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Personal Protective Equipment Requirements for Laboratories (PART I)

The primary methods for protecting employees and students in a laboratory against hazards such as chemical, biological, radiological, physical, and mechanical hazards in the work environment are elimination, engineering, and administrative controls. Where these control methods are not appropriate or sufficient to control the hazard, personal protective equipment (PPE) is required. PPE is also required in conjunction with other controls to mitigate the impact should an incident occur.

Minimum PPE

Visitors to a lab: protective eyewear is the minimum PPE required for a “no touch” visit to a laboratory or other areas where chemical, biological, radiological, or mechanical hazards are present. For labs where chemical, biological, radiological hazards may present a risk to the visitor, a lab coat shall also be provided.

Staff/Students/Volunteers working in a lab: a lab coat, protective eyewear, long pants and closed toe shoes are the minimum PPE for work in a laboratory where chemical, biological, radiological, or mechanical hazards are present. This clothing shall be supplemented, as necessary, with the appropriate gloves and other personal protective equipment (PPE) necessary for the tasks to be performed.

Hazard Assessment

  • A work area and process/task assessment is required to determine the potential hazards and to select the appropriate PPE for protection.

  • Utilize your Safety Plan process section for defining and documenting tasks and activities, associated hazards, and PPE required for protection and mitigation. Ensure all employees and students working in the lab/space have access and read the Safety Plan processes before performing any tasks. Use of the Safety Plan for documentation avoids the need for additional documentation otherwise required by OSHA.

  • PI/supervisor shall enforce the use of required PPE.


PPE training shall consist of the following:

  • Reviewing the Safety Plan along with completing the CHP training

  • The PI or lab supervisor shall provide employees with training on the proper PPE used for their job, when it must be worn, how to wear, adjust, maintain and discard it, as well as the limitations associated with it. The PI or lab supervisor shall document all such training.

PPE Selection/ Requirements

Below is a list of the most common PPE needed in a research laboratory setting.

  • Body Protection

  • Eye and Face Protection

  • Hand Protection

  • Hearing Protection

  • Respiratory Protection

  • Other consideration

Body protection

  • Lab Coat

  • Based on the hazard and risk assessment, other body protection including chemical resistant sleeves and chemical resistant aprons may be required.


If you need Personal protective equipment (PPE) for your lab please visit: MW Medical virtual shop

Source: NYC State University

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