Lab Coat Management Program

                                Check out the Lab Coat Sizing Guide Here!             

                               

                                                                              How to Order a Lab Coat

1. Determine the material, style and size that are best for you.

2. Check the list of pickup/drop-off locations to find the one that’s most convenient for you.

3. Fill out the order form and leave it with your training class instructor (not applicable with COVID-19 precautions).

4. The order form can also be emailed to labcoats@umass.edu.

5. Order forms are available at https://ehs.umass.edu/lab-coat-order-form. The form can also be filled out and submitted online.

6. Your personalized coat will be delivered to the location you selected within about 2-7 days.

7. You will receive an email after it has been delivered to your selected location to alert you that it is ready for pick up.

Lab coats are a critical component of the personal protective equipment used in laboratories. First, lab coats protect the skin from exposure to hazardous materials. Second, they protect clothing from becoming contaminated with hazardous materials, which also prevents hazardous materials from contaminating areas outside of the lab through transport on clothing. The UMass lab coat program was developed to provide researchers and students with properly fitting lab coats made of the materials appropriate for mitigating the laboratory hazards, and to also provide an easy way for coats to be professionally laundered as needed.

How does the program work?

EH&S operates a lab coat ownership program, in which PI’s own the lab coats and coats can be professionally laundered as often as needed. Lab coats are personalized with the UMass logo and a name label, and they are delivered to the lab coat pickup/drop-off room in the building in which the lab is located. The cost of the lab coats is recharged to the faculty/supervisor’s department or school. Users can send coats for laundering by leaving them in the hamper of a lab coat pickup/drop-off room. Dirty coats are collected on Thursdays and sent out for laundering on Fridays. Cleaned coats are returned to EH&S the following Friday and delivered back to the lab coat pickup/drop-off location by the end of the day. Laundering costs are covered by EH&S.

What types of lab coats are available and which is appropriate for my use?

Several different lab coat materials and styles are available, with the type of material required dependent on the type of lab work to be performed. White cotton/poly coats are suitable for work in most labs on campus. Three different styles of these coats are available. Blue flame resistant cotton lab coats are available for use in labs with low to medium fire risk. In addition, special requests can be made for lab coats made of Nomex, which is a flame resistant fabric that is suitable for work in labs with elevated fire risk or for work with pyrophoric liquids.

Available sizes vary by type of coat, but generally range from XXS to 5XL with long/tall sizes also available. If a special size or type of coat is desired that is not available through EH&S, the faculty/supervisor can purchase a lab coat directly from the vendor and the coat can be added to the laundering program. (This option is explained in more detail below.)

How do I get a lab coat?

Each faculty/supervisor is responsible for ensuring that lab coats are available for researchers to use while working in a laboratory. Each researcher that works with hazardous materials must have access to a lab coat. Sharing of lab coats is discouraged. New researchers in a lab should ask their faculty/supervisor if a lab coat is available in the appropriate size or whether a new lab coat should be ordered. If a new order needs to be placed, the individual should fill-in a lab coat order form. The form can also be filled out and submitted online.

Individuals can determine the appropriate size and type of lab coats needed by trying on sample coats before or after lab safety training, or by scheduling a try on in Draper Hall room 102. The form can be submitted to a lab safety trainer, at the EH&S front desk in Draper Hall room 117, or by emailing it to labcoats@umass.edu. Please see the flow chart below for guidance on what type of coat to order. After the lab coat is delivered to the lab coat pickup/drop-off location, an email is sent to the individual to let them know it is available for pickup.

In some cases, it may make sense for a user to provide their own lab coat. Sometimes there are extra coats in the lab, and if an extra coat fits appropriately then this may be preferable to getting a new coat. In other cases, a certain size or type is desired but not available from EH&S. In these situations, EH&S can add the UMass logo, add or update the name label with the user’s name, and add a tag for the laundering program. In these cases, only a set-up fee is charged to the faculty/supervisor’s department or school. To request adding a user-provided coat to the program, please email labcoats@umass.edu.   

How many lab coats should I order?

Typically only one lab coat is needed and laundering can occur during a week when there is no lab activity (holiday breaks or vacation).  Courtesy coats are also available in each pickup/drop-off location for temporary use while individual lab coats are being laundered. Please place courtesy coats in the hamper after your coat returns from laundering so that it can be cleaned for the next user.

Where are the lab coat pick up/drop off rooms?

Click here for a list of locations. Lab coats that are dropped off in a hamper in a lab coat room will have their laundered lab coat returned to the same room.

Do I have to return my lab coats when I leave the lab and work for a different faculty member or when I graduate?

When changing labs, if the lab coat has the faculty's name on the coat they should remain with the previous lab. Check with the new lab to see if they have a coat in your size, and if they do not, submit a new lab coat order form. If the coat has your name on it, ask your supervisor if you can take it to your new lab. If you are leaving the university, please check with your supervisor to see if they would like to keep the coat to be re-used by a future lab member. If they do not want to keep it, hang the lab coat on the rack in between the 'Returns' markers at any pickup/drop-off location. We can turn used coats into courtesy coats.