Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Requirements

Summary of Policy

This policy states that personal protective equipment be provided and worn by Dartmouth employees in situations where PPE could help reduce the potential for harm and injury.

Affected Parties

All Groups

Policy Statement

Personal Protective Equipment Required at Biological Safety Level 2

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires that personal protective equipment (PPE) be selected, provided and worn by employees in situations where PPE could help reduce the potential for harm and injury (29 CFR 1910.132). This guide outlines the likely situations and hazards that require the use of PPE at Biological Safety Level 2 (BSL-2). These requirements also apply to work done with animals at ABSL-2.
Special considerations may apply for certain tasks—contact EHS whenever such questions arise.  PPE is readily available to Dartmouth employees and students through the Scientific Stockrooms.
Eye/face/mucous membrane protection (29 CFR 1910.133): When working with potentially infectious materials outside of a biological safety cabinet mucous membranes must be protected by wearing a surgical-type with safety glasses or a surgical-type mask with attached acetate eye splash guard. Safety glasses are recommended at all times in the laboratory and required when working with hazardous materials. All safety glasses must meet ANSI-ISEA-Z87 (see below).
For more information regarding the use of eye protection for the control of infectious agents, please use the following link: Eye Protection for Infection Control, CDC..
Foot/skin protection (29 CFR 1910.136): Open toed shoes, sandals and other open footwear is prohibited in all Dartmouth laboratories. Additionally, shorts and other garments that leave skin unprotected are forbidden in Dartmouth laboratories using potentially infectious materials. Protective lab coats designated for lab use are to be worn while in the laboratory. This protective clothing is removed and left in the laboratory before leaving for non-laboratory areas (e.g., cafeterias, library and administrative offices).
Hand protection (29 CFR 1910.138): Appropriate gloves must be worn for activities involving potentially infectious materials. Gloves must also be worn when there is potential contact contaminated surfaces or equipment. For potentially infectious materials, disposable nitrile gloves are the best choice. Dispose of gloves when contaminated, when work with potentially infectious materials is completed and before leaving the laboratory. Never wash or reuse disposable gloves.
Gloves are never a substitute for thorough hand washing when entering the lab, after removing gloves, and before leaving the lab. Wash your hands for a minimum of 30-60 seconds with copious amounts of liquid soap and water.

Policy ID


Effective Date

October 28, 2015


Campus Services

Office of Primary Responsibility

Office of Environmental Health & Safety (EHS)

Last Reviewed Date

July 5, 2022

Next Review Date