2015-07-01 12:00 - Messages

Firefighter hand anthropometry and structural glove sizing

A new perspective
OBJECTIVE: We evaluated the current use and fit of structural firefighting gloves and developed an improved sizing scheme that better accommodates the U.S. firefighter population.
BACKGROUND: Among surveys, 24% to 30% of men and 31% to 62% of women reported experiencing problems with the fit or bulkiness of their structural firefighting gloves.
METHOD: An age-, race/ethnicity-, and gender-stratified sample of 863 male and 88 female firefighters across the United States participated in the study. Fourteen hand dimensions relevant to glove design were measured. A cluster analysis of the hand dimensions was performed to explore options for an improved sizing scheme.
RESULTS: The current national standard structural firefighting glove-sizing scheme underrepresents firefighter hand size range and shape variation. In addition, mismatch between existing sizing specifications and hand characteristics, such as hand dimensions, user selection of glove size, and the existing glove sizing specifications, is significant. An improved glove-sizing plan based on clusters of overall hand size and hand/finger breadth-to-length contrast has been developed.
CONCLUSION: This study presents the most up-to-date firefighter hand anthropometry and a new perspective on glove accommodation. The new seven-size system contains narrower variations (standard deviations) for almost all dimensions for each glove size than the current sizing practices.
APPLICATION: The proposed science-based sizing plan for structural firefighting gloves provides a step-forward perspective (i.e., including two women hand model-based sizes and two wide-palm sizes for men) for glove manufacturers to advance firefighter hand protection.

Source: Hsiao H, Whitestone J, Kau TY, Hildreth B. Hum. Factors, 2015.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0018720815594933

Efficacy of a rubber outsole with a hybrid surface pattern for preventing slips on icy surfaces

Conventional winter-safety footwear devices, such as crampons, can be effective in preventing slips on icy surfaces but the protruding studs can lead to other problems such as trips. A new hybrid (rough and smooth) rubber outsole was designed to provide high slip resistance without use of protruding studs or asperities. In the present study, we examined the slip resistance of the hybrid rubber outsole on both dry (-10 °C) and wet (0 °C) icy surfaces, in comparison to three conventional strap-on winter anti-slip devices: 1) metal coils ("Yaktrax Walker"), 2) gritted (sandpaper-like) straps ("Rough Grip"), and 3) crampons ("Altagrips-Lite"). Drag tests were performed to measure static (SCOF) and dynamic (DCOF) coefficients of friction, and gait trials were conducted on both level and sloped ice surfaces (16 participants). The drag-test results showed relatively high SCOF (?0.37) and DCOF (?0.31) values for the hybrid rubber sole, at both temperatures. The other three footwear types exhibited lower DCOF values (0.06-0.20) when compared with the hybrid rubber sole at 0 °C (p < 0.01). Slips were more frequent when wearing the metal coils, in comparison to the other footwear types, when descending a slope at -10 °C (6% of trials vs 0%; p < 0.05). There were no other significant footwear-related differences in slip frequency, distance or velocity. These results indicate that the slip-resistance of the hybrid rubber sole on icy surfaces was comparable to conventional anti-slip footwear devices. Given the likely advantages of the hybrid rubber sole (less susceptibility to tripping, better slip resistance on non-icy surfaces), this type of sole should contribute to a decrease in fall accidents; however, further research is needed to confirm its effectiveness under a wider range of test conditions.

Source: Yamaguchi T, Hsu J, Li Y, Maki BE. Appl. Ergon. 2015; 51: 9-17.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.apergo.2015.04.001

Débroussaillage

Cette brochure traite des travaux de débroussaillage, des techniques de travail et des situations dangereuses. On y décrit également les responsabilités de l'employeur et du travailleur, l'équipement de protection individuelle à utiliser et des règles à suivre en matière de premiers secours et de premiers soins. Pour cette 3e édition, des changements importants ont été apportés aux pages 14-15 et 16 où il est question du choix des lames.?

Source: http://www.csst.qc.ca/publications/200/Pages/DC_200_634.aspx

Developing a Performance Standard for Combination Unit Respirators

Workshop in Brief
Combination unit respirators, a respirator that employs the technology of two or more types of respiratory protection, are presently used in the United States by some law enforcement and military units to respond to situations in which there are unknown and potentially dangerous respiratory hazards; they also have some industrial uses and potential for use in emergency response. On April 30, 2015 the Institute of Medicine hosted a workshop to explore the standards and research issues relevant to these respirators and their certification by the National Personal Protective Technology Laboratory. Representatives from existing and potential user groups as well as manufacturers and other stakeholders discussed the benefits and challenges of combination unit respirators, and provided their ideas on next steps in research, training, and hazard assessment, as well as standards and regulatory priorities to ensure the safety of workers and improve the operation of combination unit respirators.

