PPE Rules


The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) maintains the following with regard to General PPE and, specifically, Footwear in the Workplace:

1910.132 General Requirements

  • Hazard assessment and equipment selection.
    • The employer shall assess the workplace to determine if hazards are present, or are likely to be present, which necessitate the use of personal protective equipment (PPE). If such hazards are present, or likely to be present, the employer shall:
      • Select, and have each affected employee use, the types of PPE that will protect the affected employee from the hazards identified in the hazard assessment;
      • Communicate selection decisions to each affected employee; and,
      • Select PPE that properly fits each affected employee. Note: Non-mandatory Appendix B contains an example of procedures that would comply with the requirement for a hazard assessment.
    • The employer shall verify that the required workplace hazard assessment has been performed through a written certification that identifies the workplace evaluated; the person certifying that the evaluation has been performed; the date(s) of the hazard assessment; and, which identifies the document as a certification of hazard assessment.
  • Defective and damaged equipment. Defective or damaged personal protective equipment shall not be used.
  • Training.
    • The employer shall provide training to each employee who is required by this section to use PPE. Each such employee shall be trained to know at least the following:
      • When PPE is necessary;
      • What PPE is necessary;
      • How to properly don, doff, adjust, and wear PPE;
      • The limitations of the PPE; and,
      • The proper care, maintenance, useful life and disposal of the PPE.
    • Each affected employee shall demonstrate an understanding of the training specified in paragraph (f)(1) of this section, and the ability to use PPE properly, before being allowed to perform work requiring the use of PPE.
    • When the employer has reason to believe that any affected employee who has already been trained does not have the understanding and skill required by paragraph (f)(2) of this section, the employer shall retrain each such employee. Circumstances where retraining is required include, but are not limited to, situations where:
      • Changes in the workplace render previous training obsolete; or
      • Changes in the types of PPE to be used render previous training obsolete; or
      • Inadequacies in an affected employee's knowledge or use of assigned PPE indicate that the employee has not retained the requisite understanding or skill.
    • The employer shall verify that each affected employee has received and understood the required training through a written certification that contains the name of each employee trained, the date(s) of training, and that identifies the subject of the certification.
1910.136 Foot Protection

  • General requirements. The employer shall ensure that each affected employee uses protective footwear when working in areas where there is a danger of foot injuries due to falling or rolling objects, or objects piercing the sole, and where such employee's feet are exposed to electrical hazards.
  • Criteria for protective footwear.
    • Protective footwear purchased after July 5, 1994 shall comply with ANSI Z41 PT1991, (now ASTM), which is incorporated by reference as specified in Sec. 1910.6, or shall be demonstrated by the employer to be equally effective.
    • Protective footwear purchased before July 5, 1994 shall comply with the ANSI standard Z41.1-1967, (now ASTM), which is incorporated by reference as specified in Sec. 1910.6, or shall be demonstrated by the employer to be equally effective.


Footwear labeled ST contain safety toes designed to meet or exceed the ASTM F2413-11 Class 75 Standard for Safety Toe footwear. (5.1 & 5.2)
Shoes labeled EH meet or exceed the ASTM F2413-11 standard for Electrical Hazard footwear. They are designed to help insulate the wearer from electrically energized parts or equipment. The soles of these shoes are non-conductive and will provide secondary protection again open circuits of 600 volts or less under dry conditions.
Shoes labeled WP are waterproof, as defined by the manufacturer. Depending on the footwear’s construction, certain styles may be more appropriate for varying conditions. Please consult an IPP salesperson for more information.
Shoes labeled SR are designed and/or have shown to be Slip Resistant. Please note that ‘Slip Resistant’ does not mean ‘Slip Proof’. Slip Resistance can vary depending on a number of factors, including the surface, the contaminant, and the wearer.
Shoes labeled SD meet or exceed the ASTM F2413-11 standard for Static Dissipative Type 1 footwear. They are designed to minimize the buildup of static electricity in the wearer while maintaining a high enough resistance to help protect against live electrical circuits (1-100 MΩ resistance). SD shoes should not be worn where EH or Conductive footwear is required.
Shoes labeled NM contain non-metallic safety toes. While meeting ASTM F2413-11 Class 75 requirements, these caps will not conduct heat or cold and will not set off metal detectors.
Shoes labeled INS are insulated, as defined by the manufacturer. Levels and types of insulation and lining vary by style.
Shoes labeled PR are designed to reduce the impact of sharp objects which are damaging to the foot. Puncture wounds can be hazardous to the midsole of the foot and the appropriate footwear is necessary on job sites where sharp objects can pierce the sole. Please note that “Puncture Resistant” does not mean “Puncture Proof”. These shoes meet ASTM F2413-11 Class 75 requirements.
Shoes labeled MT meet or exceed the ASTM F2413-11 standard for Metatarsal Guard footwear. They are designed to help protect the wearer from injuries to the upper foot (metatarsal bones).
Shoes with this label are made or assembled in the USA.
Shoes labeled BT have wider shaped toe caps to accomodate for wider feet.