Stanford University

Personal Protective Equipment

Personal protective equipment (PPE) is a necessary part of laboratory safety in addition to engineering controls (i.e., laboratory ventilation and laser interlocks) and good work practices. When properly selected and used, personal protective equipment can be effective in minimizing individual exposure. Always inspect personal protective equipment prior to use, and if found to be defective, replace gear as appropriate. PPE is often used to augment engineering or administrative controls or is used as a stand-alone control when the other controls are not feasible.

It is the policy of Stanford University to maintain a safe and healthy work environment. Managers and supervisors are responsible for the establishment and maintenance of good health and safety practices. Cal/OSHA standards require that employers perform a hazard assessment of the workplace to determine the nature of the hazards and ensure that appropriate PPE is available to employees. Employers should use either the General Work Area PPE Assessment Tool or Laboratory PPE Assessment Tool to complete this assessment. The standards require that employees be trained in the proper use, care, and limitations of PPE.

Supervisors have the primary responsibility for implementing the PPE Program in their work area by ensuring that workplace hazards have been evaluated, that the appropriate PPE is available, and that employees have received the necessary training.

The PPE user is responsible for following the requirements of the PPE program. This involves:

  • Wearing PPE as required per the PPE Assessment Tool;
  • Attending site-specific PPE training sessions;
  • Cleaning and maintaining PPE as trained
  • Informing the supervisor of the need to repair or replace PPE

To determine the appropriate PPE to wear based on chemical and physical hazards encountered, consult with the PI or lab supervisor and review standard operating procedures (SOPs), safety fact sheets, and other hazard information.

For more information, contact the EH&S Occupational Health and Safety Program at (650) 723-0448.

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