Source: http://iom.nationalacademies.org/Reports/2015/Developing-a-Performance-Standard-for-Combination-Unit-Respirators-WIB.aspx

Improved hand hygiene compliance after eliminating mandatory glove use from contact precautions

Is less more?
Background: Guidelines recommend that health care personnel (HCP) wear gloves for all interactions with patients on contact precautions. We aimed to assess hand hygiene (HH) compliance during contact precautions before and after eliminating mandatory glove use.
Methods: We assessed HH compliance of HCP in the care of patients on contact precautions in 50 series before (2009) and 6 months after (2012) eliminating mandatory glove use and compared these results with the hospital-wide HH compliance.
Results: We assessed 426 HH indications before and 492 indications after the policy change. Compared with 2009, we observed a significantly higher HH compliance in patients on contact precautions in 2012 (52%; 95% confidence interval [95% CI], 47-57) vs 85%; 95% CI, 82-88; P < .001). During the same period, hospital-wide HH compliance also increased from 63% (95% CI, 61-65) to 81% (95% CI 80-83) (P < .001). However, the relative improvement (RI) of HH compliance during contact precautions was significantly higher than the hospital-wide relative improvement (RI, 1.6; 95% CI, 1.49-1.81 vs 1.29; 95% CI, 1.25-1.34), with a relative improvement ratio of 1.27 (95% CI, 1.15-1.41).
Conclusion: Eliminating mandatory glove use in the care of patients on contact precautions increased HH compliance in our institution, particularly before invasive procedures and before patient contacts. Further studies on the effect on pathogen transmission are needed before revisiting the current official guidelines on the topic.

Source: Cusini, Alexia, Nydegger, Doris, Kaspar, Tanja, Schweiger, Alexander, Kuhn, Rolf, & Marschall, Jonas. American Journal of Infection Control, 2015.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajic.2015.05.019

Variation in health care worker removal of personal protective equipment

In the current era of emerging pathogens such as Ebola virus, removal of personal protective equipment (PPE) is crucial to reduce contamination of health care workers. However, current removal practices are not well described. We undertook a systematic evaluation of health care worker removal of PPE for contact isolation to examine variation in removal procedures. Findings indicate that under usual conditions, only about half of health care workers correctly remove their PPE, and very few remove their PPE in the correct order and dispose of it in the proper location.

Source: Zellmer, Caroline, Van Hoof, Sarah, & Safdar, Nasia. (2015). American Journal of Infection Control, 43 (7), p. 750-751.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajic.2015.02.005

The effect of wearer stubble on the protection given by Filtering Facepieces Class 3 (FFP3) and Half Masks

HSE Inspectors routinely come across workers with various degrees of stubble growth using respiratory protective masks, despite guidance to the contrary. This research studied the effect of 0-7 days stubble growth on the protection given by FFP3 filtering facepieces and half masks.
Fifteen male volunteers took part, each testing four masks. For most, three different design FFP3 and one half mask were tested, selected from seven models of FFP3 and 2 half masks. Fit tests were carried out immediately after shaving and repeated six times during the following week, without further shaving.
Results showed that the effect on protection was quite specific to the mask/wearer combination. Protection could be significantly reduced where stubble was present, beginning within 24 hours from shaving, and generally worsening as facial hair grew. Statistical analysis predicted this could reach an unacceptable level for all of the masks tested.

Source: http://www.hse.gov.uk/research/rrhtm/rr1052.htm

Fumigation

Health & safety guidance for employers & technicians carrying out fumigation operations
The guidance is primarily for employers and fumigators/fumigation technicians (including the self-employed) to help them comply with the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 (COSHH) when carrying out fumigation activities, both traditional pest control (invertebrate fumigation) and within the laboratory and biosecurity sectors. It will also be useful to their safety representatives.
It outlines the real risks and describes the law that applies to fumigation operations. There is specific advice on procedures common to all fumigation operations, including the use of monitoring equipment, personal protective equipment and respiratory protective equipment, health surveillance and first aid.

Source: http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/books/hsg251.htm

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