Personal Protective Equipment
PPE Level Definition
As per OSHA’s HAZWOPER (29 CFR 1910.120) standard, four levels
of PPE use are recognized.
Level D- This level has no respiratory protection and minimal skin protection.
Level D protection is the normal work clothes and non- respiratory PPE.
Work shirt, safety boots and safety glasses are all examples of PPE used
at this level. Dust masks used on a voluntary basis would still fall
under Level D protection.
Level D Modified – This Level is the same as Level D for respiratory
protection, but the skin protection is increased to that of Level C
Level C- This level has skin protection up to chemical/biological resistant
clothing (tyvek and such) and air purifying respirator protection. At
this level there are known air contaminates for which approved air filtering
cartridges exist and the air contaminate levels are below the IDLH. Mandatory
dust mask use (including for biological) would fall under level C
Level B- The skin protection for this level is the same as Level C,
the respiratory protection, however, is some type of supplied air system
(SCBA or airline).
Level A- This is the highest level of protection, with a total encapsulating
suit. This level is used in situations where gas/vapor dermal contact
poses a hazard or where splash contact can pose an IDLH situation.
PPE Level A and B
Situations requiring Level B and Level A PPE, in which APHIS is the Agency
with Jurisdiction, are unlikely. APHIS deployments will usually be
at the D and C Levels.
NOTE: APHIS does not currently have the ability or resources
to upgrade to Level A or B.
If necessary, however, the Incident Commander will have to acquire trained
and equipped personnel to perform this work.
For situations where APHIS is an Operations Group (such as incidents
involving WMD or chemical spills), the Incident Safety Officer will instruct
the APHIS Safety Officer on PPE levels and procedures.
For Level C and for voluntary Respirator use, a respiratory protection
program must be in place. Appendix 5-C is a sample program and can be