Security Hardware and Technology

Q&A: Must Security Officers Be Provided Body Armor?

Not long ago, a subscriber to one of our sister publications asked the following question: Is there a regulation or standard that requires security officers carrying a weapon to be issued body armor?

bulletproof vest, body armor

fotokostic / iStock / Getty Images Plus / Getty Images

This was the response:

We are not aware of a regulation requiring body armor for security officers. OSHA’s personal protective equipment (PPE) rules do not specifically require body armor. But, if based on your hazard assessment, you can reasonably anticipate that an employee may be attacked in the course of his or her duties, then the armor is considered PPE and would need to be provided at no cost to the worker.

This OSHA letter of interpretation clarifies how 29 CFR 1910.132 (PPE rule) applies to body armor.