Environmental Health & Safety

Personal Protective Equipment Guidelines

Introduction

Personal protective equipment (PPE) is used by workers in various work settings. Gloves, hard hats, safety glasses, ear plugs, aprons, laboratory coats, safety shoes, and respirators are all examples of PPE. When a hazard cannot be removed from the workplace, or when engineering controls are insufficient to control the hazard, PPE must be considered. PPE does not eliminate hazards from the workplace but places a barrier between the worker and the hazard. If the PPE fails or is not used properly, the worker will be exposed.

In order to ensure that workers are provided with correct PPE, and that the PPE is used properly, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has developed standards for certain types of PPE. The employer must provide to employees certain PPE when a workplace hazard assessment reveals the need for its use. Standards have been developed for hard hats, work shoes, gloves, eyewear, and respirators.

The employer is obligated to provide and to pay for personal protective equipment required by the company for the worker to do his or her job safely and in compliance with OSHA standards. Where equipment is very personal in nature, such as safety shoes, and is usable by workers off the job, the matter of payment may be left to labor-management negotiations. However, items such as safety shoes which are subject to contamination by carcinogens or other toxic or hazardous substances, and which cannot be safely worn off-site, must be paid for by the employer.

The Environmental Health and Safety Department (EH&S) has developed these guidelines to assist Yeshiva University (YU) and the Albert Einstein College of Medicine (Albert Einstein College of Medicine) employees with the proper selection and use of PPE.

I. Responsibilities 

YU and Albert Einstein College of Medicine support the use of personal protective equipment by their employees to minimize accidents, injuries, and illnesses that may be the result of exposure to hazards in the workplace.

  • The Environmental Health and Safety Department - EH&S will develop personal protective equipment guidelines based on hazard assessments for the University and will work with area supervisors to perform workplace assessments to determine the need for PPE.
  • Supervisors - Supervisors will alert EH&S when new hazards are introduced into the workplace or if they feel that PPE may be useful. They will ensure that the workers under their supervision wear the appropriate protective equipment.
  • Workers - Workers must alert supervisors of hazards in the workplace and must wear the appropriate PPE to protect themselves from any hazards.
 
 

II. Hazards in the Workplace 

YU is a diversified organization consisting of a medical school, research facilities, high schools, graduate and undergraduate schools, a law school, a business school, clinics, and dormitories. Each workplace and building presents unique situations and potential hazards to employees.

Hazards may be present or develop while performing any of the following operations: medical or academic research, clinical work, building maintenance, housekeeping, building operations, building renovations, receiving, and shipping. Depending upon an employee's or student's responsibilities, he/she may be exposed to biological, chemical, or physical hazards.

EH&S staff members have performed hazard assessments to determine the appropriate PPE for use throughout YU and Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Whenever a new process or hazard is introduced, a hazard assessment should be performed by area supervisors. Hazard assessments are updated whenever a process is changed. EH&S is available for consultation in all hazard determinations.

Outside contractors employed by YU and Albert Einstein College of Medicine must supply their employees with all necessary PPE and train them in its proper use.

 
 

III. Types of Personal Protection Equipment  

There is a large variety of PPE available. It can range from simple safety glasses to full body suits. The selection and proper use of PPE is vital to health and safety on the job. The following is a current list of PPE recommended for use at YU and Albert Einstein College of Medicine:

  • Eye Protection - Employees and students are required to wear safety glasses or chemical splash goggles at all times when they perform laboratory work involving hazardous materials.
    • If an employee is performing any operation such as sawing, grinding, welding, or spray painting, safety glasses\face shields specific to those tasks shall be worn.
    • Employees in the clinics must wear safety glasses or face shields whenever there is possible exposure to a potentially infectious material.
    • Specialized eyewear must be worn during work with lasers.
    • Wearing personal glasses (not safety approved), with plastic side shields is not an acceptable substitute for safety glasses.
    • Contact lenses should not be worn in laboratories or in any other work area where a chemical splash is possible.
     
  • Hand Protection - Appropriate gloves are required to be worn when hands are exposed to potential hazards. These hazards may arise from exposure to any item or substance which has the potential to damage the skin or pass through the skin’s protective barrier. Chemical hazards include acids, bases, flammables, and other toxic chemicals. Physical hazards include infectious agents, sharps, and temperature extremes.
    • Selection of gloves is based upon the performance characteristics of the glove relative to the employee's work. EH&S staff members are available to make recommendations on the types of gloves required.
    • Whenever hazardous chemicals are handled, gloves must be either thoroughly washed with soap and water before removal, or disposed of as hazardous materials in the appropriate receptacle.
    • Latex examination gloves should be removed at the conclusion of a procedure and discarded in a hazardous waste container (red bag) according to YU’s and Albert Einstein College of Medicine’s Waste Disposal Guidelines.
    • Laboratory employees working with infectious agents should discard their gloves in an autoclave bag.
    • EH&S recommends that powder-free latex examining gloves be used to avoid allergic reactions to the powder.
     
