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Who pays for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)?

Last Updated: August 2019

Prepared by CCOHS

Listed below is the selected legislation dealing with whether the employer the employee pays for personal protective equipment (PPE) across federal and provincial jurisdictions. Some jurisdictions specify that employees must wear PPE but does not specify who is going to pay for the equipment. Some require the employer to provide it without cost. A third group of jurisdictions assert the employer must provide the PPE but does not state whether they are responsible for paying for it. Some jurisdictions have a mixture of requirements where the certain pieces of equipment must be paid for by the employer but not others.

Since legislation interpretation and enforcement varies by jurisdiction, contact your jurisdiction as listed in Canadian Governmental Occupational Health & Safety Departments (http://www.ccohs.ca/oshanswers/information/govt.html).

This list is prepared by CCOHS as part of the Canadian enviroOSH Legislation service . This service is a comprehensive and easy to search compilation of the full text of Canadian health, safety and environmental legislation and critical guidelines and codes of practice from all jurisdictions. All the legislation is compiled into one convenient location and is regularly updated with amendments highlighted.

Subscribers to this service and paid learners of the CCOHS e-courses have access to the full text of the legislation listed in this document. To become a subscriber please contact Client Services .

Canada

Canada Labour Code, (Part II - Occupational Safety and Health), R.S.C. 1985, c. L-2

Section 125 Specific duties of employer

125. (1) Without restricting the generality of section 124, every employer shall, in respect of every work place controlled by the employer and, in respect of every work activity carried out by an employee in a work place that is not controlled by the employer, to the extent that the employer controls the activity,

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(l) provide every person granted access to the work place by the employer with prescribed safety materials, equipment, devices and clothing;

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See also:

Canada Occupational Health and Safety Regulations, SOR/86-304

Part XII Protection Equipment and Other Preventive Measures

Sections 12.07- 12.08 Fall-protection Systems

Section 12.09 Fall protection

Section 12.1 Protective Headwear

Section 12.11 Protective Footwear

Section 12.12 Eye and Face Protection

Section 12.13 Respiratory Protection

Section 12.14 Skin Protection

Section 12.15 Protection Against Drowning

Section 12.17 Protection Against Moving Vehicles

Alberta

As made under the Occupational Health and Safety Act, S.A. 2017, c. O‑2.1,

Occupational Health and Safety Regulation, Alta. Reg, 62/2003

Occupational Health and Safety Code 2009

Part 18 Personal Protective Equipment

Section 228 Duty to use personal protective equipment

228. (1) If the hazard assessment indicates the need for personal protective equipment, an employer must ensure that

(a) workers wear personal protective equipment that is correct for the hazard and protects workers,

(b) workers properly use and wear the personal protective equipment,

(c) the personal protective equipment is in a condition to perform the function for which it was designed, and

(d) workers are trained in the correct use, care, limitations and assigned maintenance of the personal protective equipment.

(2) A worker must

(a) use and wear properly the appropriate personal protective equipment specified in this Code in accordance with the training and instruction received,

(b) inspect the personal protective equipment before using it, and

(c) not use personal protective equipment that is unable to perform the function for which it is designed.

(3) An employer must ensure that the use of personal protective equipment does not itself endanger the worker.

Section 244 Respiratory dangers

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244. (3) Based on a determination under subsection (1), the employer must

(a) subject to subsection 3(b), provide and ensure the availability of the appropriate respiratory protective equipment to the worker at the work site, and

(b) despite section 247, when the effects of airborne biohazardous materials are unknown, provide and ensure the availability of respiratory protective equipment appropriate to the worker's known exposure circumstances.

(3.1) Subsection (3) does not apply when an employer has developed and implemented procedures that effectively limit exposure to airborne biohazardous material.

(4) A worker must use the appropriate respiratory equipment provided by the employer under subsection (3).

See also:

Alberta Occupational Health and Safety Act : highlights of changes effective June 1, 2018

Deductions from earnings

British Columbia

As made under the Workers' Compensation Act, R.S.B.C. 1996, c. 492,

Occupational Health and Safety Regulation, B.C. Reg. 296/97

Part 8, Personal Protective Clothing and Equipment

Section 8.2 Responsibility to provide

8.2 (1) A worker is responsible for providing

(a) clothing needed for protection against the natural elements,

(b) general purpose work gloves and appropriate footwear including safety footwear, and

(c) safety headgear.

(2) An employer is responsible for providing, at no cost to the worker, all other items of personal protective equipment required by this Regulation.

(3) If the personal protective equipment provided by the employer causes allergenic or other adverse health effects, the employer must provide appropriate alternate equipment or safe measures.

