Laboratory coats are required to be worn while working with or in the vicinity of hazardous materials that pose a potential hazard to the employee. Here are some reminders regarding lab coats:

• Lab coats should be removed before exiting the laboratory unless transferring chemicals or biologicals directly to an adjacent laboratory.
• Laboratory coats must be appropriately sized for the individual and be buttoned to their full length.
• Lab coats should not be used as a substitution for engineering controls (e.g. fume hoods, glove box).
• Lab coats are not chemical protection suits. They are not designed for major chemical clean-up or emergencies.
• There is limited information provided by lab coat manufacturers on lab coat capabilities for specific chemicals and chemical combinations.

In an effort to assist labs in complying with all lab coat requirements, Oregon State University EH&S is working in collaboration with CINTAS Inc. to provide lab coats to all employees working in a lab at no cost to the department or lab. OSU visitors and students in a lab class setting are not able to check out a lab coat. Each employee can check out one lab coat at a time. You must return it in order to check out a new coat.


How to use a lab coat dispenser

To check out a lab coat:

1. Your PI or Lab Supervisor must go into SciShield and make sure you are listed as a member in the lab. Once verified that you are a member, they must update your job activities by clicking on “Manage Job Activities” under the “Members” tab. There is a tab labeled “Lab Coat Selection.” Your Supervisor or PI must mark off what coat you need based on your job duties (see coat information below or hover over the “?” in SciShield next to the coat types).
2. You must have an OSU Orange ID card, if you do not, you must update your card at the ID center.
3. Go to one of the two locations on campus to check out a coat. Slide your Orange ID card.
4. Select the “lab coat” button choose your size and click the green arrow at the bottom right corner of the screen and your lab coat will be dispensed.
5. To return your coat, go to the neighboring return unit. Check your lab coat pockets to ensure nothing has been left behind. Slide your OSU orange ID card. Open the hatch and place your lab coat into the hatch. Close the hatch and wait until the light in the hatch turns off. It will process the returned coat and you will be able to get another coat from the coat dispenser machine.

Lab Coat Locations:

1. Linus Pauling Science Center (LPSC): First floor hallway near Ava’s café and the first-floor restrooms.
2. Gleeson 109: Through the double doors across from the laboratories (near the freight elevator).

Please choose a coat based on the types of hazards and chemicals handled in your lab:

Type of CINTAS Lab Coat


Material of Coat


Standard White Lab Coat

80% Polyester, 20% Cotton

Use for: employees that work with laboratory-scale amounts of hazardous materials.

Do not use: If you work with large amounts strong acids or bases, or pyrophoric materials, this coat is not appropriate.

Flame and Chemical Resistant Lab Coat (FR only Lab Coats also available)

93% Nomex Aramid, 5% Kevlar, 2% other   + Westex ShieldCXP finish

Use for: employees using large quantities of strong acids, strong bases, flammable materials near an open flame, pyrophoric materials, or when there is a potential for splash hazards outside of the hood.

Do not use: Standard chemical use

Barrier Lab Coat

Front & sleeves: 100% Polyester; Back 65/32 Polyester/Cotton blend + finish (varies)

Use for: handling bloodborne pathogens or other infectious material.

Do not use: This coat should not be used if working with pyrophoric materials or around open flames.

Have questions? Check out our FAQ or email EH&S at [email protected] .