2016-12-01 12:00 - Messages

Factors affecting fall severity from a ladder

Impact of climbing direction, gloves, gender and adaptation
Ladder falls cause many fatal injuries. The factors that affect whether a ladder perturbation leads to a fall are not well understood. This study quantified the effects of several factors on a person's ability to recover from a ladder perturbation. Thirty-five participants each experienced six unexpected ladder missteps, for three glove conditions (bare hands, high friction, low friction) and two climbing directions (ascent, descent). Fall severity was increased during ladder descent (p < 0.001). Gloves did not affect fall severity. Females compared to males had greater fall severity during ascent (p < 0.001) and descent (p = 0.018). During ascent, females had greater fall severity during the second perturbation but similar fall severity to males during the other perturbations. Additional protection may be needed when descending a ladder. Also, females may benefit from targeted interventions like training. This study does not suggest that gloves are effective for preventing ladder falls.

Source: Pliner, E. M., Seo, N. J., & Beschorner, K. E. (2017). Applied Ergonomics, 60, 163-170.

Market surveillance of FFP3 disposable respirators

Filtering Facepieces (FFPs) are disposable Respiratory Protective Equipment (RPE) for protection against dusts, particles and aerosols. They are often referred to as 'disposable dust masks', are widely used, and generally require no cleaning or maintenance. They are available in three classes: FFP1, FFP2 and FFP3, with the higher numbers corresponding to better filtering efficiency. As with all types of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) sold in the UK, they must comply with the EU PPE Directive 89/686/EEC. It is the responsibility of the manufacturer or person placing the RPE on the European single market to ensure compliance. For FFPs this is invariably achieved by compliance with the harmonised standard EN149:2001+A1:2009.
This report describes market surveillance testing of samples of ten FFP3 respirator models from ten different manufacturers that are available on the UK market. The aim was to determine whether each sample meets a range of health and safety performance requirements required by the standard.

Source: http://www.hse.gov.uk/research/rrhtm/rr1087.htm

Use of moulded hearing protectors by child care workers

An interventional pilot study
Background: Employees of a multi-site institution for children and adolescents started to wear moulded hearing protectors (MHPs) during working hours, as they were suffering from a high level of noise exposure. It was agreed with the institutional physician and the German Institution for Statutory Accident Insurance and Prevention in the Health and Welfare Services (BGW) that this presented an opportunity to perform a scientific study to investigate potential beneficial effects on risk of burnout and subjective noise exposure at work when child care workers wear MHPs.
Methods: This was an intervention study which compared the initial values with those after a follow-up of 12 months. All teaching child care workers employed by the multi-site institution were offered the opportunity to take part. Forty-five (45) employees in 16 institutions participated. The subjects were provided with personally adapted MHPs and documented the periods of wear in a diary. At the start and end of the intervention, the subjects had to answer a questionnaire related to subjective noise exposure and burnout risk. In parallel, employees were surveyed who had not taken part in the intervention.
Results: Thirty-three (33) subjects took part in the follow-up after 12 months (follow-up rate 73 %). The median period of wear of MHPs was 34.6 h. During the period of observation, the mean subjective noise exposure increased by 2.7 %, and mean burnout risk by 2.5 scale points (baseline: 55.2, follow-up 57.7). Neither difference was statistically significant. 67 % of the participants reported that they were still capable of fulfilling their teaching duties when wearing the MHPs. In the reference group without the intervention, the increase in burnout risk was 3.9 points, which was even less favourable (baseline: 50.6, follow-up: 54.5).
Conclusions: Within the working environment of the child care workers, wearing MHPs did not reduce subjective noise exposure or burnout risk; the satisfaction of the study subjects with wearing MHPs decreased over time. There were however signs that the level of stress increased over time and that this might have been alleviated in the intervention group by wearing MHPs.

Source: Koch, P., Stranzinger, J., Kersten, J. F., & Nienhaus, A. (2016). Journal of Occupational Medicine and Toxicology, 11(1), 50.

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