Environmental Health & Safety

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and Hazard Assessment for Laboratory Workers

Section 1

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
and Hazard Assessment for Laboratory Workers

UC Irvine’s PPE program provides labs with personal protective equipment (PPE) at no charge. Each eligible lab member will receive 2 lab coats, a pair of safety glasses and a pair of splash goggles for the duration of their time at UCI.

PPE Fitting:

 

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Policy

The University of California policy and regulatory standards require the supervisor to select Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for workers under their supervision based on an assessment of hazards in the workplace which those workers are likely to encounter.

Laboratory Hazard Assessment Tool (LHAT)

The Laboratory Hazard Assessment Tool (LHAT) facilitates the identification of hazards and identifies Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to be used during the specified work activities. The LHAT must be updated as hazards and personnel change, and at least once every 3 years, irrespective of changes to hazards or personnel. The LHAT will provide a summary report of hazards present in the laboratory and the PPE recommended for laboratory workers. Use of the LHAT tool is required for all laboratories using chemicals, biological agents, radioactive materials or other hazards.

How to obtain PPE

Instructions for Principal Investigators

Principal Investigators must access and authenticate the LHAT system in order to allow admittance for laboratory personnel. As a Principal Investigator, you may choose to complete the hazard assessment or delegate the task to your Safety Representative.
  1. Visit InCommon (https://ehs.ucop.edu/lhat)
  2. Select "University of California-Irvine" from the drop-down list of institutions.
  3. Enter your UCInetID and Password.
  4. Create a profile.
  5. Add lab personnel to roster.
  6. Denote Safety Representative or Laboratory Manager as "Delegate" (Optional).
  7. Completes hazard assessment - PI or Delegate (takes 15-30 min).
  8. Certify assessment - PI only.
  9. Invite lab personnel to complete LHAT - PI or Delegate.

Instructions for Lab Employees and Students

Ask your PI or LHAT delegate to add you to the lab group (*PI must create Lab Group first)
Once you are invited by the PI or Delegate,
  1. Visit InCommon (https://ehs.ucop.edu/lhat)
  2. Select "University of California-Irvine" from the drop-down list of institutions.
  3. Enter your UCInetID and Password.
  4. Review the lab's hazard assessment and complete the 6-minute training video and 10 question quiz.
  5. Print out the PPE voucher upon completion of the LHAT training.
  6. Choose an appointment time at http://ucippe.ycb.me to be fitted for a lab coat, safety eyewear, and/or other Personal Protective Equipment at the EH&S Facility: 4600 Health Sciences Rd. Building 41 on the campus map.
  7. Fitting Day- Bring a printed copy of your PPE voucher to your fitting session. We need an actual paper copy. Electronic copies are not acceptable!
  8. IMPORTANT: If you wear prescription eye glasses, please bring them with you to your PPE fitting appointment so you can be fitted with protective eyewear that fits over your glasses.

If you have any problems or questions, please contact us at ehs-ppe@uci.edu or 949-824-6200.

Wear your PPE

Thank you for contributing to the safe and healthy work environment at UCI. Please ensure that you are wearing long pants, closed toed shoes, the appropriate lab coat and protective eyewear in the lab areas. Wearing prescription glasses alone will not protect your eyes from impact!
If you have any questions about the UC PPE policy, staying compliant or PPE spot-check results, please email ehs-ppe@uci.edu or call 949-824-6200.

Laundering your Lab Coat

There are six laundry drop-off/pick up sites {include link to laundry PDF}

  1. Medical Sciences C Loading Dock (Med Sci C-142)
  2. Engineering Tower Loading Dock (ET 105)
  3. Frederick Reines Hall (B003D)
  4. McGaugh Hall Loading Dock (MH 1439D)
  5. EH&S (Room 131)
  6. Building 55 (UC Irvine Medical Center, Orange)

Upon receipt of the PPE, each researcher has the option to select a “home” location for their lab coat. When a lab coat is dropped off for cleaning at any one of the 6 laundry locations, it will always return clean to its home location. EH&S can assign or change your laundry location. If you have questions or need to change your laundry location, please contact ehs-ppe@uci.edu. (See FAQs below for more info.)

IMPORTANT NOTE: Lab coats must be laundered by a laundry service that adheres to Title 8, Section 5193 of the California Code of Regulations. Do not wash your lab coat at home.

Missing Coat?

If your coat has not returned from Laundry and it has been over 3 weeks, please email the PPE Coordinator at ehs-ppe@uci.edu with the following information:

  • Name
  • UCI email address
  • PI Name
  • Date
  • Laundry drop-off location used

 

Policy

What do I need to know about the new policies?

