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Turnout Gear at Vehicle Accidents

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Reviewed Date: May 12, 2017

Original Author: 
Wolf, Dennis
Date of Material: 
Oct 30, 2003

Emergency medical services

Turnout Gear at Vehicle Accidents

Questions regarding OSHA compliance on personal protective equipment for firefighters and ambulance service employees.

Ron Rich, Supervisor
Public Sector Compliance
TN Dept. of Labor
TN Occupational Safety and Health Administration

Are firefighters and ambulance service employees required to wear personal protective clothing when performing vehicle extrications operations at the scene of a vehicle accident?
If yes, please let me know where in the TOSHA regulations this is covered.

Ray Crouch, Sr.
Fire Department Management Consultant
University of Tennessee IPS / MTAS

1910.132 General Requirements - All employers are suppose to assess the hazards present, or likely to be present then train and provide employees with personal protective equipment.

Also, 1910.1030(d)(2) and 1910.1030(d)(3) pertain to employees with potential exposure to blood.

Engineering and Work Practice Controls.


Engineering and work practice controls shall be used to eliminate or minimize employee exposure. Where occupational exposure remains after institution of these controls, personal protective equipment shall also be used.


Personal Protective Equipment --


Provision. When there is occupational exposure, the employer shall provide, at no cost to the employee, appropriate personal protective equipment such as, but not limited to, gloves, gowns, laboratory coats, face shields or masks and eye protection, and mouthpieces, resuscitation bags, pocket masks, or other ventilation devices. Personal protective equipment will be considered "appropriate" only if it does not permit blood or other potentially infectious materials to pass through to or reach the employee's work clothes, street clothes, undergarments, skin, eyes, mouth, or other mucous membranes under normal conditions of use and for the duration of time which the protective equipment will be used.


Use. The employer shall ensure that the employee uses appropriate personal protective equipment unless the employer shows that the employee temporarily and briefly declined to use personal protective equipment when, under rare and extraordinary circumstances, it was the employee's professional judgment that in the specific instance its use would have prevented the delivery of health care or public safety services or would have posed an increased hazard to the safety of the worker or co-worker. When the employee makes this judgement, the circumstances shall be investigated and documented in order to determine whether changes can be instituted to prevent such occurrences in the future.


Accessibility. The employer shall ensure that appropriate personal protective equipment in the appropriate sizes is readily accessible at the worksite or is issued to employees. Hypoallergenic gloves, glove liners, powder less gloves, or other similar alternatives shall be readily accessible to those employees who are allergic to the gloves normally provided.

Reference Document(s): 


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Information written by MTAS staff was based on the law at the time and/or a specific sets of facts. The laws referenced may have changed and/or the technical advice provided may not be applicable to your city or circumstances. Always consult with your city attorney or an MTAS consultant before taking any action based on information posted to this website.