PPE Competency


Specialized clothing or equipment worn by an employee for protection against infectious material (OSHA).

Competency verification

The primary investigator (PI) will:
  • Verify that all faculty and students working in their lab are competent in the donning and doffing of PPE gear prior to entering the lab for respective duties.
  • Complete a competency checklist (download) verifying that the worker demonstrates competency in PPE use.
  • Verify that appropriate PPE is available for use.
  • Specify a place for PPE disposal.
  • Maintain appropriate signage at visible locations (e.g., entryway to lab) demonstrating appropriate donning and doffing of PPE gear.
  • Complete periodic checks to verify that workers maintain appropriate use of PPE during lab activity.

Personnel required to wear PPE

Please refer to State of Ohio guidelines (May 4, 2020): all employees to wear facial coverings, except for when certain conditions apply.

Types of PPE

The type of PPE used will vary based on the level of precautions required by the lab procedures. The lab supervisor/PI will determine the PPE required based on the activities of the lab.

  • Gloves protect hands
  • Gowns/aprons protect skin and/or clothing
  • Masks and respirators protect mouth/nose; respirators protect respiratory tract from airborne infectious agents
  • Goggles protect eyes
  • Face shields protect face, mouth, nose, and eyes

Key points about PPE

  • Don PPE before contact with human subjects
  • Use carefully – don’t spread contamination
  • Remove and discard carefully
  • Immediately perform hand hygiene after the doffing of PPE

Sequence for donning PPE

  1. Combination of PPE determined by lab supervisor/PI will affect sequence of donning procedure.
  2. Follow CDC guidance.
  3. Identify and gather the proper PPE to don prior to seeing participant.
  4. Perform hand hygiene using hand sanitizer.
  5. Put on gown and tie (if necessary).
  6. Put on facemask:
    • If the mask has ties, they should be secured on the crown of head (top tie) and base of neck (bottom tie). If mask has loops, hook them appropriately around your ears.
    • Both your mouth and nose should be covered.
    • If mask has a flexible band, fit band to nose bridge.
    • Fit snug to face and below chin.
  7. Put on face shield or goggles and adjust to fit (if necessary).
  8. Perform hand hygiene before putting on gloves. If wearing gown, gloves should cover the cuff (wrist) of gown.

Sequence for doffing PPE

  1. Combination of PPE determined by lab supervisor/PI will affect sequence of doffing procedure.
  2. Follow CDC guidance.
  3. Gloves
    • Using a gloved hand, grasp the palm area of the other gloved hand and peel off first glove.
    • Hold removed glove in gloved hand.
    • Slide fingers of ungloved hand under remaining glove at wrist and peel off second glove over first glove.
    • Discard gloves.
    • If hands become contaminated during glove removal, wash hand before next step.
  4. Goggles or face shield
    • Remove goggle or face shield from the back by lifting headband or ear pieces.
    • If the item is reusable, place in designated receptacle for reprocessing. Otherwise, discard in designated waste container.
    • If hands become contaminated during goggle or face shield removal, wash hands before next step.
  5. Gown
    • Unfasten gown ties, taking care that sleeves don’t contact your body when reaching for ties.
    • Pull gown away from neck and shoulders, touching inside of gown only.
    • Turn gown inside out.
    • Fold or roll into a bundle and discard in waste container.
    • If hands become contaminated during gown removal, wash hands before next step.
  6. Mask
    • Grasp bottom ties or elastics of the mask/respirator, then the ones at the top and remove without touching the front.
    • Discard in designated waste container.
  7. Wash hands or use an alcohol-based sanitizer immediately after removing all PPE.

Human subject PPE

  • PI will assist participant with PPE placement only after the researcher’s PPE is fully in place.
  • PI will provide participant with face mask and gloves and check to verify appropriate placement of PPE prior to beginning procedure.
  • PI will assist participant with PPE removal and disposal post-procedure, prior to removing their PPE.
  • Candidates for research cannot participate unless PPE is worn.

Physical space

  • Disinfect high-contact surfaces and equipment after each use (e.g., computers).
  • For multiple-use items, create a check sheet so lab workers can initial and date when equipment was cleaned.
  • Lab supervisor/PI will complete routine checks to verify that equipment is cleaned and check sheet is completed.

Contact Us: PPE Competency

Susan McDowell
Vice President for Research & Innovation
102 Roudebush Hall