Personal Protective Equipment: Hazard Assessment and Use Requirements in Chemistry
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires that personal protective equipment (PPE) be selected, provided and worn in situations where PPE could help reduce the potential for harm and injury (29 CFR 1910.132).
- This guide outlines the likely situations and hazards that require the use of PPE in Department of Chemistry's instructional and research activities.
- PPE is readily available to Department of Chemistry employees and students through the Burke Hall stockroom.
- Specialized PPE is provided by the supervisor or principle investigator of the laboratory where such hazards exist.
Eye and face protection (29 CFR 1910.133)
- Safety glasses are required in all instructional and research laboratories at all times. All eye protection must meet ANSI standard Z87.1-2003.
- Chemical splash goggles are highly recommended for all work with corrosive and hazardous liquids and are required for handling volumes over 1 liter.
- Specialized eye protection must be worn as required--such as with certain lasers.
- Face and neck shields must be worn when performing any hazardous operation outside a fume hood that could result in chemical splashes, sprays, or irritating mists of corrosive or caustic materials. Face and neck protection must be used whenever a system is under pressure (positive or negative) or when using energetic chemicals or reactions. Face shields must never be used alone. Safety glasses or chemical splash goggles must be worn beneath the face shield.
Foot and skin protection (29 CFR 1910.136)
- Flame resistant lab coats are required in research laboratories at all times. Lab coats and aprons are available in instructional labs and will be selected by the instructional faculty based on the risks present in the lab.
- No open-toed shoes or sandals are to be worn in any laboratory.
- Pants, shorts, skirts, and dresses are not recommended but may be permitted if a closed lab coat is worn that extends below the knee.
Hand protection (29 CFR 1910.138)
Appropriate gloves must be worn for operations involving material or equipment that has a potential for: a chemical burn, a cryogenic burn, a thermal burn, adsorption through the skin, an electrical hazard, a biohazard, or any acute or chronic toxicity hazard.
Selection of chemically resistant gloves must consider:
- The chemical handled
- Its ability to permeate various glove materials
- The task(s) to be done and required dexterity
- Any special concerns
- For chemicals of unknown toxicity or those chemicals that have a special skin hazard designation--a flexible laminate glove (Silver Shield or 4H) is to be worn under a pair of heavy-duty chemically resistant outer gloves.
- Information on glove selection and chemical resistance is available here and Environmental Health and Safety.
- Work with pyrophoric materials requires the use of flame resistant sleeves and/or nomex flight gloves in addition to a flame resistant lab coat.
Respiratory protection (29 CFR 1910.123)
- Chemical fume hoods and ventilation are the primary means of protecting the respiratory system.
- Respirators may only be worn by participants in the College's Respiratory Program. Contact EHS for more information.
This Certification of Tasks Requiring Personal Protective Equipment for the Department of Chemistry Personnel Prepared in Compliance with 29 CFR 1910.132