(4) Nothing in this section precludes or alters an existing or future agreement between a worker or workers and an employer to the effect that the employer will be responsible for the provision either at no cost or some cost to the worker, of any or all of the items described in subsection (1).

Manitoba

Workplace Safety and Health Act, R.S.M. 1987, c. W210

Section 5 General duties of workers

5. Every worker while at work shall, in accordance with the objects and purposes of this Act,

(a) take reasonable care to protect his safety and health and the safety and health of other persons who may be affected by his acts or omissions at work;

(b) at all times, when the nature of his work requires, use all devices and wear all articles of clothing and personal protective equipment designated and provided for his protection by his employer, or required to be used and worn by him by the regulations;

[...]

Workplace Safety and Health Regulation, Man. Reg. 217/2006

Part 6 Personal Protective Equipment

Section 6.3 Employer obligations re protective equipment

6.3 If personal protective equipment is required to be worn or used in the workplace, an employer must

(a) provide a worker, at no cost, the equipment appropriate for the risks associated with the workplace and the work;

(b) ensure that the equipment is

(i) stored in a location that is clean, secure, and readily accessible by the worker,

(ii) immediately repaired or replaced if it is defective, and

(iii) immediately replaced with clean or decontaminated equipment if it is rendered ineffective because of contamination with a hazardous substance; and

(c) make, so far as is reasonably practicable, appropriate adjustments to the work procedures and rate of work to eliminate or reduce any risk to the safety or health of a worker that may arise from the worker's use of the equipment.

New Brunswick

Occupational Health and Safety Act, A.N.B. 1983, c. O-0.2

Section 9 Duties of employer

9. (1) Every employer shall

(a) take every reasonable precaution to ensure the health and safety of his employees;

(b) comply with this Act, the regulations and any order made in accordance with this Act or the regulations; and

(c) ensure that his employees comply with this Act, the regulations and any order made in accordance with this Act or the regulations.

(2) Without limiting the generality of the duties under subsection (1), every employer shall

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(d) provide and maintain in good condition such protective equipment as is required by regulation and ensure that such equipment is used by an employee in the course of work;

[...]

General Regulation - Occupational Health and Safety Act, N.B. Reg. 91-191

Part VII, Protective Equipment

Section 38, General

38. (1) Where protective equipment is required to be used by an employee under this Regulation, an employer shall provide the protective equipment required and shall ensure that the employee is instructed and trained in the proper use and care of the protective equipment.

(2) Where protective equipment is required to be used by an employee under this Regulation, an employee shall

(a) use the equipment that is required in accordance with the instruction and training received,

(b) test or visually inspect the equipment before each use as appropriate to the type of equipment to be used,

(c) report any defective equipment to the employer and not use the equipment, and

(d) care for the equipment properly while using it.

Note: There is no definition for "provide". It does not specify provide at no cost.

Newfoundland and Labrador

As made under theOccupational Health and Safety Act, R.S.N.L. 1990, c. O-3

Occupational Health and Safety Regulations, 2012, N.L.R. 5/12

Section 84 Respiratory protection

84. (1) When a worker is or may be exposed to an oxygen deficient atmosphere or harmful concentrations of air contaminants, atmospheric contamination shall be prevented to the extent practicable by accepted engineering controls and when engineering or other controls are not practicable, appropriate respiratory protection equipment shall be used in accordance with this section.

(2) Respiratory protection equipment shall be provided by an employer when the equipment is necessary to protect the health of a worker.

[...]

Section 85 Respiratory protection equipment

85. (1) An employer shall select and provide appropriate respiratory protection equipment based on the respiratory hazard to which a worker is exposed and workplace and user factors that affect the performance and reliability of the equipment.

[...]

Northwest Territories

As made under the Safety Act, R.S.N.W.T. 1988, c.S-1,

Occupational Health and Safety Regulations, R-039-2015

Part 7 Personal Protective Equipment

Section 90 General responsibilities

90. (1) An employer who is required by these regulations to provide personal protective equipment to a worker shall

(a) provide approved personal protective equipment for use by the worker at no cost to the worker;

[...]

Nova Scotia

As made under the Occupational Health and Safety Act, S.N.S. 1996, c. 7,

Occupational Safety General Regulations, N.S. Reg. 44/99

Part 3 Personal Protective Equipment

Section 9 Use of personal protective equipment

9. (1) An employer shall ensure that adequate personal protective equipment or devices required for an assigned task are used, based on

(a) the nature of the task;

(b) the location and conditions of the workplace; and

(c) any hazards that may affect the health and safety of persons in the workplace.

(2) Where personal protective equipment or devices are required under the Act or these regulations, an employer shall ensure that

(a) an employee receives adequate training in the proper use and care of the personal protective equipment or devices; and

(b) an employee wears or uses the personal protective equipment or devices in accordance with the instruction and training provided.

