General Safety / Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

PPE Requirements

  • Laboratories have several potential hazards which may result from accidental spills and splashes of dangerous chemicals, handling of radioactive material or potential contact with biological agents etc.
  • Every U of A lab, under the supervision of the Principal Investigator, must conduct a hazard assessment to identify the hazards for a specific protocol or activity or work environment, and establish the most appropriate PPE protocols so that the individual is protected from exposure to a hazardous material, condition or process.
  • All individuals working in U of A labs must know the PPE requirements for the type of work they do and wear the required PPE.
    Each member must sign the PPE checklist document indicating that they are aware of the requirements. The signed PPE checklist must be posted in the lab.
  • All individuals must wear basic PPE including lab coats, safety glasses, closed-toe shoes, gloves and long pants.
  • Other PPE including safety goggles, splash goggles, hearing protectors or respirators may be required depending on the protocol. Wearing safety glasses vs. safety goggles can be determined through Hazard Assessment and consultation with MSDSs.
  • Prescription glasses are not considered to be protective eyewear. Personnel may either wear safety glasses over their normal prescription eyeglasses or may order prescription safety glasses.
  • Contact Robin Miles (AFNS Stores, AF 3-51) or appropriate off main campus personnel to acquire the necessary items. AFNS provides lab coats, eye and ear protection, dust masks, etc.
  • Sandals and shorts should not be worn in laboratories or any other hazardous work area.
  • Lab coats are not to be worn in ‘public areas’ (e.g. SUB; lounges).
  • For teaching labs, the instructor is expected to do hazard assessments for all the protocols, equipment and chemicals/reagents. The signature of each student must be collected on the PPE checklist at the start of the term. The student must be aware of the safety requirements of the particular lab and must comply.
  • In some cases, it is possible to change the PPE requirements for a specific activity. e.g., no safety glasses while using the microscope or no gloves while using open flame.
  • If you need to deviate from the basic lab PPE, a hazard assessment must be conducted to deal with special situations and provide justification.
  • Remove disposable gloves and wash your hands before leaving a laboratory or other work area. Do not contaminate door handles, instrument controls, keyboards, phones, elevator buttons, etc.
  • Disposable gloves, if contaminated, must be safely decontaminated before being placed in the garbage, or else they must be collected and disposed of separately as waste.