  • Hearing Protection - YU and Albert Einstein College of Medicine currently do not have work areas where OSHA noise levels are exceeded. However, hearing protective devices may be recommended in certain areas that may experience elevated noise levels. Protecting oneself from unnecessary noise is always a prudent practice. Noise assessments are made by EH&S and recommendations for hearing protection may be made following these assessments. Elevated noise levels may be found in mechanical areas such as craft shops and duplicating.
  • Respiratory Protection - Employees involved with asbestos removal, chemical emergency response, facilities maintenance, plant operations, and infectious materials may require respirators. If an employee performs a job for which respiratory protection is necessary, the requirements of the YU and Albert Einstein College of Medicine Respiratory Protection Program apply.
  • Foot Protection - It is a good work practice for employees who work in the maintenance shop, plant operations areas, EH&S, and housekeeping to wear steel-toe safety shoes. Safety personnel may also be required to wear safety shoes.
  • Protective Clothing - All employees and students in research and academic laboratories should wear laboratory coats; laboratory workers may wear chemical resistant aprons/protective sleeves.
    • Employees in clinical settings are required to wear laboratory coats/aprons whenever there is possible exposure to potentially infectious material, including human blood and related blood products.
    • Any employee who performs work involving the maintenance or removal of asbestos-containing material must wear a protective suit.
    • For cleanup of spills of hazardous materials, employees must wear either a laboratory coat, Tyvek suit, or other protective clothing depending on the degree of hazard during cleanup.
    • Engineering and housekeeping staff must wear the appropriate clothing (uniform or coveralls) to prevent contact with hazards or potentially hazardous chemicals such as oils, solvents and thermal exchange chemicals.
    • Animal caretakers are required to wear protective clothing such as a laboratory coat, Tyvek suit, or surgical scrubs, as needed.
     
  • Head Protection - All employees and students entering or working in a construction site must wear a hard hat to protect the head from falling objects, bumps, and abrasions.
  • Torso Protection - Many hazards can threaten the torso such as heat, splashes from hot metal and liquids impacts, cuts, acids, and radiation. The employees or students who are involved in activities that may affect the torso must wear the appropriate protective PPE such as a vest, jacket, apron, coveralls, or full body suit.

 

 
 

Telephone Numbers 

If there are questions about personal protective equipment, please call any of the following numbers during working hours of 9:00AM to 5:00PM:

Yeshiva University Uptown and Downtown Campuses: (212) 960-0081 - Monday through Wednesday

Albert Einstein College of Medicine Clinics: (212) 960-0081 - Monday through Wednesday

Albert Einstein College of Medicine Campus:(718) 430-4150 - Monday through Friday

 
 

Appendix A

Certification of Hazard Assessments for Use of Personal Protective Equipment 

This certifies that hazard assessments for the use of personal protective equipment have been performed and updated as of November 12, 1998. This description of PPE needs is not intended to be a comprehensive list covering all potential situations which may arise on campus. Special circumstances will need to be evaluated on a case by case basis.

I. Laboratory Employees - Laboratory technicians and instructors exposed to the following hazards must wear the appropriate PPE:

  • Chemical: face shield, safety glasses/chemical splash goggles, specific chemical resistant gloves, laboratory coat and/or laboratory apron.
  • Biological: laboratory coat, disposable latex gloves, safety glasses/chemical splash goggles, face shield.
  • Radiation: laboratory coat, disposable latex gloves, safety glasses/chemical splash goggles.

 

II. Animal Caretakers  

  • Protective Clothing
    • Laboratory coat, Tyvek suit, or scrubs must be worn, as appropriate, when handling animals. Full body protective clothing may be required when handling biosafety level 2 and level 3 organisms, to prevent worker exposure.
    • Protective gloves - powder free latex gloves are recommended when handling animals.
    • Protective eyewear - safety glasses or a face shield are recommended if there is a potential hazardous exposure to the eye. This is especially important when working with animals which may be infectious and can spit, or otherwise spray bodily fluids.
    • Respiratory protection - a respirator may be required in situations with airborne contaminants. If it is assessed that the worker will require a respirator, then the conditions of the YU and Albert Einstein College of Medicine Respiratory Protection Plan must be followed.
     

