Personal protective equipment

Kojima, Kazunobu; Karlen, Stéphane; Kasloff, Samantha; Makison Booth, Catherine; Summermatter, Kathrin (2020). Personal protective equipment. Laboratory Biosafety Manual Fourth Edition and Associated Monographs. Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organisation

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Laboratory biosafety is essential for the protection of laboratory personnel and the wider community against exposure to and inadvertent release of biological agents. Personal protective equipment (PPE) is often used to protect laboratory personnel from exposure to biological and other hazards such as chemicals that may be present in the laboratory. The types of PPE worn in laboratories where biological agents are being handled are designed to protect the body, eyes and face, feet, hands and the respiratory system and hearing. The type(s) of PPE required and specifics on when this equipment should be used are determined as part of the risk assessment for the work being carried out in the laboratory. This monograph provides information on the types, selection and use of PPE for personnel carrying out risk assessments, such as biosafety officers or laboratory managers, and laboratory personnel or scientists who use PPE for laboratory activities.The information in this monograph on PPE is designed to accompany and support the fourth edition of the WHO Laboratory biosafety manual (core document) and the other associated monographs. The manual and the monographs adopt a risk- and evidence-based approach to biosafety, rather than a prescriptive approach, in order to ensure that laboratory facilities, safety equipment and work practices are locally relevant, proportionate to needs and sustainable. Emphasis is placed on the importance of a “safety culture” that incorporates risk assessment, good microbiological practice and procedure and standard operating procedures, relevant introductory, refresher and mentoring training of personnel, and prompt reporting of incidents and accidents followed by appropriate investigation and corrective actions. This new approach aims to facilitate laboratory design and ways of operating that ensure greater sustainability of laboratory work while maintaining adequate and appropriate control of biosafety.The associated monographs provide detailed information and help implement systems and strategies on the following specialized topics: risk assessment, laboratory design and maintenance, biological safety cabinets and other primary containment devices, decontamination and waste management, biosafety programme management, and outbreak preparedness and resilience.
This monograph covers the factors to be considered when selecting PPE, including a risk assessment of the work being done and regulations. The different types of PPE available are described, which include, but are not limited to, laboratory coats, gowns, full-body suits, gloves, protective footwear, safety glasses, safety goggles, face shields, masks and respirators. In addition, the correct way to put on and remove and test certain PPE is explained, and the PPE needed for implementation of core requirements, heightened control and maximum containment measures is described. Hand hygiene methods, and cleaning, maintenance, storage and disposal of PPE are also discussed, as well as national and international standards and regulations on PPE.

Item Type:

Book (Monograph)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Service Sector > Institute for Infectious Diseases
05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Infectious Diseases and Pathobiology (DIP) > Institute of Virology and Immunology
05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Infectious Diseases and Pathobiology (DIP)

UniBE Contributor:

Karlen, Stephane, Summermatter, Kathrin


600 Technology > 630 Agriculture
500 Science > 570 Life sciences; biology
600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health




Laboratory Biosafety Manual Fourth Edition and Associated Monographs


World Health Organisation




Katharina Summermatter

Date Deposited:

18 Jan 2021 09:42

Last Modified:

02 Jun 2023 17:56




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