Personal Protective Equipment

Personal protective equipment (PPE) must be provided to lab personnel when any expectation may exist for exposure to hazardous materials.

Lab personnel must be trained on the proper use of any PPE issued to them and are responsible for their proper use and replacement when damaged. Eye protection, protective gloves, and a laboratory coat must be worn while conducting laboratory experiments. These are minimum requirements applicable to all laboratories.

Eye protection: Protective eye and face equipment must be used where there is a risk of injury from hazardous chemicals. The principal investigator (PI) or lab supervisor should determine the proper type of eye protection needed per lab activity.

  • Safety glasses/goggles with side shields offer protection against flying fragments, chips, particles, sand, and dirt.
  • Chemical splash goggles (acid goggles) offer the best eye protection from chemical splashes. Safety goggles should not be worn when the danger of a splash exists
  • Face shields protect the face and neck from flying particle and splashes. Always wear additional eye protection under face shields.

Skin and body protection: The use of gloves and lab coats provides minimal protection from chemical and biological hazards. Coveralls, aprons, or protective suits should be used when working with extremely hazardous substances. Open-toed shoes, sandals, shorts, etc., are not permitted when working in University laboratories.

Respirators: Respirator should only be used when engineering controls are not feasible or where they are being installed.


Common findings relevant to personal protective equipment:

Proper PPE not worn and/or available: 

Ensure PPE is available and retrains individuals on the proper use of PPE. Perform a risk assessment to determine if additional measures are necessary. Provide PPE to individuals and ensure procedures are in place for assessing damage or replacement of PPE as needed. Perform a risk assessment to determine if additional measures are necessary.

Unauthorized respirator usage is present: 

Failure to be properly fit-tested for the appropriate respirator can lead to inhalation of hazardous chemicals. Respirators should not be necessary in the laboratory when proper safe work practices are employed. Contact EHS at (410) 706-7055 to review the issue specific to your needs.