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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. The Supervisor authorizing the purchase will complete a Shoe Issuance Form. The Shoe Issuance form may also be downloaded from the Environment, Health and Safety Division's Subject Matter Contact webpage, at the Safety Shoes topic. The approver may keep a copy, for departmental accounting. The form must include an account number for payment and must be signed by an approver with signature authority for the specified account.


Employees may choose shoes meeting the requirements specified on the Shoe Issuance Form from a manufacturer’s Shoemobile that visits the Lab. Shoemobile visits are listed in the Berkeley Lab Calendar of Events. The Red Wing Shoemobile is normally on-site the third Thursday of every month. The Red Wing Shoemobile schedule, with the current calendar and parking location, may be downloaded for posting. The Shoemobile parks on Smoot Road in the Bevatron parking lot, from 7:30 AM to 3:30 PM. Red Wing shoes can also be purchased directly from Red Wing Stores in Richmond and Dublin, using a completed and signed Shoe Issuance Form.

Safety Shoe Purchase:

When safety shoes are required by Laboratory policy, the department requesting them will contribute a set amount (allowance) toward their cost. The current annual allowance for safety shoes is set at $150. If the employee selects safety shoes for which the total cost (including sales tax) exceeds this allowance, the difference must be paid by the employee. The employee takes the signed, completed Shoe Issuance Form to the Shoemobile, and selects an appropriate type of protective footwear. Upon completion of the transaction, the first copy of the form is retained by the Shoemobile vendor for submittal to Accounts Payable, with the Shoemobile Invoice. Any cost above the allowance can be paid by payroll deduction, or paid by the employee at the time of purchase.

Red Wing Shoes are sold at current GSA prices. Employees or guests who are not required by Laboratory policy to wear safety shoes may also purchase shoes directly from the Shoemobile, without any Laboratory reimbursement for the cost of the shoes. These shoes may be purchased directly using cash, check or credit card.

In cases where suitable safety shoes cannot be obtained through the Shoemobile vendor, employees may purchase their safety shoes from an outside vendor, providing those shoes meet the required specifications. As for all safety shoe purchases, employees are required to obtain prior authorization. Once shoes are purchased, employees are required to submit the receipt to their approver for issuance of a reimbursement check.

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 Herb Toor at x5918 (

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.