PPE for Lab Professionals

In a laboratory, an ounce of prevention really is worth a pound of cure. Taking steps to prevent exposure to hazards comes in many forms; establishing a culture of safety, administering regular inspections, and wearing protective gear, just to name a few. Personal protective equipment (PPE) comes in many different forms and varieties; knowing what equipment to wear and when to wear it is half the battle to keeping everyone in a workplace safe.

As part of a laboratory’s staff, you know that many of the chemicals and substances worked with in a lab are dangerous to handle. Accidental exposure to chemical solutions, biological agents, or other contaminated substances can cause extreme and permanent damage. Of course, taking precautionary steps such as working under a ventilation hood is a good start, but to increase lab safety, workers will also need to wear quality PPE.

Diving into Lab Safety Head-First

Starting at the top, protecting the eyes and face is a simple way to greatly increase safety in your lab. Not only do those working in the lab need protection from splash hazards, they need to increase their defenses against harmful fumes that can irritate and burn the eyes and other soft tissues. Properly using safety eyewear and face shields can significantly decrease these risks.

 Key Considerations
  • Anti-fog coating, or ventilated frames
  • Goggles that seal around the eyes
  • Compatibility with respirators
  • Compatibility with/prescription lens options
  • Heat-reflective face shield window
  • Removable or lift-front face shield design
 Recommended Gear

Photo of Verdict Goggles

2400 Verdict® Goggle

Getting a Grip on Safety with Gloves

Wearing gloves reduces the risk of contact with substances that you may not even know are there. Whether you’re pouring, mixing, or just cleaning up, gloves are an important piece of armor against accidental chemical contact. There are many qualities to think about when choosing the right gloves for the task at hand.

 Key Considerations
  • Reusability
  • Thickness or puncture resistance
  • Durability
  • Resistance to hazardous chemicals and substances
  • Coating
  • Extended or incidental contact coverage
Recommended Gear

Photo of NitriMed Glove
6012 NitriMed TM Gloves

Dress for the Job

While wearing a hazmat suit should be more of the exception than the rule, being covered from head to toe in protective garments is still a good idea. Of course, clothing that is loose or provides inadequate coverage is never safe. Most, if not all, scientific labs will require hemlines below the knee, sleeves that come to the wrist, and closed-toe footwear. Some labs also require the use of shoe covers to prevent the spread of chemicals from work area to work area.

Key Considerations
  • Intensity of splash hazards
  • Resistance to chemicals and hazardous substances
  • Flame resistance
  • Tight cuffs around wrists and ankles
  • Ease of removability in case of contamination
Recommended Gear

Photo of Coveralls
12WPC Coveralls

PRO3 = PROfessional PROtection PROviders

US Standard Products has a wide selection of top quality protective equipment that provides safer and smarter protection in the lab. Start exploring your options by downloading our free catalog or calling 1-844-877-1700 today.

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US Standard Products Insights: You Can’t Automate Safety

It’s not news to anyone that the manufacturing industry is facing a massive shift. Between artificial intelligence, automation, and other advanced technologies, manufacturing is quickly becoming a more tech-focused and “hands-off” line of work. In 2014, there were 1.5 million industrial robots in factories and warehouses, and that number only continues to climb.

However, as more and more tasks are handed over to the “bots”, one thing must not be swept up in the flurry of technological advancement: workplace safety. Sure there’s a lot of technology that empowers enhanced safety, but in reality it’s the people behind the machinery that drive a successful safety culture. As you and your team work side-by-side with newer, smarter machines, don’t forget these key points:

Technology can make mistakes, too.

No one’s perfect—and that includes that robotic arm working on the line. It’s critical for manufacturing workers to be aware that malfunctions will happen, and they can be dangerous. Preventative analytics technology and regularly-scheduled maintenance can help prevent glitches, breakdowns, and other problems from occurring and putting your workers in harm’s way.

The human mind is irreplaceable.

Though artificial intelligence has come a long way, especially in recent years, it’s certainly no replacement for the human elements of the job—things such as spur-of-the-moment problem solving, attention to detail, and even simply common sense. If you’re working with more automated elements, you still have to bring your “A” game—always be aware of your surroundings, report any red flags, and ensure you’re equipped with the proper training and gear to keep you safe on the job.

A safe and healthy workplace extends beyond the areas in which automation is involved.

OSHA identifies slips, trips, and falls as the most frequent workplace and safety violation. You can’t put the blame on artificial intelligence for that one. It’s critical to ensure your entire environment—not just areas in which heavy machinery is being used—is free from hazards. Plus, it’s important to take a holistic look at what makes up a safe and healthy environment. Things like using green cleaning products, implementing a wellness program, and providing top-notch PPE equipment can go a long way in ensuring a safe workspace, as well as a healthy workforce.

Stay Safe Alongside Technology with US Standard Products

With all this change in the industry, one thing remains the same: safety trumps all. To ensure your team is equipped with all the proper safety gear for the job, contact US Standard Products, a nationwide provider of some of the highest quality operational and safety products. To stay up-to-date on the latest workplace safety news and trends, follow US Standard Products on social media:

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