying objects, moving machinery or falling objects; penetration from sharp objects that can pierce the feet or cut hands; compression (roll-over of loads or heavy materials); exposure to harmful dust or chemicals; exposure to high heat or temperature extremes; exposure to light (optical) radiation from welding operations or work with lasers and electrical hazards; and exposure to noise.
Policy Statement:

All University departments are responsible for performing and documenting Hazard Assessment Surveys (HAS) in the work environment, thereby preventing faculty, staff, or student member’s exposure to known or foreseeable safety hazards. Installing appropriate engineering controls or guards is generally the first course of action to prevent such injuries from occurring. If such protection is not possible, personal protective equipment will be provided as appropriate.

  1. Departmental Responsibility:
    Assistance and instruction is available from the Office of Environmental Health & Safety (EHS) in determining whether or not the need exists for a HAS, conducting the HAS when determined appropriate, and determining the most appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), engineering controls or guards, if needed.

    When satisfactory control of safety hazards is not feasible, departments must:

    • Provide appropriate PPE to prevent injuries as a result of exposure to safety hazards.
    • Fit PPE to the faculty, staff, or student member. Proper fit of PPE will ensure the equipment can provide the intended protection as well as encourage consistent use by the user because it fits comfortably.
    • Purchase PPE that meet American National Standards Institute (ANSI) certification. ANSI certification must be clearly marked by the equipment manufacturer on all safety PPE. The stamp of certification assures both the purchaser and user that the equipment meets the necessary requirements.
    • Train faculty, staff, or student member when safety PPE needs to be used; how to properly don and remove PPE; how to inspect and care for PPE (cleaning and storage); limitation of PPE and when to remove defective PPE from service.

    EHS can make recommendations and assist departments in meeting the above requirements.

  2. Compliance with Policy:
    Failure to comply with the requirements of this policy may result in disciplinary action up to and including termination in accordance with relevant University policies. Non-compliance with safety and health regulations may be subject to enforcement and penalties as defined by Code of Virginia § 40.1-49.4.

    Questions about this policy should be directed to Environmental Health & Safety.


Procedure 14-5, Hazard Assessment and Assigning Personal Protective Equipment.

Major Category:
Safety, Security and Environmental Quality
Next Scheduled Review:
Approved By, Date:
Policy Review Committee, 07/25/2004
Revision History:
Added Compliance Section 2/26/20; Revised 7/24/05.
Supersedes (previous policy):

Personal Protective Equipment XIV.O.1