Protect Yourself: Why Appropriate PPE is a Must-Have in the Lab

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Lab Mishaps Happen – Are You Prepared? The Necessity of PPE

Working in a laboratory can be both exciting & rewarding, but it can also be dangerous if proper safety protocols are not followed. One of the most crucial safety measures that every lab worker should take is wearing appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) at all times. This blog will explain why PPE is so important in the lab, what types of PPE are necessary, and how to ensure that you are using PPE correctly & effectively.


Why Wear PPE in the Lab?

The primary purpose of wearing PPE in the lab is to protect the wearer from exposure to hazardous materials, chemicals, and biological agents. PPE acts as a barrier between the wearer and potential sources of harm, preventing contact with skin, eyes, or other vulnerable parts of the body. Lab coats, gloves, and eye protection, in particular, are critical in preventing injury and contamination, which can have long-lasting & even permanent consequences.


Types of PPE Required in the Lab


Lab Coats:

Lab coats are essential in the lab, as they protect the wearer’s clothing and skin from exposure to hazardous materials. Lab coats should be made of durable, chemical-resistant material, such as cotton or polyester, and should be long enough to cover the entire torso & arms. Avoid wearing shorts or skirts in the lab, and always ensure that lab coats are buttoned or zipped up to prevent exposure.


Gloves are an essential component of PPE in the lab, as they protect the wearer’s hands from exposure to harmful chemicals, biological agents, and other hazards. Always wear gloves that are made of an appropriate material for the task at hand, such as nitrile, latex, or neoprene. Avoid using gloves that are too loose or too tight, as this can lead to contamination or injury.

Eye Protection:

Eye protection is critical in the lab, as it protects the wearer’s eyes from exposure to hazardous materials & chemicals. Safety glasses or goggles should be worn at all times in the lab, regardless of the task being performed. Goggles provide a more complete barrier around the eyes and are preferred over glasses for tasks that may generate splashes or aerosols.


How to Use PPE Correctly and Effectively



Proper use of PPE is essential in ensuring its effectiveness in protecting the wearer. Here are some guidelines to follow:

  • Always put on PPE before entering the lab and remove it before leaving.
  • Check PPE for damage or wear and tear before use, and replace it if necessary.
  • Make sure that PPE fits properly and is comfortable to wear for the duration of the task.
  • Do not touch your face, hair, or clothing while wearing PPE, as this can lead to contamination.
  • Dispose of PPE appropriately after use and do not reuse disposable items.



Wearing appropriate PPE in the lab is essential in preventing exposure to hazardous materials, chemicals, and biological agents. Lab coats, gloves, and eye protection are critical components of PPE, and it is crucial to follow proper guidelines for their use to ensure their effectiveness. Always remember to wear PPE at all times in the lab and take the necessary steps to protect yourself & others from harm.


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