Personal Protective Equipment


To establish basic policy on department and individual responsibilities for the use of personal protective equipment in situations where there is no other means to control safety hazards.


This policy applies to all University units of operation.


This policy is granted authority by State of Illinois safety laws, and is implemented under the authority of the Office of the Executive Director of Facilities & Services.


Departments must subsidize the purchase of safety shoes, protective eyewear, respirators, and other personal protective equipment when necessary to protect workers.


Information regarding the various standards below can be found in the OSHA booklet on Personal Protective Equipment.


Safety Shoes

The University recognizes the need to protect the feet of persons whose work exposes them to more than ordinary hazards of foot injury, such as falling or sharp objects, molten metal, and other hazards. Purchase of safety work shoes meeting ANSI Standard Z41.1 will be aided by a subsidy paid for by the employer. The University will, at the request of authorized supervisors and department heads, reimburse any employee or faculty member no less than 30 percent of the cost of such shoes. This subsidy must be budgeted in departmental funds and there will be no general fund set up for financing. To meet the demands of normal wear or damage from on-the-job accidents, the subsidy must be made available as often as necessary.

Eye Protection

All employees, students, and visitors exposed to eye hazards in their assigned duties, classes, or areas of work or visit must wear appropriate eye protection. Eye hazards include flying objects or particles, dirt, dust, wind, molten metal, gases, fumes, smoke, liquids, reflected light or glare, and radiant energy, among others. The special protection required for these hazards is outlined in the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Standard 87.1, Practice for Occupational and Educational Eye and Face Protection, and the U. S. Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health (OSHA) Standard 29 CFR 1910.133 Eye and Face Protection.

The University recognizes the need for eye protection for certain types of areas of work. The use of approved eye protection is a condition of employment. Departments must designate work situations, classes, or areas under their jurisdiction that require eye protection. Eye protection will be made available in the form of: (1) safety glasses (Plano), (2) prescription safety glasses, or (3) special devices such as goggles or face shields appropriate to the specific situation. Employees performing only occasional work or authorized visitors, either of whom requires eye protection, must be provided adequate protection during the duration of the work or visits.

Departments may designate acceptable or preferred vendor(s). All eye protection purchased by the University remains the property of the University. The cost of repair or replacement of an employee’s damaged eye protection equipment must be paid by the University, providing the employee has exercised reasonable care as determined by the department.

Employees having only one eye, or good vision in only one eye, should wear safety glasses to protect their remaining sight, regardless of assigned duties.

Departments will determine exact procedures for providing students and visitors with required eye protection.

Respiratory Protection

Respirators (face masks) are required in certain situations where high levels of airborne contaminants cannot be controlled by ventilation or other means. If it is deemed that respirators are required, persons using them must be medically qualified (respirator physical), trained, and fit-tested with the type of respirator to be worn. The Division of Safety & Compliance may be contacted to assist with evaluating air quality, selecting respirators if needed, and conducting training and fit-testing.


Please consult the Division of Safety and Compliance, (217) 265-9828.