Lab Coats, Smocks, and Coveralls

Clothing Such As Lab Coats, Smocks, And Coveralls For Personal Protection


Clothing such as a lab coat, smock or coveralls may be used to provide protection from chemical hazards that may damage the skin or personal clothing. In addition, clothing can be used to protect an employee’s personal clothing from contamination or dirt that can be carried home or to other areas. Selection of clothing.  Identify the hazards using the PPE hazard assessment form, and then use this information with the information above and below to select appropriate clothing.


  • lab coat can be used to protect an employee’s personal clothing from incidental chemical contact or contamination from radioactive or biological agents. The lab coat is to be worn in the lab and removed when the employee leaves the laboratory space.   There are many types of lab coats.  More guidance on lab coat use and selection can be found below. For questions regarding lab coat supply and laundry services available, see the Lab Coat FAQs under attachments below.
  • A rubber apron or chemical resistant suit may be needed for work with corrosive chemicals, depending on the specific task to be done.
  • Coveralls can be used to protect a maintenance employee’s skin and clothing from contamination in dirty areas or from high levels of dust generated during some jobs.
  • Smocks can be used for protection of skin and clothing during cleaning or other activities.




Disposable clothing should be thrown away after use.


For reusable PPE such as reusable lab coats, or coveralls, arrangements should be made to assure PPE is cleaned at work or by a service.  Employees should not take home such equipment for cleaning.  For laundry service for lab coats, refer to:  Lab Coat Guidance below


For additional assistance with selection of personal protective clothing, contact EHS. 

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