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Personal Protective Equipment Program

Last Updated: 02/28/2018

The purpose of the Injury Illness Prevention Program (IIPP) is to outline Cal Maritime's environmental health and safety requirements, expectations, and responsibilities in order to achieve effective campus safety performance through Integrated Safety Management (ISM). The Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Program is a subject specific component the supports the overall University IIPP.

The Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) Program is to establish a comprehensive approach toward controlling potential accidental employee injuries on campus and to reduce/prevent exposure to specified physical hazards when/where needed.   The requirements of this document apply to all employees when working in conditions requiring personal protective equipment.  This program does not apply to workplace operations regulated by Cal/OSHA's High Voltage Electrical Safety Orders or to their Construction Safety Orders. Employees working with energized electrical equipment are covered specifically under the University's Energized Electrical Work" and "Energized Work Procedures" programs and are exempted from this program for those related exposures.

Note: Training Ship Golden Bear (TSGB) is regulated under MARAD. For operations pertaining to the TSGB  -  Refer to Shoreside Administration Manual (SAM) and Vessel Operations Manual (VOM).

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The Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) Program is to establish a comprehensive approach toward controlling potential accidental employee injuries on campus and to reduce/prevent exposure to specified physical hazards when/where needed.   The requirements of this document apply to all employees when working in conditions requiring personal protective equipment.  This program does not apply to workplace operations regulated by Cal/OSHA's High Voltage Electrical Safety Orders or to their Construction Safety Orders. Employees working with energized electrical equipment are covered specifically under the University's Energized Electrical Work" and "Energized Work Procedures" programs and are exempted from this program for those related exposures.


  • Exposures:  The condition of being unprotected from a possible injury source.
  • Ballistic Exposure:  exposures consist of flying or dropped materials that may strike and injure an employee on the job causing a blunt or penetrating trauma.
  • Biological Exposure:  exposures consist of any biological agent that may cause personal injury.
  • Blunt Trauma Exposure:  refers to a type of physical trauma caused to a body part by impact. Resulting injury may be concussions, abrasions, lacerations, and/or bone fracturing. Blunt trauma is contrasted with penetrating trauma, in which an object such as a hypodermic needle enters the body.
  • Chemical Exposure:  exposures consist of any chemical agent that may cause personal injury.
  • Confined Space Entry Exposure:  exposures consist of any confined workplace that may result in injury.
  • Extreme Temperatures: working in very high or very low temperatures either localized or in the general environment can cause injuries.
  • Fall Exposure:  exposures consist of any work activity from elevated heights or ladders.
  • Fire Exposure:  exposures working around open flames or from fighting a fire.
  • Hazardous Materials:  exposure to any material which poses a health and safety threat to employees and/or as a result of improper handling or disposal methods or accidental discharge. PPE may consist of gloves, safety glasses, goggles, face shields, clothing and creams.
  • Penetrating Trauma Exposure:  exposures to puncture wounds while in a work environment.
  • Radiation Exposure:  exposures to harmful ionizing or non-ionizing radiation in which an employee may work.
  • Respiratory Exposure:  exposures to harmful contaminants in the air in which an employee may work.
  • Rolling Stock:  exposures to powered and non-powered rolling carts, dollies and pallet movers used to manually transport heavy materials and equipment. PPE may consist of gloves and hard toed shoes.
  • Sharp Objects:  exposures to tools, equipment and materials with sharp points or edges.  PPE may consist of gloves, special clothing and safety glasses.


While personal protective equipment is an effective loss control tool in accident and injury prevention, these devices still do not reduce or eliminate the hazards.  Thus, PPE is advised when it is not feasible to render the workplace environment adequately safe.  It is not the University's intention to make PPE the sole protection but a supplement to effective environmental control coupled with safe work procedures and proper training.

Supervisors must take care when considering the appropriate PPE for a specific or combination of hazards. Selecting the correct PPE may mean choosing from a variety of types, materials, functions and design to achieve the most cost effective protection without compromising safety.  Many PPE devices available require choices among several variables and priorities over and above cost.  These choices are best made in consultation with the safety personnel in the Environmental Health & Safety Department.

