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UNIVERSITY OF MAINE AT AUGUSTA

46 University Drive

Augusta, Maine 04330

 Facilities Management

Personal Protective Equipment Program

Revised: 05-03-2013

Reference:  29 CFR 1910.132-138 Keller’s Official OSHA Safety Handbook and UMA Safety Policies and Procedures Facilities Management (March 2012)

Purpose: To establish procedures for use of and manner of wear of personal protective equipment (known as PPE) for Facilities Management personnel at the University of Maine at Augusta and University College at Bangor.

To protect our personnel from occupational hazards in the areas of safety and health.

OSHA has determined that workers involved in a wide range of occupational jobs are exposed to a significant risk of death or injury from various objects in the workplace. Employers are expected to protect employees who could be injured by workplace hazards.

Definitions:

  1. Guards:  Equipment guards are normally manufacturer supplied.  These devices, when properly installed and used, increase the safety potential of the equipment it was designed for.
  2. OSHA:  Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
  3. MBLS:  Maine Bureau of Labor Standards.

Discussion:

  1. Annually, over 2.8 million people suffer serious, non-fatal on-the-job injuries and illnesses.  In addition, an average of 17 workers die each day from injuries sustained on the job.  While it is the responsibility of the employer to take proactive measures to minimize these hazards, it is also the responsibility of each worker to minimize unnecessary threats.  The most effective way to mitigate threats is through proper use of PPE.
  2. In conjunction with these procedures, training and random inspections apply.  Training will be conducted annually for those responsible to the program.  Should an employee observe an instance where facilities personnel are in clear violation of safe work practices through not following PPE guidance, they should advise the individual of the proper procedures.  Future incidents should be brought to the attention of their supervisor.
  3. This PPE program supplements other safety guidance established by the Director of Facilities Management.  (i.e. Confined Space, Control of Hazardous Energy, Hazard Communication, etc..)
  4. This program applies to all Facilities Management personnel and other UMA employees determined to be at risk.  Contractors working on campus shall be made aware of this plan.
  5. This program and these procedures will be reviewed annually against applicable federal and state guidelines for safety and revised as needed.

Enforcement:

Failure to comply with personal protective equipment policies will be subject to progressive disciplinary actions as outlined in the Employee’s Union Contract.

Procedures:

These procedures shall cover:


A. Eye Protection
B. Foot Protection
C. Hand Protection
D. Head Protection
E. Hearing Conservation
F. Respiratory Protection
G. Safety Harness or Lanyard
H. Reporting Safety Discrepancies

 

1.A.  Eye Protection:

Of the numerous eye related injuries reported, most victims were not wearing eye protection.  Regardless of the existing plan, it is only effective if followed. Facilities Management provides protective eye wear, that meets ANSI guidelines, for their employees.  This includes training in wear and care if needed.  It is emphasized, that eye protection is not a guaranteed cure against sustaining an injury, however eye protection can greatly lessen the severity should one occur.

Coverage:

Every employee assigned to Facilities Management shall use protective eyewear in the following situations:

  • Working on stationary machines or equipment.
  • Working with portable power hand tools.
  • Pouring or transferring chemicals (solvents, etc.)
  • Working while looking up (painting ceilings, fixing ceiling grid, etc.)
  • Using hand tools for the purpose of impact, cutting, etc.
  • Using toxic substances such as mastics, acids, etc.
  • Using powder actuated tools.
  • Blowing compressed air with a nozzle.
  • Job types in which the eyes might be in danger.
  • Driving or riding on powered lawn cutting equipment including hedge and grass trimmers.
  • Operating chainsaws, including those assisting. Your hardhat should have a face shield attached.
  • Breaking up concrete, rock, hardtop, etc., with hand tools.
  • Pouring and using chemicals. If glasses are used, they should have side shields when there is the possibility of flying chips, etc., from the side.

