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Managing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and other Shared Equipment

This document contains recommendations for managing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and other shared equipment.

  • Do NOT take or use PPE assigned to an individual without express permission from the owner
  • Where practical, users should be assigned personal PPE of the types that they frequently need. Procure PPE in consultation with your supervisor and appropriate Safety Officers
  • Write your name LEGIBLY on all PPE that has been issued to you

Respirators: Respirators are assigned to individuals, and must never be shared. For cleaning instructions, see UR EH&S and search for “Disinfecting”

Facemasks: Facemasks are currently in very short supply. They must never be shared, however, consider putting your name on your mask and storing it so that you can use the same one throughout the duration of your shift/day. Reuse for 1 week or until soiled or wet.

Eyewear: All LLE Laboratories requiring eye protection of any kind must have 2-3 pairs available at each entrance that must be disinfected with wipes provided before each use. Frequent workers in these labs should be assigned, and use, personal eyewear.

Impact resistant mechanical safety eyewear (a.k.a Safety Glasses): If you need common Safety Glasses and do not have a personal pair, you may obtain them from , room 1414.

Laser Protective Eyewear (LPE): If you frequently need LPE and do not have a personal pair, contact your supervisor or , room 274.

Eyewear cleaning: Follow the manufacturer’s recommended cleaning instructions, if available. Recommendations differ about how to sanitize LPE. In the absence of manufacturer’s instructions use this guidance:

  • Uncoated (typically plastic lenses): (includes most Impact resistant safety glasses, chemical safety eyewear, and many types of LPE): Use pre-moistened wipes with 70% isopropyl alcohol to clean all surfaces of the eyewear.
  • Coated (typically glass lenses): Most manufacturers recommend using warm water with a mild liquid dishwashing soap solution, then drying lenses with a soft, lint-free cloth. Hand soap is not recommended because it can leave a film/residue on the lenses.

If you see damage to PPE as a result of these instructions, inform a Safety Officer immediately so that we can amend these instructions.

Hearing Protection: Disposable ear plugs shall be available at entrances to areas that require hearing protection. These are intended for single use and are to be discarded after use. For work areas that use over-the ear hearing protectors, contact your supervisor to obtain a personal pair. If you need disposable ear plugs, contact .

Over-the-ear hearing protector cleaning: If hearing protectors are shared, the user must clean them before every use. Use pre-moistened wipes with 70% Isopropyl Alcohol to wipe all surfaces. If foam is exposed on the ear pieces, replace the protectors.

Hardhats: It is not feasible to clean hardhats due to the porous straps and sweat bands. Personnel frequently requiring a hard hat should contact their supervisor to obtain one.

Radio headsets: Omega Facility Managers are working to provide radio headsets to key personnel. These can’t be sanitized easily because of the foam earpieces. Efforts are being made to find a suitable solution to this problem.

If you have specific questions that are not answered above, please contact   or .

Douglas Jacobs-Perkins, Ph.D.
Scientist and Chief Safety Officer
University of Rochester
Laboratory for Laser Energetics

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