Health and Safety Plan

Personal Protective Equipment


Personal Protective equipment (PPE) is the final line of defense in the hazard control hierarchy. Engineering controls and administrative controls are preferable to PPE. Nevertheless, there are numerous tasks and situations in a deployment where APHIS personnel will have to rely on PPE for their protection.

There are a number of reasons why PPE is the lowest preference for hazard control. The major obstacles of safe PPE use are: lack of use, inappropriate use, and malfunctioning or weakened equipment.

Lack of Use

APHIS personnel, contractors and temporary employees are expected to use the PPE provided as outlined by the Safety Officer. One of the drawbacks of PPE is it must be used, and used as outlined (examples would include eye injuries due to a lack of safety glass us or dust inhalation from not using dust masks). All Command staff, General staff and other deployment personnel with supervisory responsibility are expected to enforce proper PPE use.

Improper Use

PPE must be used as per manufacturer guidelines to properly protect the employee. Using the PPE in an altered fashion may limit, if not negate, its protective value. This limitation is overcome by properly training personnel on proper donning, use, and doffing of PPE (an example would include touching contaminated gloves to clean skin during removal).

All PPE equipment is disposable. Disposing of faultily PPE and obtaining new PPE is an important process in PPE use. To assure that employees are receiving the full protective value of PPE, employees must be trained on inspection procedures for all PPE being used (examples would include failure of a hard hat which had a broken suspension system or failure of safety shoes which had the metal toe plate exposed).

Appendix 5-A is a handout on PPE Use and provides some very basic information on the subject. Appendix 5-B provides more detailed information on PPE selection and inspection.

Additional Information