Personal Protective Equipment


Personal Protective Equipment

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) includes all clothing and work accessories designed to protect employees from workplace hazards. Protective equipment should not replace engineering, administrative, or procedural controls for safety - it should be used in conjunction with these controls. Employees must wear protective equipment as required and when instructed by a supervisor or faculty member.

IMPORTANTPersonal protective equipment is used to prevent exposure or contamination. PPE should always be removed before coming in contact with other individuals or before going in or near elevators, break rooms, classrooms, bathrooms, etc.

UCCS has developed task specific PPE requirements that apply regardless of the space you are in while performing these tasks.  In addition, UCCS has established minimum PPE requirements for laboratory type spaces (including chemistry, biology, engineering, physics, health sciences, nursing, clinical and fine arts).  

The hierarchy is that you review Task Specific requirements first, if there are no task specific requirements for the activity you are doing, then you would utilized the General Minimum PPE Requirements.

UCCS Task Specific PPE Requirements 

General Minimum PPE Requirements

Principal Investigators (PIs) or laboratory supervisors are required to assess the hazards based on the procedures performed in the laboratory and the controls in use. The PI or laboratory supervisor should determine if additional PPE or specific PPE beyond the minimum is required. Required PPE should be detailed as a laboratory-wide requirement (e.g., lab coats) or in Standard Operating Procedures for specific laboratory procedure(s). If you need assistance in identifying the PPE requirements for a particular task or location, please contact Cindy Norton 

General Apparel and Appearance

Inadequate Clothing

In the laboratory, do not wear open-toed shoes, sandals, shorts, cropped tops, or any other apparel that leaves skin exposed and unprotected. All loose clothing should be confined to avoid easily catching fire, dipping into chemicals, or becoming entangled in moving machinery.


Remove jewelry to prevent chemicals from collecting underneath, contacting electrical sources, catching on laboratory equipment, and/or damaging the jewelry itself.


Long hair should be tied back or confined to avoid easily catching fire, dipping into chemicals, or becoming entangled in moving machinery.

PPE for some types of hazards are shown in the following table.

Hazards and PPE

Biohazards (Germs)
Splash goggles, respirators, gloves, surgical masks, lab coats, aprons, sleeves, shoe covers, head covers
Gloves, chemical-resistant clothing, aprons, sleeves and shoe covers, vapor-proof or splash goggles, respirators
Cut-resistant gloves (leather, Kevlar, chain-mail)
Dust goggles, respirators
Falling Objects
Hard hats, steel-toe shoes, metatarsal guards
Fall harness, strap-on hard hat
Flying Particles
Safety glasses w/ side shields, goggles, face shields
Hot Environments
Cooling vests, reflective suits
Hot or Cold Objects
Gloves (Note: Asbestos gloves are prohibited and must be turned in as hazardous waste.)
Intense Light
Opaque glasses, goggles, welding hoods
Knee pads
Low Overhead Objects
Bump cap, hard hat
Hearing protection
Lead apron, lead gloves, thyroid collar, lead glasses for X-ray, lab coats/gloves for radioactive materials
Non-skid shoes
Splash goggles, face shields, chemical-resistant clothing, gloves, aprons, sleeves and shoe covers
Reflective vest