Retail

Employers must pay for protective equipment

Order Reprints

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has ruled that employers must pay the cost of providing personal protective equipment needed to protect workers from job-related injuries, reports the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA).

"The new rule covers (equipment) including respirators, hard hats, gloves, goggles, safety shoes, safety glasses, and welding helmets, but there are several exemptions to the mandate," say SEMA officials.

"Employers are not required to provide (equipment) where none was required before, and the employer does not have to pay for equipment that is lost or intentionally damaged.

"Additionally, the rule does not cover everyday clothing or weather-related clothes that can be worn off-the-job (winter coats, gloves, hats, etc.), along with ordinary steel-toe shoes/boots, ordinary, prescription safety eye wear or skin creams."

Employers must implement the new personal protective equipment payment requirements no later than May 15, 2008.

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