This information is provided free of charge by the Department of Industrial Relations from its web site at www.dir.ca.gov. These regulations are for the convenience of the user and no representation or warranty is made that the information is current or accurate. See full disclaimer at http://www.dir.ca.gov/od_pub/disclaimer.html.


Subchapter 7. General Industry Safety Orders
Group 16. Control of Hazardous Substances
Article 109. Hazardous Substances and Processes

Return to index
New query

§5192. Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response, Appendix B

Appendices to 5192

Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response

NOTE: The following appendices serve as non-mandatory guidelines to assist employees and employers in complying with the appropriate requirements of this section. However, subsection 5192(g) makes mandatory in certain circumstances the use of Level A and Level B PPE protection.

General Description and Discussion of the Levels of Protection and Protective Gear

(Non-Mandatory)

This appendix sets forth information about personal protective equipment (PPE) protection levels which may be used to assist employers in complying with the PPE requirements of this section.

As required by the standard, PPE must be selected which will protect employees from the specific hazards which they are likely to encounter during their work on-site.

Selection of the appropriate PPE is a complex process which must take into consideration a variety of factors. Key factors involved in this process are identification of the hazards, or suspected hazards; their routes of potential hazard to employees (inhalation, skin absorption, ingestion, and eye or skin contact); and the performance of the PPE materials (and seams) in providing a barrier to these hazards. The amount of protection provided by PPE is material-hazard specific. That is, protective equipment materials will protect well against some hazardous substances and poorly, or not at all, against others. In many instances, protective equipment materials cannot be found which will provide continuous protection from the particular hazardous substance. In these cases the breakthrough time of the protective material should exceed the work durations.

Other factors in this selection process to be considered are matching the PPE to the employee's work requirements and task-specific conditions. The durability of PPE materials, such as tear strength and seam strength, should be considered in relation to the employee's tasks. The effects of PPE in relation to heat stress and task duration are a factor in selecting and using PPE. In some cases layers of PPE may be necessary to provide sufficient protection, or to protect expensive PPE inner garments, suits or equipment.

The more that is known about the hazards at the site, the easier the job of PPE selection becomes. As more information about the hazards and conditions at the site becomes available, the site supervisor can make decisions to upgrade or downgrade the level of PPE protection to match the tasks at hand.

The following are guidelines which an employer can use to begin the selection of the appropriate PPE. As noted above, the site information may suggest the use of combinations of PPE selected from the different protection levels (i.e., A, B, C, or D) as being more suitable to the hazards of the work. It should be cautioned that the listing below does not fully address the performance of the specific PPE material in relation to the specific hazards at the job site, and that PPE selection, evaluation, and re-selection is an ongoing process until sufficient information about the hazards and PPE performance is obtained.

Part A. Personal protection equipment is divided into four categories based on the degree of protection afforded. (See Part B of this appendix for further explanation of Levels A, B, C, and D hazards):

I. Level A -- To be selected when the greatest level of skin, respiratory, and eye protection is required.

The following constitute Level A equipment; it may be used as appropriate.

1. Positive-pressure, full face-piece, self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA), or positive pressure supplied-air respirator with escape SCBA, approved by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).

2. Totally-encapsulating chemical-protective suit.

3. Coveralls.*

4. Long underwear.*

5. Gloves, outer, chemical-resistant.

6. Gloves, inner, chemical-resistant.

7. Boots, chemical-resistant, steel toe and shank.

8. Hard hat (under suit).*

9. Disposable protective suit, gloves and boots (depending on suit construction, may be worn over totally-encapsulating suit.)

II. Level B--The highest level of respiratory protection is necessary but a lesser level of skin protection is needed.

The following constitute Level B equipment; it may be used as appropriate.

1. Positive-pressure, fullface-piece, self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA), or positive-pressure supplied-air respirator with escape SCBA (NIOSH approved).

2. Hooded chemical-resistant clothing (overalls and long-sleeved jacket; coveralls; one or two-piece chemical-splash suit; disposable chemical-resistant overalls).

