Protective Clothing

Lab coats and/or other appropriate protective clothing identified in the hazard assessment (see Appendix 3) must be worn while working in a laboratory or clinic. Protective clothing must provide adequate coverage and protection so that there is no skin exposed to hazardous materials. Employees must not take lab coats or other protective clothing home, including for cleaning. Long hair should be tied-back and loose clothing and jewelry should be removed when working with machinery or other equipment with moving parts.

Selection and Use of Gloves

Gloves appropriate to the task must be worn should be selected based on the hazard assessment (see Appendix 3). For assistance in determining the appropriate chemical protective gloves, please consult glove manufacturer guidelines for chemical resistance. Labs may also contact EH&S at 314-362-6816 for assistance in glove determination. Appropriate thermal gloves must be worn when handling extremely hot or cold items. Gloves appropriate for autoclave use are not appropriate for handling cryogenic liquids.

Eye/Face Protection

Appropriate eye protection is required when working with or near hazardous materials in the laboratory. At a minimum, eye protection should consist of plastic safety glasses or prescription glasses with side shields that are ANSI Z87.1 approved. Regular prescription glasses do not provide adequate eye protection.

Splash goggles appropriate to the task must be worn for operations or areas in which significant splash hazards exist. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Handling large quantities of hazardous liquids (including infectious or potentially infectious materials)
  • Blending/homogenizing
  • Handling liquids under pressure or vacuum
  • Handling cryogenic fluids
  • Handling highly corrosive or reactive chemicals face shields must be worn in addition to safety glasses or goggles whenever there is a risk of flying particles or splashes of hazardous materials that may cause serious damage to the eye or skin(e.g. filling liquid nitrogen dewars). For assistance in selecting the proper eye or face protection, contact EH&S at 314-362-6816.

Foot Protection


Footwear must provide adequate protection from hazardous material spills. Shoes which leave areas of the foot exposed are not appropriate for use in a laboratory.


Respiratory protection should not be necessary under normal lab operations. However, when effective engineering controls (i.e., fume hoods) are not feasible or while they are being implemented or evaluated, respiratory protection may be required. Prior to purchasing or wearing a respirator contact the Respiratory Protection Program Administrator in EH&S to complete a mandatory medical questionnaire, fit test, and training. Training and fit testing must be done on an annual basis or when the health status, physical condition, or job duties of the individual change. Please contact EH&S for assistance at 314-362-6816. Note: Surgical masks do not provide respiratory protection and should only be used to protect mucous membranes from splashes of infectious material. Use of an N95 respirator (i.e., filtering face piece) requires enrollment in the Respiratory Protection Program. Voluntary use of respiratory protection is acceptable upon completion of the required form and medical evaluation, if applicable. Please contact EH&S at 314-362-6816 for assistance.