This part of the Directive enhances and supplements Part XII (Protection Equipment and Other Preventive Measures) [] of the COHSR and should be read in that context.

The scope of this part includes all systems, procedures, clothing and safety material designed to ensure the health and safety of all employees.

12.1 General Responsibilities of Departments

12.1.1 Any policies and procedures that are specific to the employer and worksite will be developed in consultation with the policy and workplace committees.

12.1.2 Personal protective equipment shall not add to the total heat burden to the extent practicable. If personal protective equipment adds to the total heat burden, rest periods shall be routinely provided and the employer shall ensure that employees take them.

12.1.3 A qualified person shall be appointed to ensure that personal protective equipment is safely, properly and reasonably comfortably fitted.

12.1.4 Departments shall appoint a qualified person to instruct and train employees required:

  1. to use or wear personal protective equipment properly and safely and to use and care for the personal protective equipment; and
  2. to effectively deal with emergency situations arising from its use.

12.1.5 All personal protective equipment shall be:

  1. stored, maintained, inspected and tested by a qualified person to ensure that it is in a safe and fully effective condition at all times;
  2. marked or tagged as unsafe and removed from service when defective equipment is unsafe for use; and
  3. repaired by a qualified person to a safe and fully effective condition or permanently removed from service.

12.1.6 Protective clothing, equipment, devices and tools used by employees working on electrical equipment shall be inspected by the user before its use to ensure that it is safe for its intended use.

12.1.7 All personal protective equipment, clothing and footwear shall be:

  1. provided free of charge to employees; and
  2. replaced free of charge when no longer serviceable.

12.1.8 Tests of rubber insulating gloves and mitts shall follow a procedure that complies with the appropriate standard.

12.2 Protective Clothing

12.2.1 Special considerations include:

  1. protecting the employee from the risk of disease;
  2. preventing the spread of contamination or diseases; and
  3. preventing significant or permanent damage to the employee's skin, hair or personal clothing.

12.2.2 Outdoor protective clothing shall be designed to provide UV protection and to reflect sunlight. Employees wearing contact lenses shall use the same approved ultraviolet radiation (UVR) eye protection equipment as that required of other employees performing the same tasks.

12.2.3 Protective clothing shall be:

  1. normally worn over the employee's personal clothing; and
  2. suitable for the gender of the user.

12.3 Insulated Clothing

12.3.1 Insulated clothing shall be provided for work in hazardous weather conditions:

  1. when the type of personal outer clothing normally worn while working outdoors is inadequate to protect the employee from physical harm and from harm to his or her health in the specific working environment; or
  2. when there is risk of damaging or soiling the employee's personal insulated clothing.

12.3.2 Insulated clothing designed to prevent hypothermia shall be provided to employees when their duties involve significant risks of immersion in cold water.

12.4 Quantities

12.4.1 The quantity of each item to be provided initially to each employee shall be based on the expected frequency of change, conditions of wear and tear and the expected wear life.

12.5 Pooled Clothing

12.5.1 Pooled clothing may be provided as protective clothing under all of the following conditions:

  1. when the frequency of use by the employee does not justify individual provision;
  2. when the clothing is worn over the employee's personal clothing; and
  3. when the clothing will not be worn next to the employee's skin.

12.5.2 Quantities of pooled clothing shall be adequate to provide a range of sizes and to permit rotational cleaning.

12.5.3 Cleaning and upkeep of the pooled clothing shall be regularly scheduled.

12.6 Head Protection

12.6.1 If required, departments shall provide protective headwear that meets the requirements of the appropriate standard.

12.6.2 If an employee is required to wear a form of head protection other than protective headwear, that headwear shall adequately protect the employee from the potential hazard.

12.7 Eye and Face Protection

12.7.1 If eye or face protection is required, prescription safety lenses that meet the requirements of the appropriate standard shall be provided in situations in which:

  1. the nature of the work is such that the protective prescription lenses are installed in specialized protective frames such as goggles or other eye protection that is not normally worn off the job; or
  2. it is impractical to wear protection over glasses because of distortion.