Any clothing or equipment provided by the University that is designed and constructed to safeguard the wearer exposed to a specific physical hazard. Such as:

  • Body Protection Equipment:  used by employees exposed to potential injury to the body, trunk, limbs or torso.  PPE may consist of special clothing.
  • Eye/Face Protection Equipment:  used by employees exposed to potential injury from harmful light or airborne particles in the work environment.  PPE may consist of special safety glasses, goggles or face masks.
  • Fall Protection Equipment:   used by employees exposed to potential by working at above ground levels of 6  feet or more.  PPE may consist of Personal Fall Arresting Systems.  Components of a personal fall arresting system, detailed in the "Fall Protection Program," include a body harness, lanyard, lifeline, connector, and an anchorage point capable of supporting at least 5000 pounds
  • Foot Protection Equipment:  used by employees exposed to potential injury to the feet.  PPE may consist of special shoes, boots or metatarsal guards.
  • Hand Protection Equipment:  used by employees exposed to potential injury to hands.  PPE may consist of special gloves or hand creams.
  • Head Protection Equipment:  used by employees exposed to potential injury to the head.  PPE may consist of special hats, helmets or bump caps.
  • Hearing Protection Equipment:  used by employees exposed to excessive levels of sound as specified in the University's "Hearing Conservation Program."  PPE may consist of special earplugs or earmuffs.
  • Radiation Protection Equipment:  used by employees exposed to potential injury as specified in the University's "Radiation Safety Manual."  PPE may consist of safety glasses, protective clothing and gloves.
  • Respiratory Protection Equipment:  used by employees exposed to potential injury to the lungs and associated breathing functions as specified in the University's "Respiratory Protection Program."  PPE may consist of special dust masks, respirators of single or multiple use and air supplied types.
  • Skin Protection Equipment:  used by employees exposed to potential injury (i.e., dermatitis) from chemical or others hazardous materials they may need to handle in the course of their work assignments.  PPE may consist of gloves, special protective hand creams, sunscreen or clothing. 



Suitable safety eyewear shall be provided and used where machinery, equipment, or operations present the hazards of flying objects, impact, liquids, chemicals, injurious energies (laser, glare, radiation, etc.), intense heat/cold, or a combination of these hazards. Care should be taken to recognize the possibility of multiple and simultaneous exposure to a variety of hazards. Certain operations require face protection in addition to eye protection and unless specifically designed for such uses, face shields are not to be worn in lieu of safety eyewear. The selection, use, and maintenance of safety eyewear shall be in accordance with ANSI Z87.1-2003 Occupational and Educational Personal Eye and Face Protection Devices, or equivalent.

It is essential that eye and face protectors be kept clean. They shall be cleaned and inspected daily. Pitted or scratched lenses or face shields reduce vision and seriously reduce protection. Accordingly, lenses and face shields shall be replaced when they are pitted or scratched to such a degree that vision is obscured.

Safety Glasses

Safety glasses shall meet the impact requirements of ANSI Z87.1 or equivalent. Lenses and frames shall be marked with the manufacturer's symbol to indicate compliance with ANSI Z87.1. The use of approved lenses in unapproved frames is not acceptable. Tinted lenses in safety glasses for minimizing solar glare are permissible only when used outdoors during daylight hours. Prescription safety glasses can be worn by personnel whose vision requires the use of corrective lenses.

Side Shields

Side shields are required on safety glasses worn in eye-hazard areas and operations, unless it has been specifically determined for a particular operation that it is not possible for injurious objects or energies to enter the wearer's eyes from the side or that the reduced peripheral vision would pose a greater hazard to the employee. Side shields shall not be easily detachable from the frames; snap-on or slip-on types of side shields are not acceptable unless secure.


Goggles or eyecups shall be worn to protect against dust particles, liquids, splashes, mists, spray, and injurious radiation. They shall be designed to protect the eye sockets and the facial area around the eyes, thus protecting the wearer from side exposure. They can be worn over corrective eye glasses if they do not disturb the adjustment of the glasses, or corrective lenses can be incorporated into the goggle by mounting behind the protective lens.

