Is it not the responsibility of my employer to provide me with Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)?

Since I started working with my employer more than six months ago, they provided us with OSHA approved protective sleeves to prevent lacerations of glass and other sharp objects. They gave us the option of wearing long sleeve shirts. Now, they insist all employees must wear long sleeve shirts. Those that wear long sleeved shirts are allowed to roll the cuffs past the elbow, while the protective sleeves that go up to the elbow are no longer allowed. Basically, they are enforcing us to provide our own PPE to save a dollar. Is this legal?

Asked on July 3, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Colorado


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

What you have written about is a potential OSHA violation by your employer with respect to the discontinuation of the protective sleeves in lieu of the use of long sleeve shirts. As such, I suggest that you consult with an OSHA representative about your work safety situation.

In short, my assessment is that if long sleeves are allowed at work as a safety device for the employees, the employer should have enough protective sleeves available for those employees that wish to use them in lieu of long sleeve shirts.

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