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Personal Protective Equipment in the Lab

Always wear appropriate PPE

OSHA's new final standard on personal protective equipment, 29CFR 1910 132, Subpart I (here-after referred to as the standard), imposes several new and important requirements relating to basic safety and health programs. The standard adds new general requirements for the selection and use of personal protective equipment (PPE). Included in these requirements are the following:

  • Employers must conduct a hazard assessment to determine if hazards present necessitate the use of PPE.
  • Employers must certify in writing that the hazard assessment was conducted.
  • PPE selection must be made on the basis of hazard assessment and affected workers properly trained.
  • Defective or damaged PPE must not be used.
  • Training requirements for employees using PPE must be established. This should include requirements for employees to demonstrate an understanding of the training.
  • Employer must certify in writing that training programs were provided and understood.

At Oklahoma State University, the office of Environmental Health and Safety may be contacted to assist departments with their hazard assessment and the required PPE training.

A variety of laboratory personal protective equipment is commercially available and commonly used in laboratories. However, for the equipment to perform the desired function, it must be used and managed properly. Laboratory supervisors and/or departmental chemical hygiene officers shall determine a need for such equipment, monitor its effectiveness, train the employees, and monitor and enforce the proper use of such equipment.

Check out OSU EHS's online PPE Information Library for additional information.

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Author: Leslie Miller

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