Laser Protection

Eye protection for laser operations must be in compliance with ANSI Z136.1-2007 Safe Use of Lasers, or equivalent.

Welding Shades

Shades in the form of spectacles, goggles, hand-held shields, or helmets are necessary when you are welding, brazing or torch-cutting, or when such work is being performed near you. Hazard assessment for the operation will determine the appropriate shade value. Filter lenses must meet the requirements for shade designations in OSHA 1910.133(a) (5) and be identified as such.


Head, neck and face protection must be worn when employees are exposed to working environments where they might be struck on the head, strike their head against an overhead hazard, entangle their hair or be exposed to flying debris (e.g., chips, particles, sand, molten metal, etc.), or to chemical splashing, high voltage, electric shock or a combination of these hazards.

Face Shields

Face shields shall be worn to protect the face and front of the neck from flying particles and sprays or splashes of hazardous liquids.

Hard Hats

Hard hats shall be constructed, selected, used, and maintained in accordance with ANSI/ISEA Z89.1-2009 Industrial Head Protection. Be certain that hard hats provided are not bump caps, make the selection based on the ANSI descriptions of Protective Helmets, and ensure that the helmet is marked with certification (manufacturer's name, the legend "ANSI Z89.1" and the class designation of G, E, or C).

  • Class G (General) Helmets are designed to decrease the impact of falling objects and to lessen the risk of being exposed to low-voltage electrical conductors. Helmets are tested at 2200 volts of electrical charge in order to be certified.
  • Class E (Electrical) Helmets are also intended to decrease the impact of falling objects, but these helmets reduce the risk of coming into contact with High-voltage electrical conductors. They are tested at 20,000 volts of electrical charge in order to receive certification.
  • Class C (Conductive) Helmets also reduce the force of impact of falling objects, but do not protect against electrical contact.

Hair Protection

Long hair, including long facial hair, which is susceptible to becoming entangled in moving machinery or drawn into such machinery by the generation of static electricity, shall be controlled by caps or hair nets.

Welding Helmets

Welding helmets are designed to protect the welder from particles of hot metal and their eyes from arc radiation. Hand held shields are available for those standing nearby and observing. When selecting a helmet, be sure the helmet packaging and product advertises either "ANSI Z87.1-2003" or "Z87+."


Unless otherwise noted, the term shoe as used herein includes boots. Protective footwear should be worn in areas where there is a danger of foot injuries due to falling, rolling, or puncture from objects; slips, trips and falls from slippery or wet surfaces; and exposure to electrical or chemical hazards. Protective footwear (other than slip-resistant footwear and overshoes) must comply with ASTM F2413-05 Standard Specification for Performance Requirements for Foot Protection. Protective footwear must first meet the requirements for impact and compression resistance before being ASTM certified. Requirements for additional protection can then be met and would fall under the following categories:

Protective Footwear

Metatarsal (Mt)

The purpose of metatarsal footwear is to prevent or reduce the severity of injury to the metatarsal and toe areas. Metatarsal protection should be an integral and permanent part of the footwear that covers the instep. Add-on devices are acceptable as long as they provide protection equivalent to ASTM performance standards.

Dielectric Insulation (DI)

DI footwear provides additional insulation if accidental contact is made with energized electrical conductors, apparatus or circuits and must meet the minimum insulation performance requirements of ASTM F1117-03 (2008) Standard Specification for Dielectric Footwear and tested with the ASTM F1116-03 (2008) Standard Test Method for Determining Dielectric Strength of Dielectric Footwear.

Electrical Shock Resistant (EH)

Footwear designed to reduce the hazards due to the contact of the sole with electrically energized parts and to provide secondary electrical hazard protection on substantially insulated surfaces. The soles of electrical hazard footwear are non-conductive and must be capable of withstanding the application of 14,000 volts at 60 hertz for one minute with no current flow or leakage current in excess of 3.0 milliamperes, under dry conditions.


