Glove is a Battlefield: Your Guide to (Im)Proper Glove Usage

December 5, 2019

person icon showing confusion about wearing gloves outside of the laboratoryGloves, along with lab coats/gowns and safety glasses, complete the triad of basic safety equipment in most areas.

While the donning of appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is critical to safeguarding personnel and animal safety within the laboratory or animal use area, NOT wearing PPE outside of these designated areas is just as important.

Locations where it is inappropriate to wear PPE include:

  • Elevators,
  • Restrooms,
  • Corridors/hallways, and
  • Other areas outside of your laboratory.

When you are seen wearing gloves or a lab coat in the hallway or other public spaces, the general perception is that you have been handling something that is potentially harmful.

Potential chemical or biological contamination may not always be visible. Therefore, the removal of PPE prior to leaving your work area and regardless of visible soiling will help protect against cross-contamination between facilities.

It also protects the public from potential exposure to animal allergens or other hazards that may be carried on soiled lab coats, gowns, and/or gloves.

(Im) Proper Glove Usage

Remember brain thinking iconWhen using gloves, please remember the following:

  • Remove and dispose of gloves before answering the phone or touching equipment/doorknobs.
  • Always wash your hands after removing gloves and before leaving your work area.
  • Do NOT reuse disposable gloves.
  • When transporting hazardous materials between locations, use secondary containers without gloves. Alternatively, use an ungloved hand to operate doors and a gloved hand to carry items.
  • Protect yourself and your co-workers. Don’t be afraid to remind and educate others if you see gloves being used improperly.

More Information

For additional information about gloves, other PPE, or proper containment and packaging for hazardous materials, please visit the Environment, Health & Safety (EHS) website.

General, non-urgent inquiries may also be sent to