Environmental Health and Safety

Environmental Health and Safety

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Personal Protective Equipment

Personal protective equipment, commonly referred to as PPE, is equipment that is worn to minimize exposure to hazards that have the potential to cause workplace injuries and illnesses. These injuries or illnesses may be a result from chemical, radiological, physical, electric, mechanical, or other hazards. Personal protective equipment includes items such as gloves, respirators, lab coats and foot wear. It's important to remember that PPE is the last defense, you should strive to reduce all hazards through elimination, substitution, engineering controls and/or administrative controls before considering PPE.  

Glove Selection

Glove protection is the last line of defense against a skin-uptake of hazardous materials, it is essential to ensure that the appropriate glove is selected. There are many types of gloves and each one is good for certain chemicals and useless for others. It is important to investigate the suitability and limitations of glove material prior to the initiation of any new laboratory procedure. It would also be prudent to review any existing protocol that requires the use of protective gloves.

To help you with matching a particular hazard with the appropriate protective glove consult with personnel in Environmental Health and Safety or check the following websites:

Respirator Selection

Respirator use should not be considered unless all other means of reducing the risk have been exhausted. To find a suitable respirator for you, check the following links below:

Lab Coat Selection

Lab coats are knee-length outer coats or smocks worn to protect street clothes and skin from contamination from chemical, radiological, or biological agents. The design also provides protection from spills, sprays and other releases of fine particles and liquids. 

Foot Protection Selection

In workplaces, falling or rolling objects, exposed energized electrical conductors, chemical or corrosive contact, burns, hot or cold environments or other hazards can create a potential for foot injury. Whenever practicable, these hazards shall be eliminated or reduced through the use of proper engineering and/or administrative controls. To protect against those hazards that continue to exist after all such control measures have been implemented, appropriate footwear must be used.