Conductive Footwear (Cd)

Footwear designed to discharge static electricity from your body through your shoes into grounded floors. Floors must be grounded so that a charge can be dissipated. Conductive footwear is designed and manufactured to minimize static electricity and to reduce the possibility of ignition of volatile chemicals, explosives, or explosive dusts. The electrical resistance must range between zero and 500,000 ohms.

Warning – Conductive footwear may NOT be worn near open electrical circuits or highly charged objects of any kind that require Electrical Hazard (NON-conductive) footwear.

Static Dissipative (SD)

This type of footwear is designed to reduce the accumulation of excess static electricity by conducting body charge to ground, while maintaining a high enough level of electrical resistance to reduce the possibility of electric shock. The footwear must have electrical resistance between 106 ohms and 108 ohms.

Chain Saw Cut Resistant (CS)

This footwear is designed to protect the foot area between the toe and lower leg when operating a chain saw and must meet the ASTM F1818-04 Standard Specification for Foot Protection for Chainsaw Users.

Puncture Resistant (PR)

A puncture resistant device located in the shoe sole reduces the possibility of puncture wounds to the soles of the feet by objects that could penetrate the outsoles of the footwear.

Slip Resistant

Shoes with tread composition and tread pattern designed to give better traction than standard shoes on slippery surfaces shall be worn to prevent slips and falls in wet environments.


Rubber or neoprene overshoes are designed to protect against splashing liquids or chemicals.


Suitable hand and lower arm protection shall be provided and used where machinery, equipment or operations present the hazards of mechanical injury, extreme heat or cold exposure, chemical exposure, blood and body fluids (BBF), hazardous drugs, radiation, electrical shock, vibration, or a combination of these hazards.

Safety Glove Size Chart

When a hazard assessment identifies a need for hand protection, it is the responsibility of the employer to determine the best glove for the task at hand. No matter the type (anti-vibration, chemical resistant, cut resistant, etc.), once the glove is selected, then proper sizing comes into play.

Ordering gloves too small or too large can result in job completion delays, as well as possible hand injuries. If too small, the gloves can be uncomfortable and cause hand fatigue. If the glove material is stretched beyond its capabilities, it could tear or rip easily when in use, which is wasteful, costly and increases the possibility of injury due to an unprotected hand. A glove that is too small can also compromise hand dexterity for the wearer, so the chances of the end user wearing the glove for the intended purpose is reduced. Then again, when you select hand protection that is too large it may literally be pulled off the hand.

How to Determine Glove Size

It is important to know how to measure the hand to get a proper fitting glove. Measuring the hand for correct fit will help to give the employee the best possible protection.

One method used to find the correct glove size is to measure around the dominant hand with a soft cloth tape measure as shown below. The dominant hand measurement is preferred (right if you are right-handed and left if you are left-handed).

If the gloves you are purchasing come in numbered sizes, you can correlate the inch measurement directly to the numerical size listed for the glove. For example, if the measurement taken is 8 inches, then you would select a size 8 glove. If the measurement is over 8 inches, then the next size larger should be selected to avoid hand fatigue from wearing a glove that's too small. If the gloves you are purchasing come in lettered sizes, such as XS, S, M, L or XL, these can be converted to a numerical size for easy selection using the following glove size chart:


Thermal Gloves

A variety of gloves are designed to protect workers' hands and arms from the extremes of hot or cold when working with autoclaves, cryogenics, kitchen equipment, food, welding, or laboratory equipment. Gloves should be chosen based on the extreme of temperatures expected along with conditions of wet, dry, and abrasive.

Disposable Gloves

Disposable gloves are used most commonly in food processing or assembly, laboratories, industrial, and healthcare applications. They are available in latex rubber, nitrile, polyethylene, PVC, neoprene, vinyl and other synthetic materials. Latex is being replaced by other suitable alternatives because of the latex allergy concern.

Chemotherapy Gloves

These are disposable gloves that are designed for use when handling chemotherapy drugs or any hazardous drug that is being compounded, prepared or administered. They should be tested according to the ASTM D6978-05 Standard Practice for Assessment of Resistance of Medical Gloves to Permeation by Chemotherapy Drugs (after 2005) or F739-07 Standard Test Method for Permeation of Liquids and Gases through Protective Clothing Materials under Conditions of Continuous Contact (before 2005), and approved by the FDA for use with chemotherapy drugs.

