Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Standard Precautions for Infection Control:
PPE is defined by OSHA as “specialized clothing or equipment worn by an employee for protection,” against a hazard, whether it is infectious materials, chemicals, etc.
Examples of PPE items include: gloves, masks, gowns, face shields and eyewear.
Infection Control Policy HSIC002 states the following:
- Wear PPE when there is risk of exposure to blood or other potentially infectious material (OPIM). E.g. wear a fluid-resistant barrier gown when clothes are likely to be contaminated with blood or OPIM. Wear mask and eye protection during procedures that are likely to generate splashes or sprays of blood or OPIM.
- Remove and discard PPE prior to leaving the patient care area (e.g. inpatient room, treatment room).
(See California OSHA standards: http://www.dir.ca.gov/title8/5193.HTML)
- Practice hand hygiene immediately after removing PPE. Gloves are not a substitute for hand hygiene.
- PPE is single use. Do not use the same PPE (gloves included) on different patients.
PPE used in the laboratory is covered by the Pathology & Laboratory Medicine Policy S22, available in the Safety Manual.
Each laboratory defines and posts the PPE necessary to be worn for specific function in each laboratory area. Laboratories can contact EHS to conduct assessments on processes to determine proper PPE.