Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is specialized clothing or equipment that is worn by the employee for protection against a hazard where work practice and engineering controls do not sufficiently protect from the hazard, as a final line of defense. Equipment may include, but is not limited to gloves, face shields, eye protection, and laboratory coats. PPE must be used when other work practice controls do not fully protect the employee from exposure to blood or OPIM.
PPE will be chosen based on the anticipated exposure to blood or other potentially infectious materials. The PPE will be considered appropriate only if it does not permit blood or other potentially infectious materials to pass through or reach the employees’ clothing, skin, eyes, mouth, or other mucous membranes under normal conditions of use and for the duration of time which the protective equipment will be used. Employees will receive training on the appropriate use of PPE provided for specific tasks.
It is the supervisor’s responsibility to provide at-risk employees with the PPE they need to protect themselves from exposure and the training to correctly use it. The supervisor must also implement procedures to ensure that all employees use the appropriate PPE. The University department will provide personal protective equipment at no cost to the employee.
It is the employee’s responsibility to check all PPE to make sure that it is in working order before using, and to report any problems with PPE to their supervisor. This could include damage, poor fit, or any other issue that could affect the function and inhibit the protection the PPE is intended to provide.
Attire contaminated with blood or OPIM must be removed immediately and placed carefully into a biohazard bag. They should not be rinsed or handled any more than necessary to contain the infectious material. If autoclaving is appropriate for decontamination of these materials, transport to the Department of Biology and consult with the Biology Lab Manager to ensure proper sterilization of those materials.