Issuance:

Protective eye gear is available from the shift supervisor in two forms: safety glasses and goggles. It is each staff member’s responsibility to obtain the proper protective eyewear from their supervisor. All eye protection issued must be ANSI approved.

Replacement:

All employees are provided with safety eyewear at the time of employment. If lost or damaged, the employee is to notify his/her supervisor and obtain a replacement. Types being used are currently:

  • Spectacle type with side shields
  • Chemical slash goggles
  • Full face shields
  • General use goggles

Maintenance:

Each employee issued eye protection is responsible for the care, maintenance and daily inspection of eye protection.

Should an eye injury occur, eyewash stations are strategically located throughout the campus. Facilities personnel should be familiar with their use and location. If severe enough, emergency medical services should be alerted.

1.B.   Foot Protection:

Foot protection is guarding your toes, ankles, and feet from injury.  Feet are subject to many types of diseases, cuts, punctures, burns, sprains, and fractures.  However, sharp or heavy objects falling on the foot are the primary sources of injury in the workplace.  Other hazards include:

  • Compression
  • Electricity
  • Slipping
  • Chemicals
  • Extreme heat or cold
  • Wetness

Coverage:

Every employee assigned to Facilities Management shall use protective foot wear (boots) in the following situations:

  • Around heavy materials that could be dropped and cause injury to the fee
  • When using a chainsaw

NOTE: Leg protection – Chaps rated for maximum chainsaw Rpm’s are also mandatory for the operator of the chainsaw.

Issuance:

Employees are to purchase steel toe boots if their duties are listed in coverage area above.

Facilities Management personnel shall use footwear commensurate with their job roles.  This may vary depending on trade from acceptable sneakers to steel toe boots with steel shank.  While there is no prescribed standard established, all Facilities Management personnel shall be aware of the unique hazards associated with their trade and take prudent protection measures to minimize injuries to the feet.

1.C.  Hand Protection:

Hands and fingers are the tools most predominately used in the work environment. Hand protection is vital because hands are exposed to so many different hazards in the workplace.  Hand protection is crucial to guard against hazards such as skin absorption, severe cuts, abrasions, punctures burns, and extreme temperatures.

At work, hands are exposed to three basic types of hazards:

  • Mechanical Hazards: Present wherever machinery is used.
  • Environmental Hazards: Factors like extreme heat or cold, electricity and materials handling.
  • Irritating Substances: Reaction to chemicals and biological agents.

Engineering controls and safe work practices can make the environment safer and should never be altered or removed (i.e. machine guards).  Good housekeeping practices and personal cleanliness are also an important part of a preventative plan for hand protection.  Good housekeeping applies to tools, equipment, and work areas.

Gloves are the most commonly used type of PPE for hands.  They provide protection to fingers, hands, and often wrists and forearms.  Gloves should be selected to protect against specific hazards for the job being performed and fit the wearer appropriately.  Gloves that are too small or too large can create as much danger to the individual as if they were not wearing any hand protection.

Coverage:

Every employee assigned to Facilities Management shall use protective gloves in the following situations:

  • When coming into contact with or working around human body fluids including blood, vomit, etc.
  • When cleaning bathrooms, water fountains, sink traps, etc.
  • When handling recyclable material including glass or plastic containers, tin and aluminum cans, paper and carton containers, etc.
  • During rubbish or trash pickups.
  • When handling extreme hot or cold temperatures.
  • When handling solvent and other identifiable toxic substances.
  • When lifting or carrying heavy objects or any item that may have sharp edges.

Issuance:

UMA Facilities Management shall supply appropriate and ample supply of gloves for the types of duties the department performs.  Should additional types be needed, the Director of Facilities Management or the department’s authorized representative will ensure they are available prior to commencing work.  It is the responsibility of the specific trades to identify unique glove requirements for their role.

When working in situations where biological contaminants maybe present, gloves shall be worn.  The type of glove and training required will be approved by the Director of Facilities responsible for that work.

