During the summer months many University employees arrive inappropriately dressed for work in the laboratory. The University of Pennsylvania's laboratory safety manuals as well as federal regulations require lab workers to wear lab coats and safety glasses in areas where chemicals, biohazards or radioisotopes are used. Shorts and sandals are not appropriate attire for laboratories even when they are worn under lab coats because they leave skin exposed that can be harmed by a spill.
Regulatory and funding agency guidelines also require lab coats and safety glasses be provided at no charge to employees and that employers assure that they are worn. University faculty are responsible to carry out this obligation for their laboratories.
The Office of Environmental Health and Radiation Safety office encourages faculty involved in laboratory research to review these issues with your staff. Thank you for your attention to this important safety issue. Please contact Joseph Passante, joe@ehrs, if you have any questions.
--Office of Environmental Health and Saftey
Almanac, Vol. 46, No. 1, July 13, 1999