Cut-Resistant Gloves

Cut-resistant gloves are designed to protect hands from direct contact with sharp edges such as glass, metal, ceramics and other materials. Cut resistance is a function of a glove's material composition and thickness. You can increase the level of cut protection by increasing material weight (i.e., ounces per square yard); by using high-performance materials such as Dyneema®, Kevlar®, etc.; or by using composite yarns made with varying combinations of stainless steel, fiberglass, synthetic yarns and high-performance yarns.

Performance characteristics are not only affected by a material's weight, but also by the coatings applied to the outside surface. Lighter-weight styles offer more dexterity, resulting in less hand fatigue, while their heavier counterparts generally provide more cut and abrasion protection. Coated gloves enhance grip, especially on slippery surfaces. However, some coated gloves may not be appropriate for food handling applications.

Cut-resistant fibers and materials include, but are not limited to:

  • Dyneema®: A super-strong polyethylene fiber that offers maximum strength combined with minimum weight. It is up to 15 times stronger than quality steel and up to 40% stronger than aramid fibers, both on a weight-for-weight basis. Dyneema® floats on water and is extremely durable and resistant to moisture, ultraviolet light and chemicals.
  • Kevlar®Aramid Fiber: A synthetic polyamide that is five times stronger than steel per unit weight. Inherently flame resistant, it begins to char at 800°F (427°C). The thread made of Kevlar® fiber is used to sew seams on temperature-resistant gloves. Kevlar® gloves offer cut and heat resistance. Typically, it is a lightweight and flexible material used for many applications relating to automotive assembly, sheet metal handling and glass handling.
  • Fiber-Metal Blends: Many durable, abrasion-resistant gloves are made of a woven fabric blend of Kevlar® and stainless steel.
  • Metal Mesh: Interlocked stainless steel mesh offers superior cut and abrasion protection due to its strength. Metal mesh gloves are very cut and abrasion resistant and are often used in meat/poultry applications.
  • Super Fabric: Combinations of the number of layers, thickness, substrates, surface coatings, etc., lead to fabrics that have varying levels of puncture, cut and abrasion resistance, grip and flexibility. Tactile surfaces offer improved grip of wet and oily surfaces.
  • Steel Core: Cut and abrasion resistant and are often used for meat/poultry processing, glass handling, metal fabrication, automotive manufacturing as well as being used in the paper industry.

The ANSI/ISEA 105-2016 "American National Standard for Hand Protection" defines performance levels for cut resistance, blunt object puncture resistance, hypodermic needle puncture resistance and abrasion resistance. The standard provides guidance on the test methods used as well as pass/fail criteria so that you can determine what hand protection products may meet your needs.

ANSI/ISEA 105-2016 vs. 105-2011

ANSI/ISEA 105-2016

ANSI/ISEA 105-2011

Weight (grams) needed to cut through Test Method: ASTM F2992-15)

New Cut Level Rating

Weigh(grams) needed to cut through (Test Method: ASTM F1790-97 or ASTM F1790-05)

Old Cut Level Rating



< 200








































The European Standard EN 388, "Protective Gloves against Mechanical Risks" uses different level groupings and a completely different method of testing than ANSI/ISEA 105. No approved changes have been made to EN 388 at this time. ANSI/ISEA 105 and EN 388 cut levels are not interchangeable.

EN 388 Cut-Resistance Performance Levels

Performance Level

Blade Cut Resistance (Cut Index)


1.2 -2.4


2.5 – 4.9


5.0 – 9.9


10.0 – 19.9




Chemical Resistant Gloves

These gloves can be disposable or re-useable and generally do not protect against all chemical hazards. The appropriate glove material must be selected that provides resistance to the specific chemical hazard that will be encountered, such as acids, alcohols, oils, corrosives, and solvents.

