2014-08-01 12:00 - Messages

An empirical analysis of thermal protective performance of fabrics used in protective clothing

Fabric-based protective clothing is widely used for occupational safety of firefighters/industrial workers. The aim of this paper is to study thermal protective performance provided by fabric systems and to propose an effective model for predicting the thermal protective performance under various thermal exposures. Different fabric systems that are commonly used to manufacture thermal protective clothing were selected. Laboratory simulations of the various thermal exposures were created to evaluate the protective performance of the selected fabric systems in terms of time required to generate second-degree burns. Through the characterization of selected fabric systems in a particular thermal exposure, various factors affecting the performances were statistically analyzed. The key factors for a particular thermal exposure were recognized based on the t-test analysis. Using these key factors, the performance predictive multiple linear regression and artificial neural network (ANN) models were developed and compared. The identified best-fit ANN models provide a basic tool to study thermal protective performance of a fabric.

Source: Mandal S, Song G. Ann. Occup. Hyg. 2014.

Fatal events in residential roofing

Residential roofing is a high risk occupation, more than nine times as risky as the average occupation and more than three times as risky as the average construction trade. To better understand the factors involved in residential roofing fatalities, 112 case reports filed by Occupational Safety and Health investigators for the years 2005-2010 were examined. In almost all of the recorded cases there was no adherence to the then current safety standards. It was found that there was little or no appropriate use of fall protection practices or equipment and that employer planning and employee training was minimal. Specific standards violated were examined as well as the monetary penalties assessed. In addition to an increase in the size of the penalties, it is hoped the recent national program "Campaign to Prevent Falls in Construction", with its emphasis on planning, needed equipment, and training will prove fruitful in mitigating falls from roofs.

Source: Moore JR, Wagner JP. Safety Sci. 2014; 70: 262-269.

Handling chemotherapy drugs

Do medical gloves really protect?
Due to their potential mutagenic, carcinogenic and teratogenic effects occupational exposure to chemotherapy drugs should be kept to a minimum. Utilization of personnel protective devices, especially the use of protective medical gloves, is a mainstay to avoid skin contact. The choice of appropriate gloves is of outstanding importance. For optimal protection in the oncology setting it is essential to establish general guidelines evaluating appropriate materials and defining quality standards. Establishing these guidelines can facilitate better handling and avoid potential hazards and late sequelae. In Europe there are no specific requirements or test methodologies for medical gloves used in the oncology environment. The implementation of uniform standards for gloves used while handling chemotherapy drugs would be desirable. In contrast, in the US medical gloves used to handle chemotherapy drugs have to fulfill requirements according to the ASTM International (American Society of Testing and Materials) standard D 6978-05. Nitrile or natural rubber latex is a preferred basic glove material, while vinyl is considered inappropriate because of its generally increased permeability. For extended exposure to chemotherapy drugs, double gloving, the use of thicker gloves and the frequent change of gloves increases their protective power.

Source: Landeck, Lilla, Gonzalez, Ernesto, et Koch, Olaf Manfred. (2014). International Journal of Cancer.

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