 

III. Operations and Maintenance Employees - must wear the following PPE:

General Requirements  

  • protective coveralls - or uniforms to prevent cuts and abrasions and exposure to hazardous chemical agents.
  • steel toe work shoes - to prevent injury to the feet from bumps, scrapes, and falling objects.
  • gloves - to prevent injury to the hand from lifting and rubbing rough surfaces.
  • hard hat - to prevent injury to the head from bumps and falling objects.
  • safety glasses or goggles - to prevent projectiles and other debris from hitting the eye.
  • respirators - to protect against exposure to chemicals, vapors and asbestos. If an employee must wear a respirator in the course of their work, they must be part of YU and Albert Einstein College of Medicine’s Respiratory Protection Program.
  • ear plugs - to prevent unnecessary noise exposure.

 

Specific Requirements
  • General Maintenance Employees - must all wear protective coveralls or uniforms, steel toe work shoes, gloves, safety glasses, hard hat, Tyvek suit, and respirators as needed during their work.
  • Painters - must wear, as appropriate:
    • protective coveralls or uniform - to prevent skin abrasions and contact with chemicals.
    • safety glasses or goggles - to protect the eye from paint splatter and mists and during scraping of surfaces or painting of ceilings
    • respirators - when using epoxy resins, adhesives, solvents or oil-based paints in areas with poor local ventilation, and to otherwise prevent exposure to chemical vapors when necessary.
    • chemical resistant gloves - to prevent exposure to chemicals including brush cleaning solvents.
     
  • Carpenters - must wear, as appropriate:
    • protective coveralls or uniforms - to protect against skin cuts, abrasion and contact with chemicals.
    • safety glasses - to protect against large particles or objects hitting the eye, particularly during sanding and grinding.
    • respirators - to protect against exposure to chemical vapors such as solvents, urethane, and adhesives when necessary.
    • gloves - to protect the hand from sharp and rough objects.
    • hard hat - in construction areas to prevent against bumps and falling objects.
     
  • Plumbers - must wear, as appropriate:
    • protective coveralls or uniform - to prevent against skin cuts, abrasion and contact with chemicals.
    • gloves - to protect hands from sharp/rough edges, and temperature extremes (hot/cold pipes).
    • safety glasses or goggles - to prevent projectiles and other debris from hitting the eye.
    • respirators - to protect against exposure to dust, chemical vapors, and asbestos when necessary
    • hard hat - to prevent injury to the head from bumps and falling objects.
     
  • Electricians - must wear, as appropriate:
    • protective coveralls or uniforms - to protect against skin cuts, abrasion and contact with chemicals.
    • safety glasses or goggles - to prevent projectiles, dust, and other debris from hitting the eye.
    • gloves - to protect the hands from sharp/rough objects and Insulated gloves, sleeves and aprons to protect against electric shock.
    • respirators - to protect against exposure to asbestos-containing materials.
    • hard hat - to prevent injury to the head from bumps and falling objects.
     
  • Welders - must wear, as appropriate: helmet with protective viewing lens - to protect the head from sparks and the eyes from UV radiation damage.
  • Plant Operations and Machinists - must wear, as appropriate:
    • protective coveralls or uniforms - to protect against skin cuts, abrasion and contact with chemicals.
    • safety goggles when work requires scraping or creates dust.
    • gloves - to protect the hands from sharp/rough objects, hot pipes, and hazardous chemicals.
    • respirators - to protect against exposure to dusts, mists, fumes and asbestos.
    • hard hat - to prevent injury to the head from bumps and falling objects.
    • Steel toe safety shoes when working on or with heavy equipment.
    • ear plugs - to prevent unnecessary noise exposure.
    • If the scope of a job includes the disturbance of asbestos-containing material, a licensed asbestos handler and supervisor must be contacted to perform those duties.
     
  • Housekeeping - must wear, as appropriate:
    • protective coveralls or uniforms - to protect against skin cuts, abrasion and contact with chemicals.
    • safety glasses or goggles - to protect from chemical splash, projectiles and other debris hitting the eye.
    • chemical resistant gloves - to prevent abrasions to the skin from rough/sharp objects and contact exposure to chemicals, such as solvents, ammonia, pesticides, cleaning solutions, etc.
    • steel toe shoes - to protect the feet when lifting heavy objects.
     
  • EH&S Personnel - may face a large variety of hazardous situations. EH&S personnel must wear the appropriate protective clothing based on the hazard addressed. EH&S personnel must wear, as appropriate
    • laboratory coat, or other protective clothing, gloves, and goggles - when entering laboratories responding to hazardous spills or performing laboratory clean outs.
    • respirators - must always be worn when regulated levels of airborne contaminants are exceeded.
    • shoes and shoe coverings - should be worn to prevent injury to the feet and contact with chemical or carcinogen contaminants.
    • other protective equipment - is to be selected based on the hazard faced and which will provide the best protection to the worker.
     
 
 

All which which involves the removal or clean up of asbestos:
Containing material can only be performed by a licensed asbestos handler and supervisor. These workers must ear all appropriate asbestos protective clothing and respirators as required by 29CFR 1926.1011 and 29CFR 1910.134

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