12.7.2 Employees wearing contact lenses shall use the same approved eye protection equipment as required of other employees performing the same tasks.

12.7.3 Employees shall not wear contact lenses when they are routinely exposed to irritating fumes, intense heat, liquid splashes, molten metals or other similar environments and when the work requires regularly wearing a respirator.

12.7.4 If eye protection against UVR associated with sunlight is required, sunglasses shall be provided that meet the appropriate standard, and if required the standard shall address traffic light recognition.

12.8 Protective Footwear and Leg Protection

12.8.1 Leg and foot protection, including protective and purpose-designed footwear, shall meet the requirements of the appropriate standard.

12.8.2 In accordance with subsection 12.1.7, protective footwear shall be provided free of charge.

12.8.3 Should the department decide not to issue protective footwear directly, it may provide protective footwear that meets the appropriate standard by having employees purchase the protective footwear and receive reimbursement for the full cost of the purchase, on the presentation of a proof of purchase.

12.8.4 If the department wishes to have employees purchase protective footwear and to reimburse them, the department shall establish, in consultation with the appropriate health and safety committee, a price range appropriate to the type of protective footwear required.

12.9 Purpose-designed Footwear

12.9.1 Purpose-designed footwear shall be provided that:

  1. is designed and constructed to meet the unique requirements of an activity or a work environment; or
  2. possesses specialized protective features.

12.9.2 Workplace and environmental factors that would be expected to call for purpose-designed footwear, and the design features one would expect to find in that footwear, are the following:

  1. dangerous liquids: footwear either constructed of impermeable materials or specially treated to protect the wearer's feet from contact with dangerous or corrosive liquids or other dangerous substances or in cases when feet may be immersed in any such liquid;
  2. explosive electrical hazards: footwear made with non-sparking and/or non-conducting materials (except metal box toe) for use by workers subject to explosions or electrical hazards;
  3. physical hazards: footwear designed to protect against a harmful degree of physical stress resulting from requirements of an unusual nature as may be encountered in such activities as mountain climbing, logging, skiing, pole climbing, riding horses, operating chainsaws, etc.; and
  4. temperature extremes: thermo-insulated footwear for extreme cold.

12.10 Replacement

12.10.1 The frequency of replacement shall be governed by the nature of the work. Replacements may occur more often than once per year. The department shall pay for cost-effective repairs to safety footwear.

12.11 Skin Protection

12.11.1 If personal protective equipment and/or a protective product is required for skin protection, the following shall apply:

  1. the personal protective equipment and/or protective product (e.g., sunscreen or insect repellent) shall be adequate to protect the skin of the employee while the skin is exposed to any hazard; and
  2. if the personal protective equipment is not disposable, it shall be maintained in a clean and sanitary condition.

12.11.2 With respect to the hazards of UV radiation associated with sunlight, the following shall apply:

  1. exposure to UV radiation must be reduced as much as possible, and if that exposure cannot be avoided, employees’ skin must be protected;
  2. in consultation with workplace committees, departments shall carefully review the different situations in which employees are required to work outdoors and shall take all reasonable and practicable measures to reduce exposure to the harmful effects of the sun; and
  3. where such potential health risks are identified, an appropriate broad-spectrum hypoallergenic type of sunscreen with a minimum SPF (sun protection factor) of 30 to provide protection from UVA and UVB radiation shall be provided.

12.12 Respiratory Protection

12.12.1 When respiratory equipment is required, the appropriate standard shall be used.

12.13 Drowning Hazards

12.13.1 Any flotation device used in the workplace shall meet the requirements of the appropriate standard.

12.13.2 Appropriate emergency equipment that meets the requirements of the appropriate standard, including an inherently buoyant powered boat, shall be provided.

12.13.3 Suitable insulated protective clothing shall be provided to employees who are at risk of hypothermia should they fall into icy water.