2014-01-01 12:00 - Messages

Review of standards for thermal protection PPE in the explosives industry

The suitability of PPE for use against different thermal challenges is often described by way of compliance with British, European or Internationally agreed standards. The review compared the range of test standards currently used for flame protective PPE for both general industrial use and specialist PPE for motor racing and fire fighting tasks with the thermal challenge expected from a range of explosive events.
Disparity has been found between the levels of challenge required to pass the test standards and the level displayed by the burning explosive materials – these practical challenges have been found to be significantly higher, causing levels of heating and burning which would produce significant injury to individuals wearing some types of PPE under certain circumstances.
The report recommends that harm models consider the effect of damage to the respiratory system; that further work is undertaken to better understand the performance of modern materials in an explosives environment; and that PPE should be tested against a representative explosive challenge as part of the process that dutyholders undertake in order to determine its suitability for use.

Source : http://www.hse.gov.uk/research/rrhtm/rr1002.htm

Preventing Falls through the Design of Roof Parapets

Workers are exposed to risks from falls during construction, operation, maintenance, and demolition of buildings. Parapets are the parts of the wall assembly that extend above the roof [Rajendran and Gambatese 2013] and can prevent falls from low-sloped (flat) roofs. Other design features that can prevent falls include using guardrail systems and permanent anchor points (for use with personal fall arrest systems and lifelines) [See NIOSH 2013 for more information].

Source : http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/docs/2014-108/

Comparison of Three Respirator User Training Methods

Objective: This study addresses methods for training respirator users, particularly when occupational health professionals are not immediately available.
Methods: A randomized trial compared three training methods—printed brochure, video, and computer-based training—for two respirator types (filtering facepiece and a dual-cartridge half facemask). Quantitative fit testing (PortaCount) measured the effectiveness of training. The study included 226 subjects.
Results: For both respirator types, video was significantly superior to either print or computer-based training methods. Conclusions were consistent, whether determined by average fit factor (analysis of variance), log-transformed fit factors, or the number of users in the lowest quartile of achieved fit.
Conclusions: Video training for proper respirator use can be effective when direct training from an occupational health professional is unavailable. These methods are particularly relevant to “rapid rollout” situations, such as natural disasters, epidemics, or bioterrorism concerns.

Source : Harber, Philip MD, MPH; Boumis, Robert J. BS; Su, Jing MS; Barrett, Sarah BS; Alongi, Gabriela BS. Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine:
December 2013 - Volume 55 - Issue 12 - p 1484–1488.

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