The primary methods for preventing employee exposure to hazardous materials are engineering and administrative controls. Where these control methods are not appropriate or sufficient to control the hazard, personal protective equipment (PPE) is required.
A work area assessment is required to determine the potential hazards and select the appropriate PPE for adequate protection. Employees must receive training which includes the proper PPE for their job, when this PPE must be worn, how to wear, adjust,
and discard this equipment, and the limitations of the PPE. All training must be documented.
To ensure the proper selection, use, and care of PPE through work area hazard assessments and appropriate employee training.
Each department is responsible for:
1. Identifying the appropriate PPE based on the hazards of the task/ work area. See PPE Selection Considerations in the EHSC home page to assist you with this assessment.
2. Providing and paying for required PPE. Assure appropriate equipment is available
3.. Enforcing the proper use of PPE
4. Maintaining PPE in a clean and reliable condition (clean, sanitary, replace worn or defective parts)
5. Training employees (document the training) on the following:
a. When PPE is needed
b. What PPE is needed
c. How to properly put on, adjust, wear, and remove the PPE
d. Useful life and limitations of the PPE
e. Proper care, storage, and disposal of the PPE
Types of Personal Protective Equipment
NOTE: Italicized information listed below refers to sections of the N. C. State Environmental Health and Safety Center home page which contain additional information.
Eye and Face Protection
Faculty, staff, students, contractors, and visitors shall wear the appropriate eye and face protection when involved in activities where there is the potential for eye and face injury from:
- Handling of hot solids, liquids, or molten metals
- Flying particles from chiseling, milling, sawing, turning, shaping, cutting,
- Heat treatment, tempering, or kiln firing of any metal or other materials
- Intense light radiation from gas or electric arc welding, glassblowing,
torch brazing, oxygen cutting, laser use, etc.
- Repair or servicing of any vehicle
- Handling of chemicals and gases
Eye protection choices include the following:
Ordinary prescription glasses do not provide adequate protection. Eye protection must conform to the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), Standard Z87.1-1989. Look for this stamp on the inside of the safety glass frame.
Prescription safety glasses are recommended for employees who must routinely
wear safety glasses in lieu of fitting safety glasses over their personal
glasses. All safety glasses should have side shields. Whenever protection
against splashing is a concern, "Chemical Splash Goggles" must
be worn. See the Eye and Face Protection Selection Guide for further information.
Use - Goggles are intended for use when protection is needed against chemicals or particles. Impact protection goggles which contain perforations on the sides of goggle are not to be used for chemical splash protection, therefore are not
Splash goggles which contain shielded vents at the top of the goggle are appropriate for chemical splash protection, and also provide limited eye impact protection. Goggles only protect the eyes, offering no protection for the face and neck. See
the Eye and Face Protection Selection Guide for further information.
Full-faceshields provide the face and throat and partial protection from flying particles and liquid splash. For maximum protection against chemical splash, a full faceshield should be used in combination with chemical splash goggles. Face shields are
appropriate as secondary protection when implosion (e.g vacuum applications) or explosion hazards are present. Face shields which are contoured to protect the sides of the neck as well as frontal protection are preferred. See the
and Face Protection Selection Guide for further information.
Eye Protection for Intense Light Sources
(welding, glassblowing, gas welding, oxygen cutting, torch brazing, laser use, etc.)
The radiation produced by welding covers a broad range of the spectrum
of light. Exposure to ultraviolet light (UV-B) from welding operations can
cause "welders flash", a painful inflammable of the outer layer
of the cornea. Arc welding
or arc cutting operations, including submerged arc welding, require the use
of welding helmets with an appropriate filter lens. Goggles with filter plates
or tinted glass are available for glassblowing and other operations where
intense light sources are
encountered, including but not limited to, gas welding or oxygen cutting
operations.. Spectacles with suitable filter lenses may be appropriate for
light gas welding operations, torch brazing, or inspection. See Filter Lenses
for assistance in selection of appropriate shade selection. Users and visitors to Laser use areas (the laser nominal hazard zone) must be protected with suitable laser protection eye wear. Contact the laser manufacturer or the NCSU laser safety officer (
assistance in selecting laser eye wear. See Class 3b and Class 4 Lasers for further information on lasers.
