PPE and Exposure Control

Exposure Control Methods

There are three general methods for controlling one's exposure to hazardous substances:

  • Engineering Controls
  • Work Practices and Administrative Controls
  • Personal Protective Equipment

In most cases, either one or a combination of these methods can be used to keep exposure below limits established by entities such as the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) or the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH).  The Office of Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) can evaluate whether a member of the University community’s exposure to hazardous agents exceeds available limits established by these organizations.  EHS can also make recommendations to eliminate or minimize potential exposure through providing specific guidance on engineering and administrative controls and personal protective equipment.


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Engineering Controls

  • Isolation or enclosure of a process or operation
  • Use of wet methods to reduce generation of dusts or other particulates
  • General dilution ventilation
  • Local exhaust, including the use of fume hoods, spray booths, and snorkels

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

When engineering and administrative controls are not sufficient to minimize exposure, personal protective equipment (PPE) must be worn.  PPE examples include:

  • Gloves
  • Safety glasses or goggles
  • Face Shield
  • Protective clothing
  • Respiratory protection

See Personal Protective Equipment for more information about the various types of PPE.

Work Practices and Adminstrative Controls

  • Substitution of a less toxic material
  • Change in process to minimize contact with hazardous materials
  • Rotating task assignments or adjusting work schedules so that an individual is not overexposed to a hazardous material