Personal protective equipment, or PPE, as defined by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or OSHA, is “specialized clothing or equipment, worn by an employee for protection against infectious materials.”
OSHA issues regulations for workplace health and safety. These regulations require use of PPE in healthcare settings to protect healthcare personnel from exposure to bloodborne pathogens and Mycobacterium tuberculosis. However, under OSHA’s General Duty Clause PPE is required for any potential infectious disease exposure. Employers must provide their employees with appropriate PPE and ensure that PPE is disposed or, if reusable, that it is properly cleaned or laundered, repaired and stored after use.