Standard Interpretations - Table of Contents
• Standard Number: 1910.132; 1910.132(h)(2)


March 19, 2009

Mr. William J. Banaszak
QSM, Inc.
3134 N. 74th Street
Milwaukee, WI 53216

Dear Mr. Banaszak:

Thank you for your November 23, 2007, letter to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA) Directorate of Enforcement Programs (DEP). Your letter has been referred to DEP's Office of General Industry Enforcement (GIE) for an answer to your questions regarding OSHA's Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) standard, 29 CFR 1910.132. This constitutes OSHA's interpretation only of the requirements discussed and may not be applicable to any question not delineated within your original correspondence.

Your scenario and questions are restated below for clarity.

Scenario: An employer requires ordinary safety-toe footwear throughout their facilities and pays for the first $100 of the footwear cost. As part of a recent company-wide static electricity control program, employees working with flammable liquids and products are now required to have static dissipative safety-toe footwear.

Question 1: Would the static dissipative safety-toe footwear be considered specialty footwear? Is the employer required to provide the static dissipative safety-toe footwear at no cost to its employees?

Reply: Static dissipative safety-toe footwear that meets the specifications and test methods for static dissipative (SD) footwear in ANSI 241-1991, "American National Standard for Personal Protection – Protective Footwear," would be considered specialty footwear. This footwear provides additional protection to the employee beyond that of an ordinary safety-toe shoe and is designed for special use on the job. Therefore, the employer would be required to provide this footwear at no cost to employees.

The PPE standard provides that "[t]he employer is not required to pay for non-specialty safety-toe protective footwear (including steel