WASHINGTON - The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently reopened its rule on Employer Payment for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for additional comment on "tools of the trade." Tools of the trade are items that employees use on the job and may wear and/or take home, such as hardhats or safety glasses.

The Mechanical Contractors Association of America (MCAA) commented to OSHA that it supports employer payment for basic, standard PPE such as hardhats, safety glasses, ear plugs/muffs, respirators, personal fall arrest systems, etc. However, the association says, employers should not be required to pay for specialized, personal equipment such as: work boots or shoes; prescription safety eyewear; coveralls, overalls, or other clothing designed for protection against hot work; standard work gloves; or any other types of standard work clothing.

For more information on OSHA regulations, visit www.osha.gov.

Publication date: 09/20/2004