During your lab’s next EH&S survey visit, you will be asked a new question from the survey checklist if PPE is adequately available for everyone. The desired response to this question is a confident “Yes!”
Labs can use the Laboratory PPE Hazard Assessment Guide to determine the personal protective equipment (PPE) needed for specific procedures. People working in the lab should review the assessment and be provided with the appropriate PPE in preparation to do potentially hazardous tasks. For example, when handling or transferring corrosive liquids, such as hydrochloric acid, a hazard assessment will show that eye protection, gloves and a lab coat are needed.
You can prepare in advance by:
1. Locating your safety glasses, lab coats, and additional PPE items.
2. Check that you have sufficient quantities for the number of people who will need to use them.
3. Replace or buy more PPE items as needed.
It’s also good practice to have staff periodically review the recommended PPE requirements as detailed in your lab’s hazard assessment, and update the assessment if your work practices have changed. Not only is this part of responsible lab management, it’s also part of being in compliance with Washington state regulations on worker protection (WAC 296-800).