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The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration is seeking to clarify in a revised rule that safety vests, coveralls, gloves hard hats and other personal safety equipment issued to construction workers by their employers must also fit properly.

“The issue of improperly fitting PPE is particularly important for smaller construction workers, including some women, who may not be able to use standard size PPE,” OSHA said in the rule proposal published in the Federal Register on Thursday. There are an estimated 974,000 women now working in construction, according to the latest U.S. Census Bureau data.

PPE includes many different types of protective equipment, such as hard hats, gloves, goggles, safety shoes, safety glasses, welding helmets and goggles, hearing protection devices, respirators, coveralls, vests, and full body suits. If the rule is enacted, construction industry employers could collectively incur a one-time cost of about $545,000 to purchase new, properly fitting safety equipment for workers, OSHA estimated.

“PPE must fit properly in order to provide adequate protection to employees. In some cases, ill-fitting PPE may not protect an employee at all, and in other cases, it may present additional hazards to that employee, and to employees who work around them,” OSHA stated.

“For example, sleeves of protective clothing that are too long or gloves that do not fit properly may make it difficult to use tools or control equipment, putting other workers at risk of exposure to hazards,” OSHA said.

“The legs of protective garments that are too long could cause tripping hazards and impact others working near the worker with improperly fitting PPE,” OSHA said. “Fit problems can also affect larger workers, especially with regard to the size of certain harnesses.”

OSHA said that although it has always interpreted the existing language in its PPE construction standards to mean that personal protective equipment should fit properly, it is taking the extra step of revising the rules to explicitly state that and remove any employer misunderstanding.

Public comments on the proposed rule will be accepted electronically until Sept. 18.