General Guidance on PPE & Hazard Assessments for Lab

General Guidance on PPE & Hazard Assessments for Lab

All laboratories are required to conduct a hazard assessment to identify potential hazards and determine what PPE is necessary. The following information is provided to assist Principal Investigators (PIs), Laboratory Supervisors and/or Instructors in meeting this requirement for conducting and documenting a Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) hazard assessment for laboratories under their control.   

Once the appropriate PPE has been identified and selected, the Principal Investigator (PI), Laboratory Supervisors, Instructor and/or departments are required to purchase, provide training on proper use and care of the PPE and document the hazard assessment and training

In a class situation, students may be required to purchase or obtain the necessary and approved PPE designated by the department or instructors responsible for the course.

All of the PPE regulations and standards require that personal protective equipment “shall be of safe design”, meaning all PPE shall meet the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) design standards.

General Guidance on Laboratory Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

  • Minimum Laboratory PPE- In general, the minimum PPE that should be worn while performing laboratory work involving chemicals are the following:
  • Safety Glasses
  • Disposable nitrile or other appropriate chemical resistant gloves
  • Lab coat (full length) and long pants, long skirts or equivalent covering ( no shorts)
  • Laboratory footwear (as described below)

CAUTION: Additional PPE may be required for some procedures. The PI, Laboratory Supervisor or Instructor is responsible for determining when additional PPE is required in laboratories under their control based on the hazards of the work.

  • Chemical Resistant Gloves-Chemical-resistant gloves must be selected based on the specific chemical(s) used and manufacturer’s glove permeation and compatibility charts. Refer to Glove Selection Guides below. 
  • Laboratory Footwear- Laboratory footwear should fully cover the feet to protect against chemical spills. Avoid sandals, flip flops, flats, canvas/breathable fabric tops and shoes constructed of mesh (such as athletic shoes) unless impervious chemical-resistant booties that protect the entire foot are worn over them.
  • Airborne/Inhalation Hazard: Engineering Controls and Respiratory Protection
  • Chemical Fume Hood. When materials have a potential to become airborne, use a chemical fume hood or other engineering control whenever possible. Activities that generate airborne contaminants or odors that re not conducted inside a chemical fume hood or using some other engineering control (such as a local exhaust at the workbench) should be evaluated to determine if the activity presents an inhalation hazard.
  • Respiratory Protection- If respiratory protection is identified as a necessary control during the hazard assessment, users must be enrolled in the Temple University Respiratory Protection Program.  This included EHRS performing a respiratory-specific hazard assessment, as well as having all users undergo a medical evaluation and clearance to wear a respirator, respirator training and respirator fit testing.  Contact EHRS at 215-707-2520 for assistance and guidance in completing these steps.

Laboratory PPE Hazard Assessment Guidance

The Laboratory Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) hazard assessment identifies hazards to which laboratory workers may be exposed and specifies PPE to protect against these hazards during laboratory operations. When completed, this document and its associated training will satisfy the Occupational Safety and Health Administrations (OSHA) requirements for PPE.  

  • Conduct a hazard assessment of the laboratory operations to identify potential hazards and determine what PPE is necessary
  • Conduct an assessment for all the potentially hazardous materials used in the laboratory: (1) chemical, (2) biological, (3), radioactive, (4) laser, and/or physical.

(1) Guidance information is for the most commonly anticipated chemicals or physical hazards encountered in labs at the University and is not intended to be all inclusive for PPE identification and selection. 

  • Note: Document and/or incorporate the results of your assessment into your laboratory specific operating procedures. The Laboratory Guidance on Chemical Hazard Controls and the Laboratory Guidance on Physical Hazard Controls can be used to assist in these required assessments.
  • Training: Laboratory specific safety training must be conducted by the Principal Investigator (PI), Laboratory Supervisor or their designee. Training will identify and discuss potentially hazardous tasks performed in the lab and the selection and use of laboratory specific PPE.   


OSHA PPE General Requirements
ACS "Identifying and Evaluating Hazards in Research Laboratories” Document
ACS: Safety in Academic Chemistry Laboratories
ACS: Chemical & Laboratory Safety-Hazard Assessment
ACS: Chemical & Laboratory Safety SOP Development
EHRS Fact Sheet: Selecting Eye Protection