2015-06-01 12:00 - Messages

N95 Respirators use during pregnancy

Findings from recent research
Recent NIOSH research has shed some light on the topic of the safety of N95 filtering facepiece respirators (FFR) use by pregnant workers. Women make up approximately one-half of the US work force. At any given time, about 10% of those female workers of child-bearing age (15–44 years of age) will be pregnant. Because many women are employed in occupations that require the use of protective facemasks, such as medical/surgical masks and FFR, NIOSH conducted research into the safety of FFR use while pregnant. The most frequently used FFR in the US is the N95 FFR (commonly referred to as “N95 mask”), but little information was previously available about the safety of N95 FFR use during pregnancy. Some individuals complain of difficulty breathing when wearing an N95 FFR or other protective facemasks, and many pregnant women find that they become somewhat shorter of breath as their pregnancy progresses, causing concern that use of N95 FFRs during pregnancy might make breathing even more difficult and possibly harm the woman and her fetus. Beyond the issue of use by pregnant working women on the job, the question also has implications for pregnant women outside the workplace. People sometimes use N95 FFRs as a matter of personal choice during infectious disease outbreaks, during environmental disasters that pollute the air, and even in more common recreational activities that may expose them to airborne allergens, such as gardening and woodworking.

Source: http://blogs.cdc.gov/niosh-science-blog/2015/06/18/respirators-pregnancy/

Passage percutané et protection cutanée vis-à-vis du risque chimique

Deux outils disponibles
L'INRS met à disposition deux outils, en ligne. D'une part, une base de données, IH SkinPerm, développée par l'Association américaine d'hygiène industrielle (AIHA) et traduite en français par l'INRS, permet d'estimer le passage percutané des agents chimiques. D'autre part, un logiciel, ProtecPo, développé en partenariat avec l'Institut de recherche Robert-Sauvé en santé et en sécurité du travail (IRSST) du Québec, aide au choix des matériaux de protection cutanée contre les produits chimiques.

Source: http://www.rst-sante-travail.fr/rst/pages-article/ArticleRST.html?ref=RST.AC 76

Systèmes d'ancrage pour la protection contre les chutes

Ce guide se veut un outil d'information pour les employeurs de la construction qui auront à fabriquer, à installer ou à utiliser des systèmes d'ancrage pour la protection contre les chutes conformes à la nouvelle règlementation du Code de sécurité pour les travaux de construction (RLRQ, chap. S-2.1, r.4).?

Source: http://www.csst.qc.ca/publications/200/Pages/DC_200_1576.aspx

Real-time core body temperature estimation from heart rate for first responders wearing different levels of personal protective equipment

First responders often wear personal protective equipment (PPE) for protection from on-the-job hazards. While PPE ensembles offer individuals protection, they limit one's ability to thermoregulate, and can place the wearer in danger of heat exhaustion and higher cardiac stress. Automatically monitoring thermal-work strain is one means to manage these risks, but measuring core body temperature (Tc) has proved problematic. An algorithm that estimates Tc from sequential measures of heart rate (HR) was compared to the observed Tc from 27 US soldiers participating in three different chemical/biological training events (45-90 min duration) while wearing PPE. Hotter participants (higher Tc) averaged (HRs) of 140 bpm and reached Tc around 39°C. Overall the algorithm had a small bias (0.02°C) and root mean square error (0.21°C). Limits of agreement (LoA ± 0.48°C) were similar to comparisons of Tc measured by oesophageal and rectal probes. The algorithm shows promise for use in real-time monitoring of encapsulated first responders.

Source: Buller MJ, Tharion WJ, Duhamel CM, Yokota M. Ergonomics, 2015.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00140139.2015.1036792

Keeping workers safe

Does provision of personal protective equipment match supervisor risk perceptions?
BACKGROUND: Although farm management may understand agriculture's risks, they may not provide personal protective equipment (PPE). This study describes thoroughbred farm management's risk perceptions, provision of PPE, and factors that influence its provision.
METHODS: Thirty-five representatives from 26 farms participated in a 1-4hr semi-structured interview covering perceived risks associated with horse work and perspectives and provision of PPE. Interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed, entered into ATLAS.ti, and analyzed by three coders.
RESULTS: Management cited horse-related tasks as most dangerous, yet horse-related PPE as least provided because of 1) differences in farm context, 2) the belief that workers were most important agents in their safety, 3) lack of confidence in its effectiveness, and 4) the perception that risk could never be eliminated.
CONCLUSIONS: PPE provision was limited by management's poor perceptions of its efficacy relative to other factors. Future research should explore workers' perceptions and PPE's effectiveness in averting horse-related injury.

Source: Clouser JM, Swanberg JE, Bundy H. Am. J. Ind. Med. 2015.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ajim.22464

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