Types currently being used:

  • Heavy duty work gloves
  • Latex gloves
  • Utility (general duty type) rubber gloves
  • Miscellaneous

Issues pertaining to hand protection shall be brought to the attention of the Director for Facilities Management.

Maintenance:

Each employee issued gloves is responsible for their care, maintenance and daily inspection.

1.D.  Head Protection:

Use and wear of hard hats at UMA, although infrequent, is required under certain work conditions.  Hard hats are designed to resist the penetration and absorb the shock from a blow and provide protection from electrical shock and burn.

UMA Facilities Management personnel shall maintain access to a hard hat specific for their sole use.  Wear is mandatory when working in an area where there is a potential danger of head injury from impact from falling or flying objects, or where there is a risk of electrical shock and burns.

When head dangers are highly possible, a safety supervisor will be assigned, this person will mandate use of head protection and establish the danger area where hard hat use will be required.

Hard hats used at UMA shall be either Type 1 (Full Brim) or Type 2 (no Brim, but with a peak over the eyes) and employ a six-point suspension system with ratchet closure.   Hard hats used by electricians shall be that of a Class B (offering protection from exposure to high voltage).

UMA Facilities Management will maintain a small auxiliary supply of hard hats to ensure personnel safety during short duration work evolutions where an additional work force is required.

Coverage:

Every employee assigned to Facilities Management shall use protective hard hats in the following situations:

  • In a designated hard hat areas
  • When working under something where there is a chance of something falling from above
  • When using chainsaws.

Issuance:

Hard hats available from shift supervisor. It is the staff member’s responsibility to obtain the proper head protection from his/her supervisor.

Maintenance:

Each employee issued a hard hat is responsible for its care, maintenance and daily inspection.

1.E.   Hearing Conservation:

Noise is unwanted or unpleasant sound.  In a work environment, people are exposed to noise daily.  How people are affected by sound depends on several factors (loudness, frequency of sound, length of exposure, and even age and health).  There are three types of noise:

  • Wide Band: Noise distributed over a wide range of frequencies. (i.e. internal combustion engine)
  • Narrow Band: Noise restricted to a narrow range of frequencies (i.e. power tools and fans)
  • Impulse Noise: Composed of temporary beats that occur in on-and-off patterns. (i.e. jack hammers and punch presses)

Sound is measured by frequency and intensity.  Intensity that exceeds 85 dB over an eight-hour day may cause hearing loss.  While OSHA standards stipulate that workers may not be exposed to more than an average of 85 dB over an eight-hour period without hearing protection being provided.

Coverage:

Every employee assigned to Facilities Management shall use hearing protection in the following situation and/or when appropriately needed:

  • When using any machine or piece of equipment with an 85 dB or higher reading.
  • Using powered actuated tools (hammer, drills, etc.)
  • On all riding lawn equipment.
  • Operating chainsaws, leaf blowers, and chipper machines (including those assisting).
  • Wet vacs
  • Brush clipper, string trimmers, post hole diggers, etc.

Issuance:

Ear plugs or muffs are available from the shift supervisor where hearing protection is required. It is the staff member’s responsibility to obtain the proper protection from their supervisor.

Hearing protection will be one of two types:

  • Earplugs: Also known as aurals, will be in self-contained packaged sets, formed by the user and disposable.  These will be kept in ample supply and immediately available for use.  Earplugs shall maintain a minimum noise reduction rating (NRR) protection of 29 decibels (dB).
  • Earmuffs: Protection that fits over the entire ear to seal out noise.  These will be supplied by Facilities Management for those unable to wear earplugs and/or when additional hearing protection is needed.  Earmuffs shall maintain a minimum noise reduction rating (NRR) protection of 21 decibels (dB). Electrician needing earmuffs shall be provided dielectric earmuffs that have metal parts to reduce risk of hazards from high voltage.