On June 12, 2013, UC President signed three important new policies:

The Laboratory Safety Training and the Minors in Laboratories & Shops policies became effective on October 31, 2013 and the PPE policy became effective on March 31, 2014.

The policy changes will affect all laboratory workers including undergraduate and graduate students, postdoctoral scholars, faculty or other academic appointees, staff, visitors and volunteers.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

My PI has a bunch of lab coats already in the lab. Can’t I just wear one of those?

Due to Cal/OSHA Title 8 regulations Section 3380, no coat should be used in the lab as a "general use" lab coat. Each member of a lab must be personally fitted for a lab coat and safety glasses. Additionally, coat standards have become more rigorous. Please review the Lab Coat Guide to determine the coats you will need to use in your lab. The light blue coats issued from TANGO in 2011 should NOT be used as a Flame Resistant Coat as they no longer meet the new UC requirements. All lab coats have an expiration date of 3-5 years depending on their use and condition. If your lab coat has any holes, please discard it or contact ehs-ppe@uci.edu or 949-824-6200 for recycling.

 

I think I received too many coats. What is the difference?

Each person is issued at least 2 coats. The extra coat is provided for you to wear while your first coat is being washed. If you received different types of coats and are unsure of when to switch or use them, please refer to the Lab Coat Guide. Note: If you feel you received a coat in error, please contact ehs-ppe@uci.edu or 949-824-6200.

 

Where do I drop off my lab coat for laundering services?

There are 6 laundry drop-off/pick up sites. Please reference the map located in the sidebar.

  1. Medical Sciences C Loading Dock (Med Sci C 142)
  2. Engineering Tower Loading Dock (ET 105)
  3. Frederick Reines Hall (B003D)
  4. McGaugh Hall Loading Dock (MH 1439D)
  5. EH&S (Room 131)
  6. Building 55 (UC Irvine Medical Center, Orange)

Upon receipt of the PPE, each researcher has the option to select a “home” location for their lab coat. When a lab coat is dropped off for cleaning at any one of the 6 laundry locations, it will always return clean to its home location. EH&S can assign or change your laundry location. If you need to inquire or change your laundry location, please contact ehs-ppe@uci.edu.

 

When does Mission Linen Supply come to pick up our lab coats?

Mission Linen Supply provides laundry services for our campus every Wednesday.

 

What is the laundering turnaround for a dirty lab coat?

The first time a lab coat is dropped off, expect a 3 week return time to allow for barcoding. Once the lab coat has been barcoded at a Mission Linen Supply facility, the turnaround time decreases to 1 week.

 

I received a traditional white lab coat but I want a blue flame-resistant (FR) lab coat (and vice versa).

Unfortunately, the type of lab coat you received was determined by your Principal Investigator when he/she completed the Laboratory Hazard Assessment Tool. If you feel the type of lab coat you received was made in error, please discuss this with your PI or contact the PPE Coordinator at ehs-ppe@ci.edu, or 949-824-6200. The blue flame-resistant lab coat possesses the same properties as a traditional white lab coat except that it is also flame-resistant. Thus, the issuance of a flame-resistant coat trumps the issuance of a traditional coat.

 

Is my flame-resistant (FR) lab coat chemically treated?

No, the blue FR lab coats provided by EH&S are made of Nomex, an inherently flame-resistant material.

 

I received a barrier lab coat. Are there tips on how to properly use it?

The Cal OSHA Bloodborne Pathogen Standard (Title 8 CCR 5193) requires employees who work with human blood, certain body fluids and human tissues and cells to wear PPE that does not permit the fluids to get to the person’s skin or personal clothing. The material in the Barrier Lab Coat meets this requirement. When using the Barrier Lab Coat, make sure the elastic cuff on the sleeve is not exposed but is under the cuff of your gloves.

 

What should I do if I leave the University?

Please return your issued coat to EH&S. You can contact the PPE Coordinator for details at ehs-ppe@ci.edu, or 949-824-6200.

 

What should I do if I’m switching labs?

Please take your PPE (eyewear and lab coats) with you to your new lab. Ask your new PI to add you to their LHAT. Then email ehs-ppe@uci.edu and we will transfer your information and give you any additional PPE needed for your new group.

 

What are the browser requirements for LHAT?

LHAT makes use of recent standards in web development and includes HTML5 features which are not supported in Internet Explorer 8. We highly recommend using the latest version of one of the following browsers for the best experience in LHAT: Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer (10 or higher), Apple Safari, Google Chrome.

 

References