PPE Mistakes to Avoid
Personal Protective Equipment commonly referred to as PPE is any device designed to be worn to form a barrier to protect the user against any hazards present in the workplace. Failure to put on proper PPE endangers not just yourself but also your workplace and the people around you.
1. Not wearing lab coats
It does not only protect your clothes and skin but also prevents the spread of contamination from the laboratory.
2. Wearing lab coats outside the laboratory
While it is good that you are using a lab coat, remember to take it off before leaving the laboratory premises.
3. Wearing the wrong type of lab coat
Lab coats come in several varieties, so make sure you are wearing one suitable for your needs.
4. Incorrect clothing
Your clothes also play a role in your safety. For instance, do not wear open-toed shoes or high heels inside the laboratory as they impose higher accident risks.
5. Not wearing gloves
Use gloves whenever handling harmful chemicals and biological agents.
6. Reusing disposable gloves
These gloves are called disposable for a reason. If you get acrylamide or any other dangerous chemical onto your gloves, dispose them and get a new pair.
7. Not taking off gloves when moving between areas
In a typical lab set up, equipment may be located in different rooms or even on different floors. If you need to move between areas during an experiment, take a spare pair (or two) of gloves with you in your lab coat pocket and remove one of your gloves to allow you to open doors without contaminating them.
8. Misusing insulated gloves
Insulated gloves may protect you from the cold but it does not necessarily protect you from liquid nitrogen itself. Avoid spillage over your hands when removing trays.
9. Not wearing safety glasses or a visor
When doing experiments with risks of spillage or splashing of liquids, make sure to wear safety glasses. However, there are times where safety glasses are not sufficient, especially when protecting yourself against UV exposure. Make sure you know when glasses are sufficient and when full visors are required.
10. Improper removal of PPE
PPE reduces the transmission of pathogens. However, improper removal of PPEs can lead to contamination of the skin and clothing. Make sure to observe proper donning and doffing of any PPE.
Wearing the right PPE along with the right equipment increases productivity and lessens the chance of laboratory accidents. Always practice the right use of PPE for everyone’s safety.