Protecting Laboratory Workers

Personal Protection

Personal protection begins with the following general non-work practices in laboratories, facilities, or cold rooms:

  • No eating and drinking
  • No smoking
  • No storing or preparing food and beverages
  • No applying cosmetics

Personal protection includes the following general work practices:

  • Wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) when applicable
  • Use restraint devices for animal handling when necessary
  • Use appropriate engineering controls such as local exhaust ventilation systems, biosafety cabinets, or fume hoods
  • Maintain emergency response equipment such as safety showers, eyewash stations, and spill kits

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) will vary depending on the hazard and exposure. Lab directors (faculty/lab managers/supervisors) are responsible for selection of proper PPE, and for training their staff and students about the proper use; EHS representatives can help you select the proper PPE – for assistance, call (734) 647-1142. The following PPE may be required, depending on the hazards encountered in the research activity:

  • Gloves, lab coats, closed toed shoes
  • Respiratory protection
  • Proper eye protection such as safety glasses, goggles, or faceshields
  • Hearing protection
  • Training and Education

    Some areas of research require your staff to attend EHS training prior to working in the lab with hazardous materials or equipment.  This training ensures that the U-M and your lab is in compliance with government rules and regulations.

    EHS also has additional educational materials to supplement the required training your staff receives and to serve as reminders of safe research practices.

    To determine which training your staff must take visit our Education, What Training Do I Need page.  While you are there also browse the page to learn what other information is available to you and your staff.

    Door Signage

    A door sign must be posted at the entrance of the laboratory to indicate the hazardous substances present in the room and personal protective equipment required to enter the room.  The signs must be clearly marked with the:

    • Primary hazards within the laboratory
    • Investigator’s name and phone number
    • Laboratory contact’s name and phone number
    • Any special requirements for entering that room including personal protective equipment
    • Specific hazard required compliance postings

    Complete the Laboratory Door Sign Request Form and send it to EHS or the contact person listed at the bottom of the form.

    You will receive your door sign a week after submitting the request form.