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The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) sets standards for the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), protective apparel, and industrial accident prevention techniques to protect employees and, indirectly, employers from worker injury while on the job. They analyze huge volumes of data regarding both industrial accidents and types of PPE to protect against workplace hazards and avoiding accidents. While the construction industry remains a primary focus, many other industries are also covered under the OSHA Act.
PPE standards are addressed in different sections based on the type of protection and the specific areas of their use. There are chapters on general requirements, eye and face protection, respiratory, head, foot, and hand protection. A separate set of standards applies to protection against electrical hazards faced on the job, whether or not you are a professional electrician. Another area covers toxic and hazardous substances encountered in different types of workplaces.
These standards are more than mere recommendations. OSHA has a staff of inspectors who make random, unannounced visits to job sites and companies around the U.S. to ensure industrial safety standards are being followed. If violations are uncovered, OSHA has the ability to levy fines on the employers who are found guilty of disregarding one or more safety standards. Therefore, OSHA both defines and publishes the standards for industrial safety and the type of PPE recommended to avoid workplace accidents. To ensure compliance with these published standards, OSHA inspectors make on site visits to witness the job safety measures being employed by employers.