In this article we provide a Free PPE Hazard Assessment Form along with information on why they are important and how to complete them.
Why Are PPE Hazard Assessments Needed?
An effective PPE Hazard Assessment process will help your company:
- Protect employees
- Comply with OSHA requirements (see 29 CFR 1910.132(d))
- Improve employee culture and engagement
- Improve workplace performance
PPE Hazard Assessment Options
Paper Forms - Paper forms work when you only need to complete a few PPE Hazard Assessments. When you have many tasks to assess, managing and accessing paper forms can be a challenge.
Software - For large companies or small companies with lots of tasks and hazards, software is the only way to go. With hazard assessment software, you can:
- Efficiently complete assessments via the web or a mobile application
- Quickly access complete hazard assessment forms while in the field
- Quickly view metrics to see which tasks present the highest risks
- Document annual reviews and track changes over time
How to Complete a PPE Hazard Assessment
An effective PPE Hazard Assessment begins with surveying your workplace or job site to identify and list all of the tasks that are performed. Then, for each identified task follow these steps:
1. Identify Hazards - Observe each task to identify hazards that employees may be exposed to while performing the task.
Note: It is also important to consider hazards to other employees who are or could be present in the area where the task is being performed. Often, this will result in PPE requirements that apply to anyone who enters the area where certain tasks are being performed.
The following table lists a few common hazards and examples of their sources.
|Impact||Equipment with pinch points, portable equipment such as a chisel, flying fragments/dust|
|Compression||Heavy objects, mobile equipment, equipment with pinch points|
|Penetration||Saws, sharp objects, boards with nails, portable equipment such as nail guns or drills|
|Chemical Exposure||acids, bases, toxics/poisons|
|Inhalation||Dust, chemicals, mold, asbestos|
|Thermal / Cryogenic||Arc flash, fires/explosions, hot or cold surfaces/materials|
|Heat/Cold Exposure||Hot or cold work environments|
|Dangerous Light||Welding, UV light sources, lasers|
|Biological||Blood/OPIM, mold, fungus, bacteria, viruses|
|Electricity||Electrical equipment, batteries, lightning|
|Radiation||Some types of lab and measurement equipment, microwaves|
|Drowning/Engulfment||Bodies of water, grain and other flowable solids|
|Noise||Loud equipment or surroundings|
|Ergonomic||Work positioning, repetitive motion|
2. Evaluate Non-PPE Controls - PPE (personal protective equipment) is generally the least effective way to protect employees. As such, you need to evaluate whether hazards may be eliminated by means other than the use of PPE, such as:
- Elimination - Can the task be eliminated such as through implementation of an automated process?
- Substitution - Can an alternative be found to remove a portion of the hazard such as using a less toxic chemical or different tool?
- Engineering Controls - Can guarding or sound dampening be implemented to better control or prevent access to the source of the hazard?
- Administrative controls - Can better operating practices be implemented or can access to specific areas be restricted?
3. Select Required PPE - Once you have evaluated the ability of the above control methods to reduce or eliminate hazards, you must determine what PPE will be necessary to protect employees from the remaining risk. When Selecting PPE, consider:
- Level of Protection - Will the PPE provide the required level of protection?
- Compatibility - Is the PPE compatible with the material(s)/chemical(s) associated with the process?
- Dexterity/Fit - Will the fit of the PPE provide enough dexterity to efficiently complete the task?
- Comfort - Is the PPE comfortable enough that employees will wear it?
4. Document Your Hazard Assessment - Once you have identified the hazards and PPE requirements for each task, you must document this information in the form of a Certification of Hazard Assessment. This Certification should include the:
- Name/Description of the task evaluated.
- Hazards identified and corresponding PPE requirements.
- Date the assessment was completed.
- Name of the person certifying the assessment.
Note: Certification is a requirement of OSHA's PPE Standard (29 CFR 1910.132(d)(2)).
5. Obtain and Distribute Required PPE - Now that you know what PPE is required, you need to ensure that it is readily accessible to your employees in the areas where they will need to use it.
6. Train Employees - Now that you know what PPE is required and it is available where employees will be asked to use it, you need to ensure your employees know what is needed to keep them safe. This training must include:
- When PPE is needed
- The types of PPE that is required
- How to use required PPE
- Any limitation of the PPE (such as chemical compatibility)
- How to care for and maintain the PPE
7. Maintain Your PPE Program - Once you have completed your assessments, obtained your PPE and trained your employees, you must:
- Maintain an adequate supply of PPE.
- Demonstrate leadership and commitment by ensure management wears PPE in areas where it is required.
- Monitor and enforce PPE usage
- Have a process for reviewing and updating PPE hazard assessments:
- At least annually
- When processes or equipment change
- When new processes or equipment are added