3. Coveralls.*

4. Gloves, outer, chemical-resistant.

5. Gloves, inner, chemical-resistant.

6. Boots, outer, chemical-resistant steel toe and shank.

7. Boot-covers, outer, chemical-resistant (disposable).*

8. Hard hat.*

9. Face shield.*

III. Level C--The concentration(s) and type(s) of airborne substance(s) is known and the criteria for using air purifying respirators are met.

The following constitute Level C equipment; it may be used as appropriate.

1. Full-face or half-mask, air-purifying respirators (NIOSH approved).

2. Hooded chemical-resistant clothing (overalls; two-piece chemical-splash suit; disposable chemical-resistant overalls).

3. Coveralls.*

4. Gloves, outer, chemical-resistant.

5. Gloves, inner, chemical-resistant.

6. Boots (outer), chemical-resistant steel toe and shank.*

7. Boot-covers, outer, chemical-resistant (disposable).*

8. Hard hat.*

9. Escape mask.*

10. Face shield.*

IV. Level D--A work uniform affording minimal protection; used for nuisance contamination only.

The following constitute Level D equipment; it may be used as appropriate.

1. Coveralls.

2. Gloves.*

3. Boots/shoes, chemical-resistant steel toe and shank.

4. Boots, outer, chemical-resistant (disposable).*

5. Safety glasses or chemical splash goggles.*

6. Hard hat.*

7. Escape mask.*

8. Face shield.*

* Optional, as applicable.

Part B. The types of hazards for which levels A, B, C, and D protection are appropriate are described below:

I. Level A--Level A protection should be used when:

1. The hazardous substance has been identified and requires the highest level of protection for skin, eyes, and the respiratory system based on either the measured (or potential for) high concentration of atmospheric vapors, gases, or particulates; or the site operations and work functions involve a high potential for splash, immersion, or exposure to unexpected vapors, gases, or particulates of materials that are harmful to skin or capable of being absorbed through the skin.

2. Substances with a high degree of hazard to the skin are known or suspected to be present, and skin contact is possible; or

3. Operations are being conducted in confined, poorly ventilated areas, and the absence of conditions requiring Level A have not yet been determined.

II. Level B--Level B protection should be used when:

1. The type and atmospheric concentration of substances have been identified and require a high level of respiratory protection, but less skin protection; and/or

2. The atmosphere contains less than 19.5 percent oxygen; or

3. The presence of incompletely identified vapors or gases is indicated by a direct-reading organic vapor detection instrument, but vapors and gases are not suspected of containing high levels of chemicals harmful to skin or capable of being absorbed through the skin.

NOTE: This involves atmospheres with IDLH concentrations of specific substances that present severe inhalation hazards and that do not represent a severe skin hazard; or that do not meet the criteria for use of air-purifying respirators.

III. Level C--Level C protection should be used when:

1. The atmospheric contaminants, liquid splashes, or other direct contact will not adversely affect or be absorbed through any exposed skin;

2. The types of air contaminants have been identified, concentrations measured, and an air-purifying respirator is available that can remove the contaminants; and

3. All criteria for the use of air-purifying respirators are met.

IV. Level D--Level D protection should be used when:

1. The atmosphere contains no known hazard; and

2. Work functions preclude splashes, immersion, or the potential for unexpected inhalation of or contact with hazardous levels of any chemicals.

NOTE: As stated before, combinations of personal protective equipment other than those described for Levels A, B, C, and D protection may be more appropriate and may be used to provide the proper level of protection.

As an aid in selecting suitable chemical protective clothing, it should be noted that the National Fire Protection Association has developed standards on chemical protective clothing, including:

NFPA 1991--Standard on Vapor-Protective Suits for Hazardous Chemical Emergencies (EPA Level A Protective Clothing)

NFPA 1992--Standard on Liquid Splash-Protective Suits for Hazardous Chemical Emergencies (EPA Level B Protective Clothing)

NFPA 1993--Standard on Support Function Protective Garments for Hazardous Chemical Operations (EPA Level B Protective Clothing)

These standards apply documentation and performance requirements to the manufacture of chemical protective suits. Chemical protective suits meeting these requirements are labelled as compliant with the appropriate standard. As these standards, have been adopted by the National Fire Protection Association, it is recommended that chemical protective suits which meet these standards be used.

Go BackGo Back to Article 109 Table of Contents