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Environmental Health & Safety


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    1. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
    2. Laboratory personnel must wear PPE as necessary, in accordance with OSHA standard 29 CRF 1910, sections 132-134, in accordance with the UofR Personal Protective Equipment Program ( , the UofR Respiratory Protection Program (, and the UofR Hearing Protection Program (, to help prevent  exposures. All laboratory personnel must be made aware of the limitations of the PPE before use.

      Any necessary PPE is provided by the PI/supervisor at no cost to the employee.  The PI/supervisor is to determine the PPE by completing appropriate SOPs that include the PPE to be used or complete a Job Hazard Assessment (JHA).  A generic SOP form can be found in Appendix 13 and the JHA at

      PPE may include, but is not limited to:

      1. Appropriate eye protection: to be worn by all persons, including visitors, where chemicals are stored or handled. The eye and face protection needed must comply with the most recent edition of ANSI’s “Practice for Occupational and Educational Eye and Face Protection” (ANSI Z.87.1).
      2. Appropriate gloves: to be worn when the potential for contact with toxic or corrosive materials exists.  The gloves are to be inspected before each use and replaced periodically.  Disposable gloves must never be reused. The selection of gloves is to be based on chemical permeability. Because of the wide number of gloves and manufacturers available, information from the manufacturer should be obtained to ensure the appropriate glove selection has been made.  Laboratory Safety Unit can be contacted to assist in the selection of gloves.
        1. Gloves are to be removed and hands washed before leaving the lab to prevent contaminating surfaces (door knobs, elevator buttons, etc.) outside of the lab.
        2. Powdered latex gloves are not recommended to be used when handling chemicals.  These gloves can present a risk to some individuals who have been sensitized to latex.
      3. An appropriate lab coats must be worn in the lab when working with chemicals to protect your skin and clothing from spatters and spills.  In the event of an accident, a lab coat is easier to remove than street clothes.  A variety of lab coats are available and the proper selection is important.
        1. Lab coats made with a blend of Polyester and/or Rayon provide splash protection when working with aqueous solutions.  However, when used with flammable liquids; they can ignite.
        2. For those frequently using large quantities of flammable liquids, a Nomex HRC1 or 2 rated lab coats are recommended.  Cotton lab coats are recommended when working with lower quantities of flammable liquids and when working with an open flame.
        3. Lab coats are to fit properly to allow them to be fully buttoned and the sleeves extended (not rolled up).
        4. Do not wear lab coats outside of laboratory locations.
        5. Do not take lab coats home for laundering because they may contaminate others in your household.
      4. When air contaminants are not sufficiently controlled by engineering controls, appropriate respiratory equipment is to be worn.  Before any respirator is to be used, a work place assessment must be performed by the Laboratory Safety Unit.  Those required to wear respirators must comply with the University's Respirator Protection Program.  The use of a respirator shall be considered a temporary measure until needed engineering controls and additional work place practices are implemented.
      5. Some lab personnel may still wish to wear a respirator in locations where contaminants are controlled.  These individuals must still comply with the University’s Respirator Protection Program for the voluntary use of a respirator.
      6. Other PPE may be used provided the limitations of its use are made known to the laboratory personnel.
    3. Emergency Equipment
    4. Emergency equipment may be required based on the quantity and the hazard classes of the chemicals used.  This equipment may include:

      1. A "hands free" eyewash station is required where corrosive materials are used or stored.  Access must be free of obstructions that would inhibit immediate use and the eyewash must be reachable within 10 seconds of the hazard (roughly 50-75 feet).  The University specifies the eyewash unit to be a Water Saver Unit or equivalent that meets the present ANSI Standard.
      2. An easily accessible drench-type safety shower is required within 10 seconds (75 feet) of locations where hazardous chemicals are used or stored.
      3. A fire blanket is recommended in those locations where large quantities of flammable materials are used or stored.
      4. The University Fire Marshal shall determine the types and locations where fire extinguishers are required.
      5. Spill control kits are to be readily available for minor chemical spills that may occur within a laboratory. Individual spill kits for different chemical classes are available through scientific supply companies and their purchase is highly recommended.

QUESTIONS or COMMENTS? Contact EH&S at (585) 275-3241 or e-mail EH&S Questions.

This page last updated 7/30/2015. Disclaimer.