Work Place Safety
Is the purchase of work boots or other protective clothing considered an allowable UC expense if the job requires it?
In some cases, work boots are required for protection from injury and should be provided by the employer (University). In the case that brought up the question, a Farm Advisor and his research assistants spend time walking in, and along irrigation ditches, and carrying heavy equipment. Due to the hazard of wet conditions and danger of dropping items on the foot, EH&S agreed that foot protection is required and should be paid for by the University. Be Smart About Safety funding cannot be used for this type of purchase because according to Be Smart guidance, funds “are not intended for replacement of general operating supplies or personal protective & safety equipment which is required by law.”
It is always best to refer specific questions like this to EH&S for review. We will consider the request and the work requirements and make a determination of whether the equipment is required and the purchase should be approved. In some cases the Business Operations Center will forward this type of request to EH&S for review and determination if the expense is a safety requirement.
For future reference, here is some relevant Code and Policy: General Industry Safety Orders
Title 8, Section 3381 - Head Protection – requires head protection when there is a risk of injury from falling or flying objects. Employer shall ensure that approved helmets are selected and used.
Title 8 Section - 3382 Eye and Face Protection – requires employees working in locations where there is a risk of receiving eye injuries such as punctures, abrasions, contusions, or burns… shall be safeguarded by means of face or eye protection. The employer shall provide and ensure that employees use protection suitable for the exposure.
Title 8, Sections 3383, 3384, and 3385 require protection of the body, hands, and feet, when the work duties expose employees to potential injury. This section does not require that the employer provide the protection, just that it be used.
Title 3, Pesticides and Pest Control Operations, Section 6738 – Personal Protective Equipment – The employer shall provide all required personal protective equipment.
UCD Policy & Procedure Manual 290-50 states “It is the policy of the University to provide employees with certain protective work clothing and personal protective equipment. Employees may be required to provide their own cold weather clothing.” It defines personal protective equipment and protective work clothing as follows:
A. Personal protective equipment-- equipment or devices worn or used by employees, students, or visitors to control exposure to hazardous substances to prevent occupational illnesses, accidental injuries, or serious harm to employees working in hazardous or potentially hazardous environments. Personal protective equipment specifically designed to protect the individual includes, but is not limited to, respiratory protection equipment, safety head covers, safety hats, helmets, hard hats, hearing protectors, gloves, face shields, goggles, safety glasses, safety shoes, specialized body protection equipment, ergonomic equipment, and specialized law enforcement and firefighting equipment.
B. Protective work clothing--attire worn over or in place of regular clothing to protect the employee's clothing from damage, exposure, or abnormal soiling or to maintain essential sanitary conditions in areas such as hospital food services, surgical rooms, animal quarantine areas, laboratory animal colonies, and "clean rooms." Protective work clothing includes surgical gowns, scrub suits, laboratory coats or smocks, coveralls, aprons, and hair nets. Certain personal protective equipment can also be considered as specialized work clothes used to protect the body from exposure or potential exposure to a hazardous environment.
October 18, 2010