Fact Sheet

Body Protection

Employees who face possible bodily injury of any kind that cannot be eliminated through engineering, work practice or administrative controls, must wear appropriate body protection while performing their jobs. In addition to cuts and radiation, the following are examples of workplace hazards that could cause bodily injury:

There are many varieties of protective clothing available for specific hazards. Employers are required to ensure that their employees wear personal protective equipment only for the parts of the body exposed to possible injury. Examples of body protection include laboratory coats, coveralls, vests, jackets, aprons, surgical gowns and full body suits.

If a hazard assessment indicates a need for full body protection against toxic substances or harmful physical agents, the clothing should be carefully inspected before each use, it must fit each worker properly and it must function appropriately and for the purpose for which it is intended. Protective clothing comes in a variety of materials each effective against particular hazards:

Recommendations

Analyze the particular hazards for each job and identify which PPE will most effectively protect the health and safety of the workers assigned to that job.

As all other PPE, protective clothing should fit the wearer in order to offer full protection.

Employees should be trained to properly wear protective clothing for the duration of the time they will be exposed to the hazards.

Give supervisors the authority to remove an employee from the job if he or she isn’t complying with proper procedures, and should be able to send the employee for remedial training if the PPE is not being worn properly.

Resources

Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety, OSH Answers: Personal Protective Clothing, Trade Names and Manufacturers

NIOSH Safety and Health Topic: [Chemical] Protective Clothing

U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration. OSHA 3151-12R, 2003, page 29-30, Personal Protective Equipment