News
Date:June 16, 2010
Contact:Public Relations @ (225) 342-3035

LWC Reminds Employers of Responsibility to Provide Protective Gear at No Cost to Workers

BATON ROUGE – The Louisiana Workforce Commission reminds employers that they are responsible for providing personal protective equipment (PPE) at no cost to workers in compliance with Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations.

To report a suspected unsafe work environment or suspected violation of safety and/or health rules and/or regulations, contact the Baton Rouge Area OSHA Office of Enforcement, 225-298-5458, or national OSHA office, 1-800-321-6742. Suspected violations can be reported anonymously.

Federal law states that PPE used to meet OSHA compliance “shall be provided by the employer at no cost to employees.” Exceptions to this regulation include non-specialty safety-toe protective footwear and non-specialty prescription safety eyewear that the employer allows to be worn off the job site; everyday clothing, such as long-sleeve shirts, long pants, street shoes, and normal work boots; or “ordinary clothing, skin creams, or other items, used solely for protection from weather, such as winter coats, jackets, gloves, parkas, rubber boots, hats, raincoats, ordinary sunglasses, and sunscreen.”

OSHA’s jurisdiction in regard to the oil spill clean-up covers shoreline and land efforts and up to three nautical miles in the Gulf of Mexico. The U.S. Coast Guard has jurisdiction for any work done in the Gulf beyond the three-mile mark.

The location and type of clean-up work being done determines the PPE required. As an example, PPE will be different for those working along the shoreline, in the marshes and at the actual spill area. Likewise, different equipment is required for those involved in the decontamination process.

Workforce Commission services are offered at no cost to employers and participating job seekers.

BP has established a toll-free hotline has been established by BP to discuss spill-related damage claims, including loss of income: 1-800-440-0858.

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For more information related to the oil spill, visit www.emergency.louisiana.gov. Connect with us on www.facebook.com/GOHSEP and on Twitter @GOHSEP. View photos from the state's response efforts at www.flickr.com/photos/lagohsep

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