Personal Protective Equipment and Apparel in Chemical Laboratories

Personal Protective Equipment

OSHA has amended standards for personal protective equipment (PPE) to require employers to assess the workplace to determine if there are any hazards requiring the use of PPE and certify that this assessment was performed. Protective apparel should always be worn if there is a possiblity that personal clothing could become contaminated with hazardous material. The following generic PPE requirement for labs can be found in your Laboratory Safety Manual and can be used and supplemented as appropriate. For additional hazards, contact the Occupational Health and Safety Department. Laboratory coats and gloves that have been used in the lab need to be left there to minimize the possibility of spreading chemicals and/or pathogens to other areas. Standard prescriptive eye glasses are not acceptable for eye protection.

Hazard Personal Protective Equipment Required
  Eye Face Hand/Skin/Body
Any lab use of chemicals Safety glasses at all times   Lab coat
Use of corrosive chemicals, strong oxidizing agents, carcinogens, mutagens, etc. Chemical splash goggles Full face shield and goggles (for work with over 4 liters of corrosive liquids) --Resistant gloves (See Appendix 6 for chemical resistance of common glove materials) --Impervious lab coat, coveralls, apron, protective suit (for work with over 5 gallons corrosive liquids)
Temperature extremes     Insulated gloves for handling ovens, furnaces, cryogenic bath and other devices over 100 degrees Centigrade or below -1 degrees Centigrade
Sharp objects (broken glass, insertion of tubes or rods into stoppers)     Heavy cloth barrier or leather gloves


Clothing that leaves large areas of skin exposed is inappropriate in laboratories where hazardous chemicals are in use. Shorts, short skirts, sandals, open-toed, or high-heeled shoes are dangerous attire in such laboratories. Long hair, dangling jewelry, and loose fitting clothing should be constrained.

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