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Policy Statement for PPE

The following Policy Statement for personal protective equipment (PPE) was developed by a Division of Public Health PPE expert panel in 2008.

  1. The ability to properly select, use and maintain necessary personal protective equipment is a core competency of public health professionals as defined by the Council on Linkages Between Academia and Public Health Practice.

  2. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services (DSPS) regulate PPE use in the workplace, including public health agencies, per OSHA General PPE Requirements Standard 29 CFR 1910 Subpart I and Wisconsin Administrative Code Chapter SPS 332.

  3. Local health departments are responsible for following the standards for PPE set forth the by OSHA General PPE Standard 29CFR1910 Subpart I and Wisconsin Administrative Code Chapter SPS 332.

  4. Avoidance of a hazard should always be the first course of action. When this is not feasible, attempts should be made to engineer a solution to prevent personal exposure or to otherwise isolate the hazard.

  5. When engineering and workplace hazards are not effective, use PPE. PPE should be used as a last resort to protect against a hazard. PPE devices alone should not be relied on to provide protection against hazards, but should be used in conjunction with engineering controls and sound work practices.

  6. Health care workers and other volunteers assigned to assist in a public health emergency will be treated and provided the same protections as employees, under OSHA law.

  7. The resources in this website support the following National Public Health Standards Essential Services

  • Essential Service #2: Diagnose and Investigate Health Problems and Health Hazards in the Community
  • Essential Service #8: Assure a Competent Public and Personal Health Care Workforce

If you have any questions, email the DHS Healthcare-associated Infections (HAI) Prevention Program

Last revised September 9, 2019