Electrical Gloves

Rubber and leather insulating gloves, mittens, and sleeves are designed to protect the worker from electrical hazards such as fire ignition, electric shock, arc flash and blast. The proper gloves shall be chosen in accordance with the NFPA 70E (2009) Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace and tested to appropriate voltage meeting ASTM D120-09 Standard Specification for Rubber Insulating Gloves.

Anti-Vibration Gloves

Padded gloves are used to prevent hand-arm vibration syndrome (HAVS) that often occurs from repeat exposure to vibration. Highly specialized tasks such as operating chain saws, grinders, nail guns, sanders and any machinery that produces high levels of vibration would put employees at risk for HAVS.

General Purpose Gloves

These gloves are available in jersey, canvas or string knits, leather, or as leather palm work gloves. They protect against abrasion and can be unlined or lined for cold weather.

Finger Cots

Made of latex, nitrile rubber, vinyl, cotton, or leather, these individual finger covers can be used in the healthcare industry, food processing and when handling rough, sharp, and hot surfaces.


Protective clothing includes coveralls, aprons, sleeves, leggings, and garments that cover the body. These items are intended to protect the wearer against heat, cold, moisture, toxic chemicals, acids, corrosives, electricity, biological and physical hazards such as sharp objects, flying objects, excessive dust, grease, etc.

When specific items of personal attire are judged to be hazardous to an operation or work environment, their use shall be prohibited. Some examples: The wearing of long sleeves, jewelry, and loose-fitting or dangling clothing shall not be permitted around rotating machinery; silk, wool, rayon, nylon, and other synthetic fiber garments shall not be worn in any operation in which the generation of static electricity would create a hazard.

Suitable attire, including appropriate shoes, normally worn by prudent individuals to avoid unnecessary risk, is the responsibility of the employee and is considered a condition of employment.

Special Clothing

Where employees are required to wear special protective clothing that necessitates changing from street clothes, a designated location for changing clothes and suitable clothing lockers will be provided.

Special protective clothing worn on the job shall not be worn or taken away from the premises by employees, since this may expose other persons to unnecessary risk caused by contaminated clothing. The Department will be responsible for cleaning and drying special clothing contaminated with or exposed to hazardous materials or for proper disposal in the event contaminated clothing needs to be discarded.

Paperlike Fiber

Disposable suits made of this material provide protection against dusts.


Garments of differing formulations provide a variety of protection ranging from non-hazardous dusts to dry particulate hazards such as lead dust, mold, asbestos, and other aerosol hazards.


These garments protect against a wide range of chemical hazards ranging from light to moderate liquid splash to higher levels of protection for hazmat applications.


Kevlar is a synthetic fiber which is highly resistant to cuts and punctures.

Treated Wool and Cotton

Protective clothing made from treated wool and cotton adapts well to changing workplace temperatures and is comfortable as well as fire resistant. Treated cotton and wool clothing protects against dust, abrasions, and rough and irritating surfaces.


Duck is a closely woven cotton fabric which protects against cuts and bruises during the handling of heavy, sharp, or rough materials.


Leather gloves protect against dry heat, flame, cuts, and abrasion.

Rubber, Rubberized Fabrics, Neoprene and Plastics

  • Protective clothing made from these materials protects against certain acids and other chemicals.
  • Clothing for protection from electrical hazards shall conform to the NFPA 70E Table 130.7(C) (8), Standards on Protective Equipment.


Protera garments meet the NFPA 70E Category 2 requirements for protection from electric arc hazards.


This is a flame resistant synthetic fiber that will not melt, drip or support combustion and is combined with high break strength, tear resistance and abrasion resistance properties.

High Visibility Clothing

When employees are performing work in the road or in the right-of-way, they shall wear high-visibility clothing that conforms to ANSI/ISEA 107-2004 High-Visibility Safety Apparel and Headwear, Class 2 requirements at a minimum.

Personnel may be exposed to fall hazards when performing work on a surface with an unprotected side or edge that is 4 feet or more above a lower level, or 10 feet or more on scaffolds. Fall protection may also be required when using vehicle man lifts, elevated platforms, tree trimming, performing work on poles, roofs, or fixed ladders. Workers must use fall protection where required. A personal fall arrest system consists of a full-body harness, lanyard, lifeline and snaphooks, and must be in compliance with OSHA 29 CFR 1926, Subpart M, Fall Protection.

