University of California Santa Cruz Police Department
UC Santa Cruz PD Policy Manual



Personal Protective Equipment


This policy identifies the different types of personal protective equipment (PPE) provided by the Department as well the requirements and guidelines for the use of PPE.

This policy does not address ballistic vests or protection from communicable disease, as those issues are addressed in the Body Armor and Communicable Diseases policies.



Definitions related to this policy include:

Personal protective equipment (PPE) - Equipment that protects a person from serious workplace injuries or illnesses resulting from contact with chemical, radiological, physical, electrical, mechanical or other workplace hazards.

Respiratory PPE - Any device that is worn by the user to protect from exposure to atmospheres where there is smoke, low levels of oxygen, high levels of carbon monoxide, or the presence of toxic gases or other respiratory hazards. For purposes of this policy, respiratory PPE does not include particulate-filtering masks such as N95 or N100 masks.


708.2     POLICY

The University of California Santa Cruz Police Department endeavors to protect members by supplying certain PPE to members as provided in this policy.



Members are required to use PPE as provided in this policy and pursuant to their training.

Members are responsible for proper maintenance and storage of issued PPE. PPE should be stored in an appropriate location so that it is available when needed.

Any member who identifies hazards in the workplace is encouraged to utilize the procedures in the Illness and Injury Prevention Policy to recommend new or improved PPE or additional needs for PPE.



Approved hearing protection shall be used by members during firearms training. Hearing protection shall meet or exceed the requirements provided in 8 CCR 5098.



Approved eye protection, including side protection, shall be used by members during firearms training. Eye protection for members who wear prescription lenses shall incorporate the prescription (e.g., eye protection that can be worn over prescription lenses). Members shall ensure their eye protection does not interfere with the fit of their hearing protection.

The Rangemaster shall ensure eye protection meets or exceeds the requirements provided in 8 CCR 3382.



Members who make arrests or control crowds should be provided ballistic head protection with an attachable face shield.

Padded body protection consisting of chest, arm, leg and groin protection should be provided as required by any collective bargaining agreement.



The Administration Division Commander is responsible for ensuring a respiratory protection plan is developed and maintained by a trained and qualified member. The plan shall include procedures for (8 CCR 5144):

 (a) Selecting appropriate respiratory PPE based on hazards and risks associated with functions or positions.

 (b) Fit testing, including identification of members or contractors qualified to conduct fit testing.

 (c) Medical evaluations.

 (d) PPE inventory control.

 (e) PPE issuance and replacement.

 (f) Cleaning, disinfecting, storing, inspecting, repairing, discarding and otherwise maintaining respiratory PPE, including schedules for these activities.

 (g) Regularly reviewing the PPE plan.

 (h) Remaining current with applicable National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), American National Standards Institute (ANSI), Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), Environmental Protective Agency (EPA) and state PPE standards and guidelines.



Designated members may be issued respiratory PPE based on the member’s assignment (e.g., a narcotics investigator who is involved in clandestine lab investigations).

Respiratory PPE may be worn when authorized by a scene commander who will determine the type and level of protection appropriate at a scene based upon an evaluation of the hazards present.

Scene commanders are responsible for monitoring members using respiratory PPE and their degree of exposure or stress. When there is a change in work area conditions or when a member’s degree of exposure or stress may affect respirator effectiveness, the scene commander shall reevaluate the continued effectiveness of the respirator and direct the member to leave the respirator use area when the scene commander reasonably believes (8 CCR 5144):

 (a) It is necessary for the member to wash his/her face and the respirator facepiece to prevent eye or skin irritation associated with respirator use.

 (b) The member detects vapor or gas breakthrough, or there is a change in breathing resistance or leakage of the facepiece.

 (c) The member needs to replace the respirator, filter, cartridge or canister.



Members shall not use self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA), full-face respirators or cartridge respirators unless they have completed training requirements for the equipment.