(3) An employer shall ensure that all personal protective equipment or devices required under the Act or these regulations are

(a) maintained by a competent person; and

(b) tested or visually inspected before each use, in accordance with the manufacturer's specifications.

(4) Where a person identifies any defect in personal protective equipment or devices that may impair the adequacy of the equipment or devices, the employer shall ensure that the personal protective equipment or devices are not used until they are repaired.

9A An employee shall wear or use personal protective equipment or devices as required under clause 9(2)(b).

Nunavut

As made under the Safety Act, R.S.N.W.T. 1988, c. S-1,

Occupational Health and Safety Regulations R-003-2016

Part 7 Personal Protective Equipment

Section 90 General responsibilities

90. (1) An employer who is required by these regulations to provide personal protective equipment to a worker shall

(a) provide approved personal protective equipment for use by the worker at no cost to the worker;

[...]

Ontario

Occupational Health and Safety Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. O.1

Part III Duties Of Employers and Other Persons

Section 25 Duties of employers

25. (1) An employer shall ensure that,

(a) the equipment, materials and protective devices as prescribed are provided;

[...]

Confined Spaces, O. Reg. 632/05

Section 13 Personal protective equipment, clothing and devices

13. The employer shall ensure that each worker who enters a confined space is provided with adequate personal protective equipment, clothing and devices, in accordance with the relevant plan.

Construction Projects, O. Reg. 213/91

Part II General Construction

Section 21 Protective Clothing, Equipment and Devices

21. (1) A worker shall wear such protective clothing and use such personal protective equipment or devices as are necessary to protect the worker against the hazards to which the worker may be exposed.

(2) A worker's employer shall require the worker to comply with subsection (1).

(3) A worker required to wear protective clothing or use personal protective equipment or devices shall be adequately instructed and trained in the care and use of the clothing, equipment or device before wearing or using it.

Industrial Establishments R.R.O. 1990, Reg. 851

Protective Equipment

79. A worker required to wear or use any protective clothing, equipment or device shall be instructed and trained in its care and use before wearing or using the protective clothing, equipment or device.

Note: There is no definition for "provide". It does not specify provide at no cost.

Prince Edward Island

As made under the Occupational Health and Safety Act, R.S.P.E.I. 1988, c. O-1.01 (new version brought in by 2004, c. 42),

Occupational Health and Safety Act General Regulations, EC 180/87

Part 45 Personal Protective Equipment

Section 45.1 Wearing apparel

45.1 The employer shall ensure that the personal wearing apparel of an employee shall be of a type and condition that will not expose the employee to any unnecessary and avoidable hazards.

See also:

Section 12.12 (4) (Signallers)

Section 14.1 Safety belts

Section 14.2 Safety harness with life line

Section 49.14 (Asbestos)

Section 49.15 Respirators

Note: There is no definition for "provide". It does not specify provide at no cost.

Quebec

Act respecting occupational health and safety, R.S.Q., c.S-2.1

Part III, Rights and Obligations

51. Every employer must take the necessary measures to protect the health and ensure the safety and physical well-being of his worker. He must, in particular,

[...]

(11) provide the worker, free of charge, with all the individual protective health and safety devices or equipment selected by the health and safety committee in accordance with paragraph 4 of section 78 or, as the case may be, the individual or common protective devices or equipment determined by regulation, and require that the worker use these devices and equipment in the course of work;

[...]

Saskatchewan

As made under the Saskatchewan Employment Act, S.S. 2013, c. S-15.1

Occupational Health and Safety Regulations, 1996, S.S., c. O-1.1, Reg 1

Part VII Personal Protective Equipment

Section 87 General responsibilities

87. (1) Where an employer or contractor is required by these regulations or any other regulations made pursuant to the Act to provide personal protective equipment, the employer or contractor shall:

(a) supply approved personal protective equipment to the workers at no cost to the workers;

[...]

Yukon

As made under the Occupational Health and Safety Act, R.S.Y. 2002, c. 159

Occupational Health and Safety Regulations, O.I.C. 2006/178

Part 1, General

Section 1.08 Workers' responsibility to provide and wear

1.08 All workers shall provide and wear

(a) clothing to protect themselves against the natural elements,

(b) general purpose work gloves where required by the nature of the work or the elements, and

(c) appropriate footwear including safety footwear as described in subsection 1.13(c) of these Regulations, where there is risk of injury to the feet.

Section 1.09, Responsibility for PPE

1.09 All workers shall be provided, at no cost to the workers, with all personal protective equipment, specialty clothing or equipment required by these Regulations except those listed in section 1.08, and the equipment or clothing shall be

[...]