This study characterizes compliance with universal precautions specific to the use of personal protective equipment among hospital-based laboratory professionals. Secondary data from a cross-sectional survey of hospital- based health care workers expected to be at high risk for exposure to bloodborne pathogens were used to create a sample of 286 laboratory professionals. A theoretical model that addressed compliance with preventive behaviors provided the framework for the study's design and analysis. One 39% of the laboratorians in the study strictly complied with universal precautions of personal protective equipment. Factors correlated most strongly with compliance included employees' perceptions of the hospital's commitment to safety management and of their risk for occupational exposure to the human immunodeficiency virus.