This part of the directive enhances and/or supplements Part XII (Personal and Protective Equipment and Clothing) [] 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.


In this directive:

"fall protection system" (dispositif antichute) means materials, equipment, methods and devices to protect employees from injuries due to falling;

"personal protective equipment" (équipement de protection individuelle) means safety materials, equipment, systems, devices and clothing whose purpose is to protect from injury or illness.


12.1 General Responsibilities of Departments

12.1.2 Personal protective equipment shall not add to the total heat burden to the extent practicable. Where 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 those employees required:

  1. to use or wear personal protective equipment in the proper and safe operation, use and care of 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.


  1. Protective clothing, equipment, devices and tools used by employees working on electrical equipment shall be inspected by the user prior to its use to ensure that it is safe for its intended use.
  2. Tests of rubber insulating gloves and mitts shall follow a procedure that complies with the appropriate standard.

12.2 General Responsibilities of Employees

12.2.1 Employees shall not commence a work assignment or enter a work area where any kind of personal protective equipment must be worn or used, unless they:

  1. have been instructed and trained in the proper and safe operation and use of that personal protective equipment in accordance with the COHSR; and
  2. have inspected that equipment to ensure it will protect against the hazard.

12.3 Protective Clothing

12.3.1 Protective clothing shall be provided to employees when there is a protection requirement for:

  1. occupational safety;
  2. occupational health; or
  3. occupational cleanliness.

12.3.2 Paragraph 12.3.1 includes special considerations such as:

  • protecting the employee from the risk of disease;
  • preventing the spread of contamination or diseases;
  • preventing significant or permanent damage to the employee's skin, hair or personal clothing; and
  • preventing significant soiling of the employee's personal clothing, e.g., by providing coveralls to mechanics, lab coats for laboratory use.

12.3.3 Protective clothing shall be:

  • provided free of charge to employees;
  • replaced free of charge when no longer serviceable;
  • normally worn over the employee's personal clothing; and
  • suitable for the gender of the user.

12.3.4 Protective clothing is maintained and laundered by the employer. In exceptional cases, however, where this protective clothing is provided on an individual basis and the employer permits the employee to wear it away from the workplace at the employee's request, the wearer is responsible for maintenance and laundering.

12.4 Insulated Clothing

12.4.1 Insulation clothing shall be provided for work in hazardous weather conditions:

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

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

12.5 Quantities

12.5.1 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.

12.6 Pool Clothing

12.6.1 Pool 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.

12.6.2 Quantities of pool clothing shall be adequate to provide a range of sizes and also to permit rotational cleaning.

12.6.3 Cleaning and upkeep shall be scheduled on a regular basis.

Personal Protective Equipment

12.7 Head Protection

12.7.1 Where required, departments shall provide industrial protective headwear that meets the requirements of the appropriate standard.

12.7.2 Where an employee is required to wear a form of head protection other than industrial protective headwear, such headwear shall adequately protect the employee from the potential hazard.

12.8 Eye and Face Protection

12.8.1 Where eye or face protection is required, prescription safety lenses that meet the requirements of the appropriate standard shall be provided in situations where:

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

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

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

12.8.4 Where eye protection against ultraviolet radiation (UVR) associated with sunlight is required, sunglasses shall be provided that meet the appropriate standard, and, where required, the standard shall address traffic light recognition.

12.9 Foot and Leg Protection

12.9.1 Specific types of protective footwear may be required for employees for the following purposes:

  1. occupational safety;
  2. occupational health; or
  3. occupational cleanliness.

12.9.2 Where protective footwear or purpose-designed footwear is required, it shall meet the requirements of the appropriate standard.

12.10 Protective Footwear

12.10.1 Protective footwear shall be provided free of charge.

12.11 Purchasing Protective Footwear

12.11.1 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 costs of the purchase, upon presentation of proof of purchase.

12.11.2 If the department wishes to have employees purchase protective footwear and be reimbursed, the department shall establish, in consultation with either the workplace committee, health and safety representatives or the policy committee (as defined in the Code), a price range appropriate to the type of protective footwear required.

12.12 Purpose-Designed Footwear

12.12.1 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.

12.12.2 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:

  • 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 where feet may be immersed in any such liquid;
  • explosive-electrical hazards: footwear made with non-sparking and/or non-conducting materials (except metal box toe) for use by workers subject to explosion or electrical hazards;
  • 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.;
  • temperature extremes: thermo-insulated footwear for extreme cold.

12.12.3 Leg protection or foot protection, other than protective or purpose-designed footwear, shall comply with the appropriate standard.

12.13 Replacement

12.13.1 The frequency of replacement will be governed by the nature of the work, and may occur more often than once a year. Where it is cost effective to have safety footwear repaired, the department shall pay for the repairs.

12.14 Skin Protection

12.14.1 Where personal protective equipment and/or a protective product is required for skin protection:

  1. such 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 such personal protective equipment is not disposable, it shall be maintained in a clean and sanitary condition.

12.14.2 With respect to the hazards of ultraviolet radiation (UVR) associated with sunlight:

  1. exposure to UVR must be reduced as much as possible, and where such exposure cannot be avoided employees' skin must be protected;
  2. in consultation with workplace committees, departments shall carefully review the various situations where employees are required to work outdoors and take all reasonable, practicable measures to reduce exposure to the harmful effects of the sun;
  3. where such potential health risks are identified, an appropriate broad-spectrum sunscreen with a minimum SPF (Sun Protection Factor) of 15 to provide protection from UVA and UVB radiation shall be provided.

12.15 Respiratory Protection

12.15.1 Where respiratory equipment is required, use the appropriate standard.

12.16 Drowning Hazards

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

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


Employment Hazards

The following is only a representative listing of occupational health and safety hazards where an employee may require the protection provided by personal protective equipment and should not be considered as an exclusive list.

Safety hazard sources

  • animals, birds, reptiles
  • heavy boxes, crates, packages
  • tanks, bins, excavations
  • confined spaces
  • buildings and structures
  • dangerous substances
  • mechanical transmission equipment
  • electrical apparatus
  • fire
  • glass
  • hand and power tools
  • high pressure cleaning
  • hoisting apparatus
  • machines
  • metal processing
  • minerals and mineral processing
  • paper and pulp processing
  • plants, trees, vegetation
  • plastics processing
  • scrap, debris, waste materials
  • steam
  • textile processing
  • wood processing

Health hazard sources


  • acids
  • caustics
  • liquids
  • gases
  • dusts
  • fumes
  • mists
  • vapours


  • ionizing and non-ionizing radiation
  • noise
  • vibration
  • sanitation
  • ventilation
  • natural and industrial extremes of temperatures and pressure


  • insects
  • mites
  • moulds
  • yeasts
  • fungi
  • viruses
  • bacteria