Hearing protection is required for employees working in areas where they are exposed to noise at or above 85 dBA, or while working with equipment that generates noise at or above 85 dBA.

Employees may be exposed to respiratory hazards that require the use of respirators, such as during emergency response, handling animals, working with hazardous chemicals, disturbing asbestos, welding, painting, etc. Employees needing respiratory protection will be placed on the Respiratory Protection Program prior to respirator use.

The following minimum attire and PPE requirements pertain to all laboratories/technical areas where use or storage of hazardous materials occurs or a physical hazard exists. This section should be used as the basis for developing the required PPE elements to include in the course syllabus for laboratory classes. The wearing of required PPE may only be modified as determined by a standard operating procedure or the laboratory hazard assessment.

Attire when occupying a Laboratory/Technical Area

Full length pants (or equivalent) and closed toe/heel shoe attire must be worn at all times by all workers who are occupying or entering a laboratory/technical area. The area of skin between the pants and shoe should not be exposed.

PPE when working with, or adjacent to, hazardous material use areas within a Laboratory/Technical Area

Laboratory coats (or equivalent protective garments) and protective eyewear are required to be worn by all workers working with hazardous materials. In addition, laboratory personnel occupying the adjacent area, who have the potential to be exposed to chemical splashes or other hazards as determined by SOP requirements and/or the laboratory hazard assessment, are required to wear laboratory coats (or equivalent protective garments) and protective eyewear.

Laboratory coats must be appropriately sized (and if necessary fitted) for the worker. Coats must be buttoned/snapped to their full length. Laboratory coat sleeves must be of a sufficient length to prevent direct skin exposure while wearing gloves.

Flame Resistant (FR-rated) laboratory coats must be worn when working with any amount of pyrophoric materials. FR-rated lab coats are also required when working with flammable liquids in laboratories using open flames or other potential ignition sources; or as determined by the hazard assessment.

Laboratory coats shall not be laundered at private residences or public laundry facilities. Any protective clothing that becomes contaminated with hazardous materials must be decontaminated prior to being laundered or appropriately discarded. Campuses are responsible for providing suitable laundry services to maintain required laboratory coats.

All protective eyewear must meet American National Standards Institute (ANSI) standards and be appropriate for the work being done. Typical prescription spectacles are not suitable eye protection. Prescription safety glasses/goggles are available through individual campus procurement offices. Protective eyewear may be removed when using optical microscopes or similar instruments, requiring close contact between the eyes and the eyepieces.

Protective gloves must be worn while using any hazardous materials, hot or cold liquids (including cryogenics), objects that pose a risk of thermal burns, items having physical hazards, or equipment that may cause hand injury. These gloves must be appropriate for the material or process being used and must not interfere with the ability of the worker to work safely. The Safety Data Sheet (SDS) for the material and the manufacturer-specific glove selection guide should be referenced to determine appropriate glove type.

Some operations and procedures may warrant additional PPE, as indicated by the Safety Data Sheet (SDS), the Standard Operating Procedures (SOP), facility policies, regulatory requirements, or the hazard assessment. These might include face shields, aprons, respiratory protection, hearing protection, etc.

For Students:

Academic courses which include laboratory, shop or field work are required to indicate PPE requirements (including specifications of the type of PPE) as part of the course syllabus. These PPE items shall be the responsibility of the student to obtain and wear as part of the class. Common communal PPE such as thermal protective, welding aprons, face shields, etc., will be provided by the sponsoring department. The instructor of record for a course, or designee, is responsible for ensuring that students are familiar with and properly using required protective devices.


