Safety Policy & Procedure Manual
Section 000: Introductory Material
Protective apparel protects the body from chemical exposure, temperature extremes, and injury from sharp objects. Lab coats, chemical resistant aprons, and disposable tyvek suits are examples of protective apparel. Proper apparel selection should be based on intended use.
Appropriate footwear that is effective in preventing or limiting injury shall be worn by employees who are exposed to conditions that cause foot injuries. As a general rule, low-heeled, closed-toe shoes shall be worn in all laboratory operations where there is a likelihood of exposure to spilled chemicals. When a supervisor and EH&S determine that an area exposes employees to a moderate risk of foot injuries from falling objects or crushing actions, employees will be required to wear safety-toe footwear (see Safety Instruction Number 33). Safety-toe footwear must meet the requirements and specifications in American National Standards Institute (ANSI) standard Z41.1 for Safety-Toe Footwear. Employees required to wear safety-toe footwear will be reimbursed by their departments for an amount equal to the cost of the shoes up to $150. See Safety Shoe Request and Authorization Form (pdf). Reimbursement for safety shoes will be given once a year.
Appropriate eye protection shall be provided to and worn by employees whose jobs expose them to eye hazards. The minimum acceptable form of eye protection is safety glasses that meet the requirements specified in ANSI Z87.1, "Practice for Occupational and Educational Eye and Face Protection." Impact and/or chemical resistant goggles or face shields provide additional protection and should be worn over normal corrective lenses unless prescription safety glasses are worn. See Prescription Safety Glasses Request and Authorization Form (pdf). Several styles of safety glasses and goggles are available on campus. See Safety Instruction Number 4.
Gloves protect the hands and arms from chemicals, temperature extremes, and abrasion. Proper selection and use is vital to a glove’s ability to protect an employee’s hand. This is especially true when dealing with potential exposure to chemicals. An important aspect to remember is that a glove’s thickness and material type affects its ability to serve as a barrier against a specific chemical. Specifications regarding the compatibility of glove materials with chemicals are available from EH&S.
Another factor to consider when properly selecting gloves is the wearer’s need for dexterity. Please ensure that the size and thickness of the glove allows the user to safely perform all manipulations. Caution is also required when using gloves around moving equipment. Gloves should not be worn by anyone whose hands are exposed to moving parts in which the gloves could get caught.
There are two forms of hearing protectors: ear plugs and ear muffs. Each has specific advantages based on wearer comfort, work environment, and cost. Both are designed to reduce noise to an acceptable level based on the level and type of noise and the type of hearing protector. Therefore, proper selection is important.
According to OR-OSHA regulations, all employees who are exposed to noise in excess of an eight-hour time-weighted average sound level of 85 dBA (decibels, A-weighted) shall wear hearing protectors. Hearing protectors worn where noise is above this permissible level must reduce the noise to a time-weighted average of 85 dBA or less.
Supervisors are responsible for determining whether an employee’s work environment exposes the employee to an unacceptable level of noise. EH&S can assist supervisors during this evaluation by performing sound level measurements and evaluations. If necessary, a hearing conservation program will be established that will include employee training and audiometric testing.
Nothing prevents an employee from wearing hearing protectors to reduce annoyance noise or high level noise of short duration. Hearing protectors should always be considered "personal" equipment and should not be used by other individuals, except for muffs that are adequately cleaned and sanitized.
Employees are required to wear protective helmets when working in areas that involve the risk of a head injury from impact, falling or flying objects, or electrical shock and burns. The typical "hard hat" is the protective helmet of choice in most situations. Hard hats for short-term use can be obtained from the Facilities Services Tool Room (7-3390).
The Respiratory Protection program is managed by EH&S and complies with Oregon State Safety Regulations. The specific requirements of the program are outlined in Safety Instruction Number 20 . EH&S maintains a supply of the different types of respirators and highly recommends that employees obtain respirators through EH&S to ensure proper selection and fit.
The ability of respiratory protective equipment to provide adequate protection is based on the proper selection, fit and training covering the use of the respirator. Therefore, respirators designed for protection against harmful dusts, fogs, fumes, mists, gases, smokes, sprays, or vapors must not be obtained or worn by employees without the approval of EH&S and in accordance with the Respiratory Protective Equipment Safety Program.