Emergency Response

Chapter 296-824, WAC

Effective Date: 10/01/02

Helpful Tools

Personal Protective Equipment

WAC 296-824-600 

For printing


Your responsibility:

To provide appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) and make sure it's used properly

You must

Personal Protective Equipment

Control hazards created by PPE

WAC 296-824-60010

Use PPE properly

WAC 296-824-60015



WAC 296-824-60005 

Use appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE).



  • Only properly trained employees should select PPE. Hazardous materials technicians and hazardous materials specialists can select PPE within the competencies specified in Table 4.
  • Selection requirements in other PPE rules also apply, including:


You must

  • Provide appropriate PPE at no cost to the employees and make sure it is used if hazards could be present.
    • - Select PPE (such as respirators, gloves, protective suits and other PPE) based on:
      • An evaluation of the performance characteristics (such as breakthrough time and hazardous substance-specificity of the material or item) relevant to the requirements and limitations of the site.
      • Task-specific conditions and durations.
      • The hazards and potential hazards of the site (see Table 9, Selecting PPE for Specific Hazards).
    • - Select totally encapsulating chemical protective (TECP) suits, as specified in Table 9, that:
      • Maintain positive air pressure.
      • Prevent inward test gas leakage of more than 0.5%.


Follow the manufacturer's recommended procedure for testing a TECP suit's ability to maintain positive air pressure and prevent inward gas leakage. Other established test protocols for these suits, for example NFPA 1991 and ASTM F1052-97, may also be used.


Table 9
Selecting PPE for Specific Hazards



  • Inhalation hazards could be present
  • Positive-pressure (pressure-demand) self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA)
  • A decreased level of respiratory protection only when the incident commander determines, from air monitoring results, that employees will be adequately protected

Chemical exposure levels will create a substantial possibility of

  • Immediate death 
  • Immediate serious illness or injury
  • Reduced ability to escape

Either positive-pressure (pressure-demand):

  • SCBA
  • Air-line respirators equipped with an escape air supply

Skin absorption of a hazardous substance may result in a substantial possibility of:

  • Immediate death
  • Immediate serious illness or injury
  • Reduced ability to escape

Protection equivalent to Level A including a totally encapsulating chemical protective (TECP) suit

WAC 296-824-60010

Control hazards created by personal protective equipment (PPE)

You must

  • Control hazards created by the use of PPE, including:
    • - Heat stress due to extremely high temperatures.
    • - Any other employee health hazard and consideration.

WAC 296-824-60015

Use personal protective equipment (PPE) properly

You must

(1) Make sure employees inspect PPE before, during and after use, following your plan's  

(2) Make sure employees put on (don) and remove (doff) PPE following your plan's procedures.

(3) Make sure employees don't interchange self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) air cylinders from different manufacturers, unless all of the following apply:

  • There is a life-saving emergency.
  • You need a supplemental air supply.
  • The cylinders are of the same capacity and pressure rating.

(4) Make sure compressed air cylinders used with SCBAs meet the testing and service life requirements of the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT). Search at:http://www.dot.gov.



You can also check with the cylinder manufacturers to obtain USDOT test and service life specifications.

(5) Make sure PPE is maintained in a safe and reliable condition using your plan's procedures.

PPE maintenance includes:

  • Decontamination
  • Cleaning
  • Inspection
  • Identification of damage or defects
  • Parts repair or replacement
  • Storage or disposal

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