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When Should a Lab Coat, Safety Goggles, and Gloves Be Worn in the Laboratory

Fact checked by Andrew Carnegie

when should a lab coat, safety goggles, and gloves be worn in the laboratory

Every laboratory has a safety guide for everyone before participating in research, surveys, and tours. Personal protective equipment (PPE) is always a top priority.

When should a lab coat, safety goggles, and gloves be worn in the laboratory? You must wear them when working with chemicals or monitoring experiments. If you are only touring a lab, safety goggles and gloves might not be necessary.

Below, you will find more details on what safety equipment to wear in different circumstances and why you should wear them.

When to Wear a Lab Coat, Safety Goggles, and Gloves in the Laboratory

In a lab, you should wear gloves, goggles, and lab coats when working with chemicals and monitoring experiments. Also, you must wear these lab protective gear throughout the entire experiment.

Wearing lab safety attire will protect you from exposure to hazardous chemicals and maintain the integrity of the test data.

If you do not touch or work directly with chemicals and lab equipment, safety goggles and gloves might not be necessary. You should read and follow the specific instructions of the laboratory.

In addition, laboratories have regulations on what types of lab coats, goggles, and gloves you should wear depending on the hazards you are dealing with:

  • Gloves: Nitrile gloves (minimum thickness of four mils) provide high chemical resistance; thus, they are mandatory when you work in a chemistry lab. Latex gloves have lower protective functions and are not recommended.

You must spray reusable gloves with alcohol before and after each use. When the gloves reach a certain number of uses, replace them with new gloves. If chemicals drop on your gloves, remove them, wash your hands, and don a new pair.

  • Lab coats: Lab coats are the most important in a lab. Personnel must wear them at all times.

During chemical handling procedures, workers must wear 100% cotton lab coats. During procedures involving liquid pyrophoric substances or open flame, workers must wear fire-resistant lab coats.

Most laboratories don’t allow synthetic fiber coats due to their impure composition. They might react with the chemicals and cause incidents.

  • Safety goggles: Lab workers must wear certified safety glasses. These goggles must be clear, comfortable, and cause no fogging.

When dealing with liquid nitrogen, workers need a full-face visor as safety glasses might not be sufficient.

When Not to Wear Lab Coats, Goggles, and Gloves

Knowing when to put on your lab safety gear is crucial. But to eliminate contamination and infections, lab workers must also learn the circumstances that don’t require PPE.

  • You should never wear your lab coat, gloves, and safety goggles in offices, dining rooms, or other community areas. You might transmit harmful substances and pathogens from the lab to the environment.
  • When you need to use personal items, such as keys, phones, or laptops, you must remove your gloves.
  • Once you’ve finished your lab work, remove your PPE, wash your hands, and spray your body with disinfectant before leaving.


We hope you find our answer to “When should a lab coat, safety goggles, and gloves be worn in the laboratory?” helpful. Do not disobey any laboratory safety requirements. It is to keep you, the experiments, and everyone else safe.

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