Policy No: 2082 Responsible Office: Safety & Environmental Compliance Last Review Date: 02/10/2022 Next Required Review: 02/10/2027
Laboratory Coat and Gloves
This document outlines the University of South Alabama policy regarding the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) in academic and research laboratory areas.
This Policy applies to all individuals performing research and or academic activities, including physicians, faculty, postdoctoral fellows, medical students, undergraduate and graduate students, and any other University authorized visitors.
4. Policy Guidelines
The University of South Alabama is committed to maintaining a safe work and academic environment for all individuals. Therefore, the following practices will be adhered to.
4.1 Laboratory Coats
Laboratory coats are to be worn by all personnel and students when handling chemicals, biologicals, or radiologicals in the open bench laboratories and secure laboratory suites as determined by risk assessment.
- Laboratory coats, gloves and other personal protective equipment shall be selected based on the hazard associated with the task;
- Laboratory coats should fit well, be able to completely button, and cover the wearer’s arms to wrist and legs to at least mid-thigh;
- Laboratory coat use outside of these areas should be minimized, unless transportation of materials to and from other laboratory areas requires personal protective equipment;
- Laboratory coats used in the research side of a building are confined to that side of the building and are not allowed to be worn in public, patient or administration areas;
- Laboratory coats are not allowed to be worn in kitchens, break rooms, or areas where food is stored and prepared;
- Laboratory coats are not allowed in the elevators, conference room areas, or the bathrooms;
- Personnel and/or students are expected to keep laboratory coats in good condition and reasonably clean;
- Hooks have been provided to hang up laboratory coats in each area. Laboratory coats should not be left on equipment, compressed gas cylinders, chairs or on benches;
- Commercial laundry services are offered in some departments for faculty and staff. Do not launder lab coats with personal clothing.
- Chemical resistant gloves are to be worn by all personnel when handling chemicals, biologicals, or radiologicals in the open bench laboratories and secure laboratory suites, including chemistry laboratories;
- Gloves should be appropriate for the classes of chemicals being handled, refer to manufacture's guidelines;
- Consult the Safety Data Sheet (SDS) section on chemical handing instructions before selecting gloves if manufacture's guidelines are unavailable.
If glove selection information is not available, refer to the glove selection guide on the University of South Alabama Department of Safety and Environmental Compliance site: https://www.southalabama.edu/departments/environmental/resources/gloveselection.pdf. Contact the Building Safety Coordinator for your facility or the Department of Safety and Environmental compliance directly: firstname.lastname@example.org.
No single glove material provides protection for all chemicals. However, nitrile exam gloves are recommended as an all-purpose glove for laboratory use. Latex gloves are not resistant to most commonly used chemical and solvents found in laboratories.
- Gloves are not to be worn outside of laboratory areas;
- If transportation of materials to and from other laboratory areas requires gloves, then a secondary container or a cart for the material must be used to contain and transport materials. One gloved hand may be maintained, though whenever possible, gloves should not be used outside of the laboratory area;
- Gloves should not be used to touch door knobs, elevators buttons, refrigerators/freezers, or computers that have not been designated as gloves only;
- If gloves are used on an instrument or computer, it should be designated as “Gloves Only” with clear signage;
- Gloves used on the research side of a building are confined to that side of the building and are not allowed to be worn in public, patient or administration areas;
- Gloves are not allowed to be worn in kitchens, break rooms, areas where food is stored and prepared;
- Gloves are not allowed in the elevators, conference room areas, or the bathrooms.
Principle Investigators (PI's) and/or instructors are responsible for training individuals provided authorized access to laboratories on the provisions of this policy and ensuring its implementation. PI's and instructors who willfully and/or repeatedly fail to implement this policy in their labs may be subject to disciplinary action. Penalties for non-compliance with this policy may include removal from the laboratory, suspension of laboratory privileges, or dismissal, as appropriate to the conditions and severity of the violation. Willful and/or repeat violations of this policy will be referred to the applicable Director and/or Dean for disciplinary action. Any questions or concerns about this policy can be referred to the Laboratory Safety Committee Chair or the Director of Safety and Environmental Compliance at email@example.com.
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