Safety First – PPE

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is crucial for safeguarding workers from various occupational hazards. PPE particularly protects healthcare workers from virulent pathogens when working with patients. However, in laboratories specifically, technicians are at risk of a lot more than pathogens, having to be additionally cautious of hazardous chemicals, biological agents, vapours and gases, sharp objects and extreme temperatures.

Wearing the correct PPE is not only compliant with health and safety regulations, but PPE significantly reduces the risk of injuries and illnesses within the workplace. Providing high-quality Personal Protective Equipment gives lab technicians the confidence to do their job comfortably and correctly, with the security of knowing they are safe at work. This not only has a positive effect on the employee, boosting morale and confidence but also on the employer and company, reducing the risk of downtime and productivity in the lab caused by staff being off work due to illness or injuries.

Incorporating PPE into daily work routines promotes a culture of safety within the organisation. When safety practices become ingrained into workplace culture, employees are more likely to adhere to safety protocols and look out for each other’s well-being.


Potential hazards in the laboratory:

  1. Chemical Exposure: Within the lab, you are often required to handle hazardous chemicals that can cause skin irritation, burns, or respiratory issues if inhaled. These substances can be hazardous if not handled properly. Exposure to toxic or corrosive chemicals, fume inhalation, or accidental spills can pose serious risks. It is recommended to refer to the relevant Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) for comprehensive information on the chemical substances you are handling before use.
  2. Biological Hazards: Pathologists working with microorganisms or biological materials such as bacteria, viruses, or fungi, face the risk of exposure to pathogens that can cause infections or illnesses. PPE such as gloves, masks, and face shields help prevent direct contact with biological agents and reduce the spread of contaminants. 
  3. Physical Hazards: Laboratories may contain equipment or processes that pose physical hazards like sharp objects, moving parts, or high-pressure systems.
  4. Radiation Protection: Some laboratories work with radioactive materials or equipment that emit radiation.
  5. Fire and Explosion Risks: Laboratories often use flammable chemicals or operate equipment that can cause fires or explosions if mishandled. Faulty wiring, damaged cords, or improper use of electrical equipment can lead to shocks or fires therefore ensuring your equipment is installed correctly and regularly serviced to comply with standards and regulations. 
  6. Hazardous Wate: Improper disposal of laboratory waste can have serious effects on the environment and personal health. Different types of waste, such as chemical waste, biological waste, or sharps, require specific disposal methods. Always follow the correct waste management procedures and use designated, clearly labelled waste disposal containers to separate different types of waste.


What PPE is available for the workers in Laboratories?

Gloves: Our hands can be responsible for multiple cross-contaminations that can be either harmful to others or jeopardise the results of tests. Disposable gloves are the perfect solution to prevent and protect from contamination of pathogens and bacteria. We supply a variety of different disposable gloves in large quantities and sizes including Nitrile, Vinyl, Latex and Biogel; to cater to all different skin sensitivities.

Our hands are also key tools within the lab, and it is important to keep them protected from being injured. In a lab, injuries are typically caused by chemicals, sharp objects and extreme temperatures. We supply gloves that have improved features to protect against temperatures as low as –160°C and high temperatures of up to 230°C as well as gloves that are designed to be resistant to sharp knives and utensils to prevent cuts.

GogglesProtective eyewear such as goggles prevents any damage to your eyes caused by debris and protects you from chemical pollution or virus transfers. 

Face Masks and Face Shields: Face masks are essential within the lab, protecting technicians’ respiratory systems from harmful airborne contaminants. Face masks come in different forms from disposable surgical masks to Powered Air-Purifying Respirators (PAPRs) depending on the level of protection and what you want to be protected from.

Disposable masks are commonly used in laboratories for general respiratory protection and to prevent the spread of respiratory droplets.

N95 respirators are tight-fitting masks that are capable of filtering out at least 95% of airborne particles, including small particles such as bacteria and viruses. They are commonly used in laboratory settings where there is a risk of exposure to airborne contaminants, such as biological aerosols or hazardous dust.

Half-face respirators cover the nose and mouth whilst full-face additionally covers the eyes too. They are equipped with cartridges or filters to remove specific contaminants from the air, such as organic vapours, hazardous gases and chemicals.

PAPRs consist of a powered unit that delivers filtered air to a hood or helmet worn over the head. They provide a higher level of respiratory protection used in laboratories where there is a high risk of exposure to airborne contaminants.

Aprons and Lab CoatsDisposable aprons, lab coats, overalls and shoe protection covers maintain the protection of yourself and your clothing from chemicals and other substances, as well as prevent contamination being carried from your clothing or footwear to harming samples or patients themselves.


For more information about our PPE range and how our products can keep you safe in the lab, or to place an order and protect you and your team, contact us at