PPE FAQs

You are not required to wear safety glasses while working at your desk if your desk is separated, physically or by distance, from the bench top and contamination is unlikely.

No. Shorts and open-toe shoes should never be worn in the lab where hazardous materials are used.

Safety glasses may be temporarily removed while viewing materials via a microscope in the laboratory.

Safety glasses are readily available on campus. Various styles of safety glasses can be found in the laboratory support stockrooms and on Sciquest in the EHS Favorites folder. EHS also has a supply of safety glasses and provides them at various lab safety training programs and upon request.

If skirts are worn, high boots, leggings, yoga pants or other leg coverings must also be worn to protect exposed skin in laboratories where hazardous materials are used.

No. A lab coat is not generally necessary to enter most labs on Yale’s campus. A lab coat does need to be worn when handling hazardous materials.

OSHA regulations require employers to conduct a PPE hazard assessment. Principal Investigators are responsible for the safety in their laboratory and are therefore the most knowledgeable and best equipped to conduct this assessment. EHS has developed the Lab Hazard Assessment Tool (LHAT), an online tool to assist with this assessment.

Visitors to the lab need to be dressed appropriately. PPE needs to be provided to visitors, if warranted. Routine visitors to Yale labs such as custodians have been instructed in appropriate attire and PPE requirements.

The Personal Protective Equipment Procedures for Laboratories applies to laboratories where hazardous materials are present and/or used. This includes chemical, radioactive and biological materials. An assessment and good judgment about necessary PPE should still be used to clarify requirements in labs without hazardous materials.

Gloves and lab coats must not be worn in common areas, such as cafeterias, lunch rooms, conference rooms, offices and libraries. For laboratories in which human pathogens are used or where sterile products are produced, lab coats may not be worn outside of the laboratory. In other types of laboratories, a lab coat may be worn when traveling in a corridor between laboratories or support rooms, such as a cold room or an instrument room.

It is important that there be a common standard for all laboratories in order to help build a safety culture by widespread modeling of safe behaviors. If you feel that an exception can and needs to be made for your specific laboratory, you may file a request for an exception when completing your survey in the Lab Hazard Assessment Tool (LHAT).