Personal protective equipment

Which PPE should you use?

The following are considered basic PPE requirements for university labs:

Researchers must also determine, through hazard assessment, PPE specifications and whether additional PPE is required. Once you have determine your PPE needs, complete and post this PPE checklist in your laboratory. 


Respirators protect the wearer against exposure to airborne contaminants. They should only be used if engineering and administrative controls are insufficient to control a hazard. All respirator users must be fit-tested, a service that EHS provides free of charge to the university community. 

If, according to your hazard assessment, you require a respirator to conduct work at the university, follow the instructions below:

  1. Complete the Health Screening Form for Respirator Users
  2. Use the form to schedule a fit-test.
  3. Got to your fit-test appointment.
  4. Order your respirator.
  5. Get to work! Refer to the Respirator Code of Practice


Working in an area with dust, vapours or splash hazards? Choose splash goggles over safety glasses:

  • Seal around eyes
  • Protect against hazards from all directions
  • Can be worn over prescription glasses


Select gloves based on type of hazardous material being used in the laboratory. For example:

Biological -- disposable gloves
Chemical -- consult glove selection chart or safety data sheet to select appropriate glove
UV radiation -- cotton gloves
Physical -- abrasion-resistant gloves


Depending on hazards in the laboratory, additional PPE may be required:                                                                      
  • Hearing protection (note that noise-exposed employees must undergo audiometric testing)
  • Hard hat
  • Acid-resistant apron (for work with strong acids and bases)
  • Disposable sleeves (e.g., for work with high radioactivity research work)
  • Other PPE as determined by a hazard assessment.