What is PPE?

Personal protective equipment, or PPE, protects workers from serious workplace injuries or illnesses resulting from physical, electrical, mechanical, chemical, or other workplace hazards. Examples of PPE include hard hats, face shields, goggles, gloves, vests, respirators, safety shoes, and coveralls.

PPE is required for many transportation maintenance activities. Both employers and employees have responsibilities for maintaining a safe work environment.


Person wearing personal protective equipment with links to relevant safety standards OSHA Head protection standard OSHA hearing protection standard OSHA chainsaw chaps pants standard OSHA foot protection standard OSHA eye and face protection standards High visibility vest and pants standards in Minnesota flagging handbook OSHA Hand Protection standard OSHA harness lanyard standard

Employers: What you must do

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires that employers protect their employees from workplace hazards that can cause injury. The Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry (MDLI) administers and enforces workplace safety and health rules in the state. Employers must ensure that employees have PPE equipment in accordance with federal OSHA and Minnesota state standards.

PPE is last line of defense

Employees: What you should do

Use PPE for the hazards of your job and set an example for your agency:

  • Always use PPE when required.
  • Attend PPE training.
  • Tell your supervisor about worn or damaged PPE.
  • Encourage others to use PPE.

See this matrix of PPE for maintenance activities

Screenshot of table showing PPE activities

Resources for Minnesota Local Transportation Agencies

A project sponsored by the Minnesota Local Road Research Board created the following set of materials for Minnesota local transportation agencies:

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Poster: Why use PPE? An 11x17 poster designed to raise awareness of what can happen if employees don't use PPE — and encourage them to use it.


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Poster for workers: What is PPE? An 11x17 poster illustrating a worker wearing PPE, annotated with possible hazards.


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Poster: Which PPE for Transportation Maintenance Activities? An 11x17 poster with a matrix of PPE recommended or required for local transportation agency maintenance activities.


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Fact sheet: Employers: What You Need to Know. An 8.5x11 fact sheet for managers and supervisors highlighting PPE requirements and introducing the hazard assessment process.


Additional resources