Essential Pieces of Laboratory Wear and Their Purpose

Due to the presence of chemicals, biological material or easily contaminable components kept in a laboratory, dressing properly is of utmost importance if you’re a lab worker. Without taking proper measures, there is a great likelihood that someone may decapitate a certain experiment or test in the lab, or that they will be injured by certain components there.

Knowing the type of attire and personal protection equipment you should wear in a lab is crucial for all of these reasons. While different labs can have different dress codes, in general, the following items are some of the basic items of laboratory wear.

Lab Coat

Laboratory Coat

Lab coats are the most essential pieces of laboratory wear. They are worn by lab workers to protect themselves and their clothing from potentially hazardous materials from that they may come into contact. Lab coats can provide a barrier between the worker’s skin and any chemicals or biological materials that they are handling, reducing the risk of contamination or exposure.

Additionally, lab coats can help to identify workers who are authorised to be in the lab. With the help of embroidery, they can be personalised to feature the name, department and title of the worker. They can also serve as a visual reminder to workers to be cautious and careful while handling potentially dangerous materials.

When choosing a lab coat, there are a few key things to consider. First and foremost, it should be made of a durable and easily cleaned material. For this purpose, a cotton or a cotton-polyester blend works best. This will help to ensure that the coat can withstand regular exposure to chemicals and other hazardous materials, and can be easily cleaned if it becomes contaminated.

And since the coat is essentially a uniform that you’ll wear all day long in the lab, it’s crucial that it provides comfort and doesn’t get in the way of doing your job. That said, make sure that you pick one that perfectly fits you. Finding a lab coat manufacturer that can ensure you get the best fit for your body is going to ensure you’ll get long-lasting comfort and feel good at your job.

Besides cotton-poly blends, there are also coats made of specialised fabrics. For instance, if working around flammable materials, it’s important to get laboratory scrubs which are fire-resistant. And if there’s a risk of spills of liquids, then water-resistant fabrics should also be considered.

When it comes to design, opt for simpler models with long sleeves, ribbed cuffs and free of unnecessary embellishments. It could take the form of overalls or a coat designed like a gown.

Safety Goggles

Your eyes are one of the most delicate organs in your body, making them particularly prone to damage when handling dangerous substances. Therefore, it’s crucial to wear appropriate eye protection at all times when working with chemicals and similarly risky substances. Safety goggles are the best type of lab eye protection since they cover both sides of your face and stop substances from getting into your eyes.

It’s crucial to pick the correct kind of safety goggles. Chemical splash goggles are the best choice for people who work with chemicals, as opposed to certain goggles that are made to protect against physical impact. Some eyewear also offers protection from UV or laser light risks.

Protective Gloves

Laboratory Gloves

Your hands are usually the part of your body that’s most at risk of coming into contact with dangerous substances when working in a lab. Wearing the proper protective gloves will lower your chance of harm.

The two major materials used to make disposable gloves are latex and nitrile. However, if you’re working with more potent chemicals or heat, you could want additional lab safety equipment protection. Chemical and heat-resistant gloves offer greater protection in these situations.

Read the relevant material safety data sheets thoroughly to assess the level of protection you’ll need while in the lab before deciding which kind of gloves to wear.

Proper Work Shoes

Outside of the lab, sandals and open-toed shoes look great, but inside the lab, they’re the worst type of shoes you can wear. Bare toes are especially sensitive to chemical spills or shattered glass.

Lab workers should wear shoes with rubber soles, that fit comfortably and completely enclose the foot. And jobs where splashing is anticipated can be performed while wearing disposable, fluid-resistant shoe coverings.

Canvas shoes are not advised since they will absorb contaminants or infectious fluids. It’s best to use leather or a synthetic, impermeable material.

That said, your best bet is to purchase safety footwear. These shoes are usually made of durable and water-and-impact-resistant materials and come with non-slip soles which are especially convenient where there’s a risk of spills. You can also wear normal everyday shoes such as loafers or ankle boots as long as they meet the aforementioned criteria.

General Style Advice for Lab Workers

Wearing long hair down with flowing locks may look great, but it can be easily scorched by Bunson burners or caught in machinery. Braids are a sophisticated and stylish alternative to loose buns and tidy updos. If you prefer short hairstyles, bobs add a classy touch that also helps keep hair out of the way.

The majority of your lower body must be covered by your clothing, at the very least up to your ankles. That’s why it’s best to pair the lab coat with trousers. No area of your skin should be visible under your clothing, ideally.