The University of Iowa

SAFETYmatters - Standard Laboratory Attire

Given that chemical, biological, radiological, and physical hazards are almost always present in a laboratory or animal care environment, standard laboratory attire and personal protective equipment (PPE) should always be worn to protect workers from those hazards. The University of Iowa has implemented safety practices to protect faculty, staff, students, volunteers, and authorized visitors from exposure to these hazards. Standard laboratory attire should cover all skin except for the lower portion of the arms and includes shoes (closed‐toe, solid-top), clothing that covers the legs, such as long pants or equivalent and shirts that show no visible skin below the neck except for the lower portion of the arms. A lab coat should be worn to protect the lower portion of the arms. Clothing through which skin can be seen does not provide proper protection, and therefore does not meet the definition of standard laboratory attire. Unacceptable attire includes, but is not limited to, open-toe shoes, sandals, flip-flops, shorts, tank tops, muscle shirts, bare midriffs/backs, mesh clothing, and similar attire that may result in skin exposure to hazards. Required PPE will vary depending on the hazards present. The PPE Hazard Assessment Tool (PPE HAT) specifies required PPE, based on specific hazards. All laboratory workers are required to review the PPE HAT annually. Faculty and other supervisors are responsible for ensuring that staff, students, volunteers, and authorized visitors wear standard laboratory attire and any required PPE while in research laboratories.