Personal Protective Equipment

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) includes all clothing and work accessories designed to protect employees from workplace hazards. Protective equipment should not replace engineering, administrative, or procedural controls for safety - it should be used in conjunction with these controls. Employees must wear protective equipment as required and when instructed by a supervisor.

IMPORTANT: Personal protective equipment is used to prevent exposure or contamination. PPE should always be removed before coming in contact with other individuals or before going in or near elevators, break rooms, classrooms, bathrooms, etc.

Principal Investigators (PIs) or laboratory supervisors are required to assess the hazards based on the procedures performed in the laboratory and the controls in use. The PI or laboratory supervisor should determine if additional PPE or specific PPE beyond the minimum is required. Required PPE should be detailed as a laboratory-wide requirement (e.g., lab coats) or in Standard Operating Procedures for specific laboratory procedure(s). PPE for some types of hazards are shown in the following table.

Hazards and PPE

HAZARDS
PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT
Biohazards (Germs)
Splash goggles, respirators, gloves, surgical masks, lab coats, aprons, sleeves, shoe covers, head covers
Chemicals
Gloves, chemical-resistant clothing, aprons, sleeves and shoe covers, vapor-proof or splash goggles, respirators
Cuts/Abrasions
Cut-resistant gloves (leather, Kevlar, chain-mail)
Dust
Dust goggles, respirators
Electricity
Electrically-resistive gloves, mats, hard hats
Falling Objects
Hard hats, steel-toe shoes, metatarsal guards
Falls
Fall harness, strap-on hard hat
Flying Particles
Safety glasses w/ side shields, goggles, face shields
Hot Environments
Cooling vests, reflective suits
Hot or Cold Objects
Gloves (Note: Asbestos gloves are prohibited and must be turned in as hazardous waste.)
Intense Light
Opaque glasses, goggles, welding hoods
Kneeling
Knee pads
Lifting
No PPE available, use engineering controls/training
Low Overhead Objects
Bump cap, hard hat
Noise
Hearing protectors
Over-Water Work
Life vests, flotation devices
Radiation
Lead apron, lead gloves, thyroid collar, lead glasses for X-ray, lab coats/gloves for radioactive materials
Repetitive Motion
No PPE available, use engineering controls/training
Slipping
Non-skid shoes
Splashes
Splash goggles, face shields, chemical-resistant clothing, gloves, aprons, sleeves and shoe covers
Traffic
Reflective vest

General Apparel and Appearance

Inadequate Clothing

In the laboratory, do not wear open-toed shoes, sandals, shorts, cropped tops, or any other apparel that leaves skin exposed and unprotected. All loose clothing should be confined to avoid easily catching fire, dipping into chemicals, or becoming entangled in moving machinery.

Jewelry

Remove jewelry to prevent chemicals from collecting underneath, contacting electrical sources, catching on laboratory equipment, and/or damaging the jewelry itself.

Hair

Long hair should be tied back or confined to avoid easily catching fire, dipping into chemicals, or becoming entangled in moving machinery.
 

Respiratory Protection

Eye/Face Protection

Head Protection

Foot Protection

Hearing Protection

Body Protection

Hand Protection