Personal protective equipment

The following are considered basic PPE requirements for university labs:

  • Fully-fastened laboratory coat
  • Safety glasses
  • Gloves
  • Closed-toe shoes
  • Long pants or equivalent

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

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

Working in an area with dust, vapours or splash hazards? Splash goggles offer the following advantages over safety glasses:

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

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 HSE provides free of charge to the university community.

Visit the respiratory protective equipment page to learn more.

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.