Members exposed to environments that are reasonably known to be harmful due to gases, smoke or vapors shall use respiratory PPE.

Members using respiratory PPE shall (8 CCR 5144):

 (a) Ensure that they have no facial hair between the sealing surface of the facepiece and the face that could interfere with the seal or the valve function. Members also shall ensure that they have no other condition that will interfere with the face-to-facepiece seal or the valve function.

 (b) Not wear corrective glasses, goggles or other PPE that interferes with the seal of the facepiece to the face, or that has not been previously tested for use with that respiratory equipment.

 (c) Perform a user seal check per department-approved procedures recommended by the respirator manufacturer each time they put on a tight-fitting respirator.

 (d) Leave a respiratory use area whenever they detect vapor or gas breakthrough, changes in breathing resistance or leakage of their facepiece and ensure that the respirator is replaced or repaired before returning to the affected area.


708.7.3 GAS MASK

Full-face air-purifying respirators, commonly referred to as gas masks, may be fitted with mechanical pre-filters or combination cartridge/filter assemblies for use in areas where gases, vapors, dusts, fumes or mists are present. Members must identify and use the correct cartridge based on the circumstances (8 CCR 5144).

A scene commander may order the use of gas masks in situations where the use of a SCBA is not necessary. These incidents may include areas where tear gas has or will be used or where a vegetation fire is burning. Gas masks shall not be used if there is a potential for an oxygen- deficient atmosphere.

Members shall ensure their gas mask filters are replaced whenever:

 (a) They smell, taste or are irritated by a contaminant.

 (b) They experience difficulty breathing due to filter loading.

 (c) The cartridges or filters become wet.

 (d) The expiration date on the cartridges or canisters has been reached.



Scene commanders may direct members to use SCBA when entering an atmosphere that may pose an immediate threat to life, would cause irreversible adverse health effects or would impair an individual's ability to escape from a dangerous atmosphere. These situations may include, but are not limited to:

 (a) Entering the hot zone of a hazardous materials incident.

 (b) Entering any area where contaminant levels may become unsafe without warning, or any situation where exposures cannot be identified or reasonably estimated.

 (c) Entering a smoke- or chemical-filled area.

The use of SCBA should not cease until approved by a scene commander.



No member shall be issued respiratory PPE until a proper fit testing has been completed by a designated member or contractor (8 CCR 5144).

After initial testing, fit testing for respiratory PPE shall be repeated (8 CCR 5144):

 (a) At least once every 12 months.

 (b) Whenever there are changes in the type of SCBA or facepiece used.

 (c) Whenever there are significant physical changes in the user (e.g., obvious change in body weight, scarring of the face seal area, dental changes, cosmetic surgery or any other condition that may affect the fit of the facepiece seal).

All respirator fit testing shall be conducted in negative-pressure mode.



No member shall be issued respiratory protection that forms a complete seal around the face until (8 CCR 5144):

 (a) The member has completed a medical evaluation that includes a medical evaluation questionnaire.

 (b) A physician or other licensed health care professional has reviewed the

 (c) The member has completed any physical examination recommended by the reviewing physician or health care professional.


708.8     RECORDS

The Training Sergeant is responsible for maintaining records of all:

 (a) PPE training.

 (b) Initial fit testing for respiratory protection equipment.

 (c) Annual fit testing.

 (d) Respirator medical evaluation questionnaires and any subsequent physical examination results.

  1. These records shall be maintained in a separate confidential medical file.

The records shall be maintained in accordance with the department records retention schedule and 8 CCR 5144.


708.9     TRAINING

Members should be trained in the respiratory and other hazards to which they may be potentially exposed during routine and emergency situations.

All members shall be trained in the proper use and maintenance of PPE issued to them, including when the use is appropriate; how to put on, remove and adjust PPE; how to care for the PPE; and the limitations (8 CCR 3380).

Members issued respiratory PPE shall attend annual training on the proper use of respiratory protection devices (8 CCR 5144).




Policy 708 PDF