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OSHA rule addresses who pays for protective equipment

November 17, 2010

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has issued a rule clarifying employer and employee responsibilities for the payment of personal protective equipment (PPE), said David Westcott, chairman of the regulatory affairs committee of the National Automobile Dealers Association.

The rule:

  1. mandates that dealerships pay for most PPE required by OSHA’s standards and creates a clear and consistent policy to reduce confusion regarding what dealerships need not pay for.
  2. creates no new requirements regarding what PPE dealerships must provide to employees. Dealerships need not pay for uniforms, items worn for cleanliness, and other items that are not PPE. They also need not pay for most safety-toe footwear, prescription safety eyewear, everyday clothing, and weather-related gear.
  3. states that though dealerships cannot require employees to provide their own PPE, employees who do so are not entitled to reimbursement. On the other hand, dealerships must ensure the adequacy of any employee-provided PPE to protect against workplace hazards.
  4. indicates dealerships needn’t pay to replace lost or intentionally damaged PPE.
  5. takes effect Feb. 13 and requires compliance by May 15, 2008.

Westcott said the NADA intends to issue more comprehensive guidance before those dates.