Employees shall use hand protection when exposed to hazards including:
Skin absorption of harmful substances
Harmful temperature extremes
Wear proper hand protection whenever the potential for contact with chemicals, sharp objects, or very hot or cold materials exists. Select gloves based on the properties of the material in use, the degree of protection needed, and the nature of the work (
direct contact necessary, dexterity needed, etc). Check the Hand Protection Reference Guide
for assisting you
in selecting the proper gloves for your task. Leather gloves may be used for protection against sharp edged objects, such
as when picking up broken glassware or inserting glass tubes into stoppers. When working at temperature extremes, use insulated gloves. Materials such as Nomex and Kevlar may be used briefly up to 1000 F. Do not use gloves containing asbestos.
is regulated as a carcinogen under OSHA. When considering chemical gloves, note that glove materials will be permeated (pass through) by chemicals. The permeation rate varies depending on the chemical, glove material, and thickness. Double gloving
is recommended when handling highly toxic or carcinogenic materials. Before each use, inspect the gloves for discoloration, punctures and tears. Before removal, wash gloves if the glove material is impermeable to water. Observe any changes in glove
and texture, including hardening or softening, which may be indications of glove degradation.
The Fact Sheet section of the EHSC home page contains a
checklist, which is a short summary of skin protection factors to consider.
Employees working around hazard materials or machinery shall not wear loose clothing (e.g. saris, dangling neckties, necklaces ) or unrestrained long hair. Loose clothing, jewelry, and unrestrained long hair can become ensnared in moving parts of machinery or contact chemicals. Finger rings can damage gloves and trap chemicals against the skin.
Where contact with hazardous materials with your protective clothing is likely, such as during spill cleanup or pesticide application, polyethylene- coated Tyvek or similar protective clothing should be used to provide additional protection . The limitations of the protective clothing must always be understood, particularly in situations where contact with the material is likely.
Employees should know the appropriate techniques for removing protective apparel, especially any that has become contaminated. Special procedures may need to be followed for cleaning and/or discarding contaminated apparel. Chemical spills on leather clothing accessories (watchbands, shoes, belts and such) can be especially hazardous because many chemicals can be absorbed in the leather and then held close to the skin for long periods. Such items must be removed promptly and typically be discarded to prevent the possibility of chemical burns.
Lab Coat Selection
Lab coats are required in all NCSU laboratories to minimize clothing contamination and skin exposure to hazardous chemicals. They also provide some temporary protection against fire. Although, most lab coats are not designed to be impermeable to hazardous substances or flameproof, they provide additional safety because they can be quickly removed to isolate harmful exposures or flames. To minimize body exposures in the lab and provide some temporary protection against fire, adhere to the following:
- Beware of limitation of each type of the lab coat
- Make sure that additional protective measures are selected and in use based on the hazard reviews
- Wash/maintain lab coats as recommended by vendors.
- Contact EH&S for any questions (513-1282)
- Read NCSTATE University Lab coat Selection Guideline and select your lab coat based on the type of the lab activities/hazardous material used
Occupation Foot Protection
Safety toe footwear shall conform to the requirements and specifications of ASTM-F 2413 March 2005, "American Standard Test Method"
Wear proper shoes, not sandals or open toed shoes, in work areas where chemicals are used or stored. Perforated shoes, sandals or cloth sneakers should not be worn in areas where mechanical work is being done.
Safety shoes are required for protection against injury from heavy falling objects (handling of objects weighing more than fifteen pounds which, if dropped, would likely result in a foot injury), against crushing by rolling objects (warehouse, loading
etc), and against laceration or penetration by sharp objects.
The state personal protective equipment policy stipulates that employees
who are required to wear safety shoes will be eligible for departmental reimbursement
up to $80.
Pullovers, worn over regular shoes, are available for protection against certain chemicals. These boots are made of a stretchable rubber compound and are well suited for cleaning up chemical spills.
There is also specific information on Foot Protection available.
See the Respiratory Protection section
of this Health and Safety manual for more information. Respirators may not be
used without prior approval from the Industrial Hygiene
section of the Environmental Health and Safety Center. This assures that respirators
are properly selected, users are properly trained, and the appropriate medical
exams are conducted according to OSHA regulations.
Exposure to noise in excess of OSHA regulated levels requires
participation in a hearing conservation program. This program includes training and audiometric exams, among other requirements. Please contact EHSC at 515-6862 if you feel your noise
may be excessive. The Hearing Conservation section of this Health and Safety manual for more information.
Occupational Head Protection
Helmets designed to protect the head from impact and penetration from falling/flying objects and from limited electric shock and burn shall meet the requirements and specifications established in ANSI Z89.1- 1986, "Requirements for Industrial
Head Protection". For more information contact EHSC at 515-6871.
Specific design and performance, use, and care requirements apply to
protective equipment used for isolation against electrical hazards. Persons selecting for purchase, maintaining, and using such equipment (insulating blankets, matting, covers, line hose, gloves, and sleeves made of rubber) must be familiar with these
(refer to 29 CFR 1910.137). See the Electrical Safety section of this Health and Safety manual or contact EHSC at 515-6871 for additional information.