Personal or collective protection and first aid


What you wear in a chemistry laboratory is the first step in personal safety.
What you wear must cover the whole body to protect you from the chemicals that you will be handling.


Safety goggles

Why wear safety goggles?
  • To protect  the eyes from chemical splashes
  • Normal glasses are  not sufficient
  • Contact lenses are  not permitted in the laboratory: they make it impossible to rinse the eye
When should you wear safety goggles?
As soon as chemicals are used. Even under the  fume hood.
Safety goggles should be worn  whenever  chemicals are handled in the laboratory.

Hygiene caps (hair)

Why wear a hygiene cap?
  • Hygiene caps  prevent chemicals  from coming into contact with the hair
  • If the cap is  not compulsory hair must be  tied back
When should you wear a hygiene cap?
  • When it is  required  by the laboratory’s safety rules
  • Otherwise, remember to  tie  your hair up in a bun

Masks (optional)

Why wear a protective mask?
  • Protection against particles that might enter the lungs
When should you wear a mask?
  • Masks are not  compulsory
  • You are advised to wear one when handling  fine powders


Different types of lab coats

In chemistry
The lab coat is the first barrier between skin and chemicals. It is useful for protecting both your clothes (that you wear the whole day) and yourself. In chemistry, it has to meet the following criteria:

  • It must cover you from the neck to the knees
  • The sleeves must be long
  • Fabric: 100% cotton
  • Recommended: press-stud fasteners (easier to open)
​Other cases:
In other cases, lab coats may have different features from those required in chemistry.
  • Biology: short sleeves (when handling flames)
  • Medicine: short lab coat (down to the waist)

Wearing a lab coat


It is compulsory to wear protective gloves whenever you handle chemicals

The most commonly used gloves

  • Appearance: white
  • Effective: against acidic and basic aqueous solutions
  • Avoid: organic solvents, flames
  • Caution: latex allergies → opt for vinyl gloves instead
  • Appearance: colored (blue or green)
  • Effective: aqueous solutions and organic solvents
  • Avoid: acids and bases, flames
  • Appearance: translucent
  • Effective: against aqueous and acidic solutions
  • Avoid: organic solvents, flames

Choosing the right gloves

It is important to choose the right gloves before handling chemicals. Refer to the following link for more information:


Lower body

Full coverage
Besides the compulsory protective equipment, the individual’s clothing must cover as much of the body as possible for maximum protection.

Clothing that covers the lower body (skirt, trousers) must be long in order to protect the individual from any splashes.

Short garments such as shorts or short skirts are forbidden in the laboratory, even if the weather is very hot.


Shoes must be closed to protect the feet from any splashes.
Ballerina pumps and flip-flops are forbidden in the laboratory. Opt for. sneakers or shoes instead.

No high heels
Footwear must allow the individual to move quickly away from the bench if a product is spilled.

Heels must not be unreasonably high. Heel lifts are allowed but high heels are forbidden in the laboratory.

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