Requests for other specialized hearing protection will entertained on a case-by-case basis pending medical recommendation supporting those requests.  Audiometric testing will be provided if UMA Facilities Management determines that the employee is or will be exposed to noise limits that exceed OSHA standards.

Requirement:

Wherever equipment is labeled Hearing Protection Required; the employee must use protection.

Maintenance:

Each employee issued hearing protection is responsible for the care, maintenance and daily inspection of the equipment. NOTE: Under the UMA hearing conservation program, hearing protection is mandated.

1.F.   Respiratory Protection:

Facilities personnel at UMA are, at times, required to work in or around spaces where atmospheric conditions (quality and contaminants) dictate the need for  respiratory protection. For most uses, a particulate dust mask is effective for provided appropriate respiratory protection.  In cases where a dust mask is not effective, air purifying respirators shall be used.  Regardless of the situation, the Director of Facilities will be advised any time respiratory protection is required or being used to enter a space.

Coverage:

Every employee assigned to Facilities Management shall use approved (suited for a particular task) respirator protection in the following situations:

  • When working in any environment where there is recognized high concentration of harmful foreign matter in the air.
  • Any type of spray painting or ceiling applications.
  • As recommended for personnel directly working around asbestos, not removal.
  • Nonsense masks (NIOSH Standard 42 CFR Part 84) are allowable when non-oil, dusts and mists are in low concentration.

Medical Clearance:

Before an employee can use an air-purifying respirator, they must have been granted in writing medical qualification clearance from a physician. This clearance must be documented with the appropriate UMA offices.

Fit Testing (qualifying):

Before an employee can use an AP respirator they must be fit tested by a qualified person. This testing must be documented with the appropriate UMA offices.

Issuance:

Respirators with appropriate filters and/or cartridges for specific tasks are available from the shift supervisor. Face piece sizes vary and must be fitted for each individual. Respirators are not to be worn over beards since a proper seal is not possible.

Supervisor:

Make sure no one uses an air-purifying respirator unless they have medical clearance and fit testing.

Maintenance:

Employees issued respirator protection are responsible for their care, maintenance and daily inspection.

1.G.  Safety Body Harnesses and Lanyards

Coverage:

Every employee assigned to Facilities Management shall use approved safety equipment, which protects workers from injury due to falling in the following situations:

  • On a roof edge doing maintenance, including the changing of floor lights, etc.
  • When a workers feet are 6 feet or more above the ground floor level.
  • When on building roof edges trimming or pruning trees or shrubs.
  • When in trees trimming, pruning or cutting limbs.

Issuance:

Approved harnesses and lanyards are available from the shift supervisor. When issued, special note should be taken to insure proper fit for each individual employee.

OTE: Belts are no longer allowed, only body harnesses. Types currently being used:

  • Body Harness (OSHA 1926.502 – ANSI A10.14)
  • Shock Absorbing Lanyards (OSHA 1910.66)

Maintenance:

Each employee is responsible for the care, maintenance and daily inspection of issued equipment.

Coverage:

Where appropriate, employees assigned to Facilities Management are required to use (at all times) a seat belt or shoulder harness.

1.H.  Reporting Safety Discrepancies:

Safety on campus is everyone’s responsibility.  However, due to the nature of their mission, Facilities Management addresses more issues pertaining to campus safety than most other departments.  The Facilities Management Department considers students, faculty, and staff their paramount mission.  Work requests to resolve or correct discrepancies to Life Safety Equipment, Systems, and Policies takes priority over routine work orders.

Facilities Management personnel need to lead by example.  Often, it may be a simple case of advising an individual of a safe work practice.  Should they not be able to address the issue, it should be brought to the attention of the Director of Facilities for follow up.  Should they be made aware of a safety issue and it is within their trade specialty, they are to take immediate corrective action. If the safety issue falls outside of their trade specialty, they should contact the Facilities Management Office to initiate corrective measures.

A safety session will be included in general meetings to ensure all work is being performed in a safe and efficient manner.