PPE Regulations: Country and Equipment-Specific Standards
Personal Protective Equipment Regulations is an excerpt from Superior Glove’s PPE bible “The Complete Guide to Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) [+ Checklist Download].” Read the full guide here.
Before creating a PPE program, you must be aware of – and understand – the regulations that apply to you.
If your business is based in the United States or operating in the country, you must adhere to regulations from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
The government body addresses how to use PPE in its standards for:
If your business is based or operating in Canada you must follow the Occupational Health and Safety Regulations.
There are industry- and province-specific standards that are based on these Canadian federal regulations. For example, Ontario has distinct Personal Protective Equipment regulations for farming, partly based on its provincial health and safety act.
Because of these differences, it is best for Canadian employers to:
- Study relevant sections of the Occupational Health and Safety Regulations
- Look for province- and industry-specific regulations, if applicable
- Consult a legal professional for advice, concerns and questions
Canadian and US standards also stress the employer’s responsibility to give relevant training to each worker who will use PPE. This training should cover when to wear specific types of PPE, how to properly use it, and what the limitations are.
Choose the right PPE for your worksite by downloading your free checklist:
In sections that discuss equipment, both American and Canadian documentation frequently refers to guidelines developed by CSA Group and the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).
These organizations have Personal Protective Equipment regulations such as:
- Gloves – Different kinds of gloves call for different requirements. However, ANSI standards are used across North America. ANSI rates cut resistance on a nine-level scale. Level 1 gloves take a minimum of 200 grams-force to be cut, whereas level 9 gloves take at least 6,000 grams-force. ANSI uses a five-level scale for puncture resistance. Puncturing a glove with the highest ANSI rating would take at least 150 Newtons of force. ANSI measures abrasion resistance on a six-level scale. A level 1 glove, tested at 500 grams of force, takes 100 revolutions from two vertically-oriented wheels to abrade. A level 6 glove, tested at 1,000 grams of force, takes up to 20,000 revolutions.
- Eyewear – CSA Standard Z94.3-07 details the use and care of protective eyewear, defining six classes. They are: spectacles, goggles, welding helmets, welding shields, non-rigid hoods and face shields. Each class protects against different risks. For example, welding helmets and shields are the only ones that resist injurious optical radiation from many forms of cutting and welding. Spectacles and goggles, on the other hand, typically only protect against small flying objects.
- Footwear – CSA Standard Z195-14 covers the use and selection of protective footwear. Instead of classifying footwear on a scale, CSA Group categorizes them based on hazards against which they protect. The hazards are: chainsaws, electric shock, electrical conductivity, metatarsal impact, sole puncture, static discharge and toe impact.
- Headgear – CSA Standard Z94.1-15 explains regulations for headwear use and performance, dividing equipment into two types and three classes. The first type protects against impact and penetration on the top of the head. The second type offers the same protection, also defending the back and sides of the head. Each type comes in either Class E (20,000 volt electrical rating), G (2,200 volt electrical rating) or C (no electrical rating).
Armed with an understanding of the regulations you must follow, you can now begin the formal creation of your PPE program.