The purpose of the personal protective equipment (PPE) program is to protect researchers, employees, students, and visitors from potential hazards in the work environment. However, eliminating hazards through engineering or administrative controls provides better and more consistent protection than relying on PPE alone. If PPE is necessary, it is best used with engineering and/or administrative controls along with good work practices.

A key element of the program includes a thorough hazard assessment of activities, processes and work areas to determine the nature and degree of hazards, determination of the engineering and administrative controls that are in place and relevant regulations. When the hazard assessment indicates that PPE is required, departments must select and provide PPE that properly fits employees. 

The program applies to all University organizational units at all locations including campuse, university owned property; University leased space; and temporary field locations under the control of University operations staff. The program covers hazard protection for the eyes, face, head, hands, feet, whole body and drowning. PPE for respiratory, hearing, elevated work, electrical, and welding are covered by other programs, but shall be documented in the hazard assessment for PPE.