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PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT AND CLOTHING

3.0. General:  

Faculty and supervisors are responsible for ensuring that approved personal protective clothing and equipment are worn by students and employees under their supervision. This equipment must be adequate to protect against potential hazards normally encountered in the work areas. For specific requirements contact EH&S.  

 Where employees provide their own protective equipment, the supervisor shall be responsible for ensuring that it is an approved type and that employees perform the proper maintenance and sanitation requirements for their equipment. 

3.1. Eye and Face Protection:  

Suitable protectors must be provided where machines or operations present the hazard of flying objects, glare, liquids, injurious radiation or a combination of these hazards.  

3.2. Head Protection:  

A hard hat must be worn by all employees when there is potential for impact and penetration from falling objects. 

3.3. Foot protection: 

Appropriate footwear must be worn by all employees.  The particular task being performed dictates the type of protection necessary.

  1. When working with chemicals that are caustic or that can be absorbed through the skin, employees should use footwear that protects the feet and ankles and is resistant to the chemicals being worked with.  
  2. Safety-toe shoes should be worn to prevent or reduce the severity of injury to the toes of those exposed to such hazards of material handling, operating lawn mowers, construction and building maintenance. 
  3. Rubber boots should be worn in wet areas.  

3.4. Respiratory Protection:

EH&S has instituted a separate Respiratory Protection Program.  This program impacts personnel who are required to wear respiratory protection as part of their routine employment.  Where feasible, engineering  controls will be utilized to prevent exposures and preclude the need for respiratory protection. 

  • Contents of the program include the following: 
  • written standard operating procedures  
  • program evaluation  
  • respirator selection criteria     
  • emergency use  
  • training      
  • fit testing  
  • inspection, cleaning and maintenance   
  • medical evaluations  
  • work area surveillance. 

The program has been distributed to and is directly enforced by departmental supervisors and throughout UNF where respiratory protection is utilized. 

 

The use of respiratory protection places unusual stresses on the wearer.  These are inherent in the devices and can restrict the abilities of the wearer by taxing the cardiovascular and pulmonary systems.  Therefore, respiratory protection shall be issued only to those employees that have undergone physical examination according to the guidelines provided and as determined by the examining physician.  The examination includes physiological and psychological parameters.  Furthermore, these evaluations shall be made on a periodic basis as recommended by a competent, licensed physician with knowledge of pulmonary disease and respiratory protection.  Once the examination is concluded, a medical surveillance record shall be completed.  Copies of the form are available from EH&S.  Once completed, the record shall be retained by the employee department and Human Resources or EH&S. 

 

The purpose of the exam will be to screen employees for pre-existing conditions not conducive to respirator use, confirm that the individual can handle the additional stresses caused by the devices and to periodically re-evaluate for changes in health and abilities. 

 

Frequency of the medical examinations shall be baseline within 30 days of employment, periodically as recommended by the physician, upon suspicion of overexposure to hazardous material and upon termination of employment.  

 

The employer is required to maintain medical records and air monitoring data for the duration of employment and 30 years following. The examining physician shall provide a copy of the individual's medical record to the employee who is responsible for bringing a copy to their supervisor. The supervisor should keep a copy and, in turn, forward a copy to EH&S.   

 

For more detailed information pertaining to medical monitoring and respiratory protection, see the University of North Florida's Respiratory Protection Program. 

 

3.5. Hand Protection should be provided:

Employees should be provided approved gloves for protection from cuts, abrasions, burns and other potential job hazards.  Neoprene type gloves are approved or handling chemicals and heavy-duty  leather gloves are approved for handling abrasive materials. 

3.6. Hearing Protection: 

 

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has promulgated regulations limiting employee exposure to noise.  These regulations have been adopted by the State of Florida, Division of Safety.  The principal requirements of these regulations are as follows:

  1. Noise surveys must be conducted where employees may be exposed to an eight-hour time-weighted average (TWA) of 85 dBA or greater (dBA is a sound level reading in decibels made on the A-Weighted network of a sound level meter). 
  2. A hearing conservation program must be instituted for all employees exposed to TWA of 85 dBA or greater.  This consists in part of: 
    1. Baseline and annual audiograms performed by an otolaryngologist, audiologist, qualified physician or certified technician.  
    2. An annual training program that explains the purpose and major components of the hearing conservation program.  This includes discussing with employees the hazardous effects of noise, the various types of hearing protection and how to wear them, as well as the purpose of the audiogram.  The training is completed at the time of the audiogram. 
    3. All employees exposed to a TWA of 85 dBA, must be provided a choice of hearing protection (either earplug or earmuff) without charge.  It is the responsibility of the various departmental supervisors to identify potential areas of high noise.  EH&S will then conduct noise surveys to determine which work areas require participation in a conservation program.
     

Once a particular job is identified as being noise-related, the department shall inform Human Resources that a baseline audiogram and participation in a training program is required for all future appointments to this position. 

 

The examining physician will provide audiograms and training.  EH&S shall notify each department when the exam is due.  The department shall be responsible for scheduling individual exams.  Results of the tests shall be reported to the employee, department, EH&S and Human Resources.   

 

It shall be the responsibility of the department to provide a choice of hearing protection devices to those employees requiring them and to insure that they are being worn.  

 

Please note that the cost of testing is borne by EH&S and the cost of training is borne by the department.  Hearing protection device costs shall be the responsibility of the department employing the worker.