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Environment, Health and Safety Division

EHS Occupational Safety

PPE gloves
Personal Protective Equipment
PPE shoes


Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory requires that appropriate equipment be used to protect employees from hazards in the workplace. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) may be issued upon completion of a hazard assessment of activities or operations. However, PPE is not a substitute for appropriate engineering controls. The Environment, Health and Safety (EH&S) Division advises on the protective equipment required for a task, but it is the supervisor's responsibility to obtain this equipment and ensure that it is used correctly.

Selection of PPE is based on the need to protect employees from specifically identified hazards. PPE may be categorized by the type of protection provided, including eye and face, respiratory, head, foot, and hand protection. PPE can include protective clothing, for example orange high-visibility safety vests, kneepads, waterproof aprons, disposable suits or aprons, and chemical-resistant clothing. Typical PPE might include safety shoes with protective toes, leather gloves, hardhats, safety glasses, and earplugs. PPE is addressed in Chapter 19 of Pub 3000, Berkeley Lab's Health and Safety Manual.

Information on how to acquire, select, and properly use Respiratory Protection and Hearing Protection Devices can be found in the Respiratory Protection and Hearing Conservation webpages. Information on eye protection, including safety glasses, UV protection, and laser safety glasses, is provided in the Eye Protection section of Chapter 19 of Pub 3000. The selection, care, and use of PPE may also be covered within other IH Programs, such as the Chemical Hygiene and Safety Program (CHSP). The CHSP addresses requirements for PPE in LBNL laboratory areas, including training, use and disposal of PPE. For hazards that are typical for groups of employees, there may be other standard PPE requirements for those groups. An example is a policy for the use of safety glasses with sideshields in shop areas.

Hard Hat Use and Inspection:

Hard Hats are designed to protect the head from the force of an impact. To ensure that they provide the intended level of protection, hardhats must be regularly inspected for damage to the shell and suspension. Replacement hardhats, ratchet suspensions (4-point and 6-point) and browpads for Bullard hardhats are available at the on-site Central Stores located in B79. Click here for additional information.

Safety Shoes:

Employees may be required to wear safety shoes to protect from potential hazards. Employees working in areas where there is a danger of foot injuries due to falling or rolling objects, or objects piercing the sole, may be authorized to purchase Safety Shoes.

New Procedure – November 16, 2017

Thank you for your support as we transition the purchase of Safety Shoes to eBuy supplier S&S Supplies and Solutions (S&S). S&S has worked with LBNL as an eBuy supplier for 10+ years, selling safety products, apparel and supplies. S&S will update its catalog to provide all the safety shoes LBNL requires and include Safety ratings in the description of the boots, making ordering on eBuy simple and efficient. 

Starting on November 16, 2017, safety shoes will be available on eBuy. To support your purchase, S&S Supplies and Solutions will provide an onsite trailer to allow you the opportunity to try on the safety-related shoes prior to purchasing on eBuy. The trailer will be on the Hill in the K-1 parking lot outside the Lab’s cafeteria, typically on the third Thursday of the month. Please confirm the date on the Lab Calendar of Events. Click here to see the list of safety-shoes available on the trailer.

Please note that other Red Wing shoes may be purchased at a discount via ePro (via end user completes a requisition, then the requisition is processed by credit card), or the employee may purchase on their own, then submit an eRFIC for reimbursement.

If you have any questions, please contact Subject Matter Expert Kurt Ettinger (EHS), Principal Administrative Supervisor Niña Horne (EHS), or Neda Busler (Procurement).

If you wish to learn more about PPE programs at the Berkeley Lab, or if you have questions about any of the PPE described here, please contact Kurt Ettinger at x2016 (

The Berkeley Lab's PPE policy is described in the Health and Safety Manual, PUB 3000 Chapter 19, Personal Protective Equipment.

Additional information can be found in these OSHA Standards:

29 CFR 1910.132, General requirements
29 CFR 1910.133, Eye and face protection
29 CFR 1910.134, Respiratory protection
29 CFR 1910.135, Head protection
29 CFR 1910.136, Occupational foot protection
29 CFR 1910.137, Electrical protective devices

Electrical PPE must comply with the requirements of NFPA 70E. See PUB 3000, Chapter 8, Electrical Safety, for details on electrical PPE and additional requirements.

29 CFR 1910.138, Hand protection

CFR 1910 Subpart I Appendix B, Non-mandatory compliance guidelines for hazard assessment and personal protective equipment selection.