The minimum personal protective equipment requirements for Laboratories/Technical Areas will not apply to:

  • Laboratories/technical areas which have been designated and posted as free of physical or chemical hazards. Examples: Laboratories/technical areas that house only operations with no inherent physical or chemical hazards during normal, reasonably foreseeable upset (unexpected occurrence), or routine maintenance activities. Examples include some electron microscope rooms, precision measurement rooms, etc.
  • Exceptions that require written approval from their campus Department of Safety & Risk Management or SRM approved department designees. SRM has the final authority for determining this risk assessment.
  • The establishment of non-PPE required corridors that may be delineated within technical areas provided that the corridor does not pass near any potential exposure hazard.
  • Non-hazardous work areas (e.g., offices, work stations) that are within laboratory/technical areas but are clearly delineated by distance or physical barrier (e.g., walls, doors, or cubicle dividers). It must be clear that the area is intended to be a self-contained, dedicated area. Readily movable furniture does not constitute a physical barrier as envisioned here.
  • Exceptions for individual desks or work spaces within a Technical Area are discouraged.
  • The requirement to use PPE is a function of the type of work (activities), the duration of the exposure (e.g., time weighted average for sound level) and the degree of physical contact (action level to implement controls) with the potential injury/illness source. However, each job at the University has varying degrees of exposure to injury ranging from minuscule to severe.  Over the course of many years of job analysis and safety investigations the University published a number of Environmental Health and Safety Programs to identify those injury sources and to mitigate employee accidental injuries. 

Because the purchase, training, use and enforcement of personal protective equipment is implemented across a cross-section of departments at Cal Maritime, the most expedient way for a supervisor to assess the need for PPE is to examine the existing EH&S Safety and Health programs.

For example, the specific "Hearing Conversation Program," to evaluate potential injury to hearing by loud sustained noise, was established to identify the activities where loud noise may exist and to determine if the sound exceeds minimum standards as published by the government. Appropriate hearing PPE can be found in this program.

In the case of an injury potential for getting a foreign body embedded in the eye, the exposure may exist at very many job activities. However, experience has shown that the level of eye injury potential is greater where there is flying particles from wood sawing operations or metal chips from grinding.  Thus, those activities, that have this increased injury potential, would be subject to mandatory eye protection for the employee through other specific programs. 

Several other programs where PPE, to some extent, is specified include:

  • Blood-borne Pathogens Program
  • Chemical Hygiene Program
  • Energized Electrical Work
  • Energized Work Program
  • Fall Protection Program
  • Respiratory Protection

Supervisors, responsible for the on-the-job health and safety of the employee, should look first to the specific program that details the PPE required.  If the hazardous job is occasional or does not fit into a specific program, the SRM Department will assist with PPE selection and training as required to protect the employee. 

The department person responsible for purchasing PPE should be very specific when ordering PPE so that there is a balance of quality, work efficiency and safety with the cost of the item.  The purchaser should select the protective equipment which ensures a level of protection greater than the minimum required to protect employees from the hazards.  When cost effective, an inventory of approved PPE should be maintained.

It is critical that all reusable PPE be kept clean and properly maintained in order to provide the protection intended. Cleaning is particularly important for eye and face protection where dirty or fogged lenses could impair vision. For the purposes of compliance with Section 3380(a) and (d), PPE should be inspected, cleaned, and maintained at regular intervals.  It is also important to ensure that contaminated PPE which cannot be decontaminated is disposed of in a manner that protects employees from exposure to hazards.  Defective or damaged personal protective equipment shall not be used.

For PPE devices with adjustable features, adjustments should be made on an individual basis for a comfortable fit that will maintain the protective device in the proper position. Particular care should be taken in fitting devices for eye protection against dust and chemical splash to ensure that the devices are sealed to the face. In addition, proper fitting of a helmet is important to ensure that it will not fall off during work operations. In some cases a chin strap may be necessary to keep the helmet on an employee's head. Careful consideration must be given to comfort and fit because continued wearing of the device is more likely if it fits the wearer.

When feasible, PPE should be kept in a clean, dust free locker, cabinet or area so that it is easily accessible to whomever needs it.  Some PPE devices will have storage considerations specified by the manufacturer.

The department should make all PPE readily available to employees requiring hazard protection.  When possible, reusable PPE devices may be assigned to individuals.

The California State Department of Industrial Relations, Division of Occupational Safety & Health, CCR Title 8 Regulations references the following recommendations regarding personal protective equipment.



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