Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the University's Chemical Hygiene Plan require the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) to reduce employee exposure to laboratory hazards. PPE must be readily available and provided at no cost to the employee. It is the responsibility of the laboratory Principal Investigator to provide PPE to his/her employees. Please review the Laboratory PPE fact sheet to ensure that you are complying with the requirements.
Use of PPE Outside of Laboratories
ReferencesProtective Clothing and Equipment, Chapter 5 of the UNC Laboratory Safety Manual
Prudent Practices in the Laboratory: Handling and Management of Chemical Hazards, The National Academies Press 2011 Edition (free access online)
Laboratory Safety Guidance, OSHA Booklet (2011)
Experimenting With Danger, Chemical Safety Board video on laboratory safety (YouTube)
Lab Coats and Fire-resistanceNomex - Highly fire-resistant because the fabric thickens, carbonizes and remains intact under fire conditions. Used widely in occupations where fire is a real hazard and can be laundered without losing fire-resistant properties.
Fire-resistant cotton - Cotton coats are available that are treated with a fire-resistant material. Fire-resistance may dissipate after repeated laundering.
100% Cotton - Superior to synthetic blends for fire-resistance, but inferior to Nomex and fire-resistant cotton.
Synthetic/Cotton Blends - 100% polyester coats, or cotton/polyester blends are the most combustible and are not considered appropriate for working with flammables.