Ask the expert: Lab coats in labs

By: July 13th, 2011 Email This Post Print This Post

Q: Where is the OSHA regulation requiring lab coats to be worn in the healthcare laboratory?

A: As with most OSHA regulations, enforcement of standards is subject to the presence of hazards, rather than being based on a specific work setting. And it is the employer’s responsibility to identify hazards, assess risks, apply engineering and work practice controls, and finally establish what PPE is required for the workplace.

References to lab coats as appropriate PPE are in the Bloodborne Pathogens standard under sections (d)(3)(i), (d)(3)(ii), and (d)(3)(xi).

The new Enforcement Guidance for Personal Protective Equipment in General Industry also references lab coats:  “Items used in medical/laboratory settings to protect from exposure to infectious agents (aprons, lab coats, goggles, disposable gloves, shoe covers, etc.).”

PPE in healthcare was a topic extensively addresses in a recent HCPro audioconference which now available on demand. Click on the links below for details.

Take the guesswork out of complying with the newly modified OSHA Hazard Communication standard and PPE requirements in your healthcare facility

Changes to the OSHA Hazard Communication standard through adoption of the Globally Harmonized System (GHS) for classifying and labeling chemicals, and the new Enforcement Guidance for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in General Industry are two of the most significant changes from OSHA this year. Now, available on demand is HCPro’s HazCom/GHS and PPE Enforcement: Understanding the New Requirements for OSHA Compliance in Healthcare, a 90-minute audio program where healthcare industry experts will tell you how these changes affect your workplace, provide a timeline for implementation, and offer tools to help you train your staff.


By Karen Pitman on September 29th, 2011 at 1:59 pm

I assume that medical doctor offices with inclinic labs fall under the same BBP standards.


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