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A critical review of the literature on comfort of hearing protection devices
Definition of comfort and identification of its main attributes for earplug types Objective: This article presents a comprehensive literature review of past works addressing Hearing Protection Devices (HPD) comfort and to put them into perspective regarding a proposed holistic multidimensional construct of HPD comfort. Design: Literature review. Study samples: Documents were hand searched and Internet searched using “PubMed”, “Web of Science”, “Google Scholar”, “ProQuest Dissertations and Theses Professional”, “Scopus” or “Google”...
Heat strain imposed by personal protective ensembles
Quantitative analysis using a thermoregulation model The objective of this paper is to study the effects of personal protective equipment (PPE) and specific PPE layers, defined as thermal/evaporative resistances and the mass, on heat strain during physical activity. A stepwise thermal manikin testing and modeling approach was used to analyze a PPE ensemble with four layers: uniform, ballistic protection, chemical protective clothing, and mask and gloves. The PPE was tested on a thermal manikin, starting with the uniform, then adding an additional layer in each step. Wearing PPE increases the metabolic...
The influence of arc-flash and fire resistant clothing on thermoregulation during exercise in the heat
PURPOSE: We evaluated the effect of arc-flash and fire resistant (AFR) clothing ensembles (CE) on whole-body heat dissipation during work in the heat. METHODS: On 10 occasions, seven males performed four 15-min cycling bouts at a fixed rate of metabolic heat production (400W) in the heat (35°C), each separated by 15-min of recovery. Whole-body heat loss and metabolic heat production were measured by direct and indirect calorimetry, respectively. Body heat storage was calculated as the temporal summation of heat production and heat loss. Responses were compared in a semi-nude state and while...
Fighting Ebola: A Grand Challenge for Development
How NIOSH is Helping Design Improved Personal Protective Equipment for Healthcare Workers The current Ebola epidemic in West Africa is the largest in history and is unprecedented in many ways, including the large number of healthcare workers who have been infected while treating patients. The large scale of the epidemic, as well as the two healthcare workers who contracted Ebola while caring for the first case in the United States, has directed particular attention to the personal protective equipment (PPE) used by healthcare workers to reduce their risk of infection. PPE is designed to create...
Health Care Workers’ Reported Discomfort While Wearing Filtering Face-Piece Respirators
Filtering face-piece respirators (FFRs) are one method of protecting health care workers from airborne particles; however, research suggests adherence is poor, perhaps due to worker discomfort. Three separate focus groups were conducted at two Veterans Affairs health care facilities. Seventeen health care workers who reported using FFRs as part of their job duties were in the focus groups. Focus group transcripts were coded using qualitative descriptive coding techniques. Participants described experiences of discomfort and physical mask features they believed contributed to discomfort. Participants...
Assessment of the human responses to the influence of personal liquid cooling system in the hot environment
Purpose – People working in the hot environment are constantly exposed to the overheating, that can lead to cardiovascular disorders and as a consequence result in occupational diseases. The purpose of this paper is to present developed personal liquid cooling system that is able to efficiently draw excess heat from the human organism, protecting against thermal stress. Design/methodology/approach – The paper presents study concerning the assessment of effect of the coolant temperature in the developed liquid cooling garment (LCG) on physiological parameters of the subjects (heart rate...
New approach to assessing comfort of use of protective footwear with a textile liner and its impact on foot physiology
We propose a new approach to assessing comfort of use of protective footwear with a textile liner. All-rubber footwear with wool liner and cotton/polyamide socks were evaluated in a study involving 30 firefighters. The study was designed to comprehensively assess comfort of use of textiles in the footwear using certain known and new research tools at the same time, that is, measurement of the microclimate inside the footwear (temperature and humidity), weight gain of the footwear, socks, and liner (weighing method), measurement of blood flows in the lower extremities (impedance plethysmography...
The effect of a helmet on cognitive performance is, at worst, marginal
A controlled laboratory study The present study looked at the effect of a helmet on cognitive performance under demanding conditions, so that small effects would become more detectible. Nineteen participants underwent 30 min of continuous visual vigilance, tracking, and auditory vigilance (VTT + AVT), while seated in a warm environment (27.2 (±0.6) °C, humidity 41 (±1)%, and 0.5 (±0.1) m s(-1) wind speed). The participants wore a helmet in one session and no helmet in the other, in random order. Comfort and temperature perception were measured at the end of each session...
The Effect of Air Permeability Characteristics of Protective Garments on the Induced Physiological Strain under Exercise-Heat Stress
Objectives : The high values of thermal resistance (Rct) and/or vapor resistance (Ret) of chemical protective clothing (CPC) induce a considerable thermal stress. The present study compared the physiological strain induced by CPCs and evaluates the relative importance of the fabrics' Rct, Ret, and air permeability in determining heat strain. Methods : Twelve young (20–30 years) healthy, heat-acclimated male subjects were exposed fully encapsulated for 3h daily to an exercise-heat stress (35°C and 30% relative humidity, walking on a motor-driven treadmill at a pace of 5 km h1 and a...
The effects of wearing respirators on human fine motor, visual, and cognitive performance
When selecting a respirator, it is important to understand how employees' motor, visual and cognitive abilities are impacted by the personal protective equipment. This study compares dust, powered-air-purifying and full-face, negative-pressure respirators. Thirty participants performed three varied tasks. Each participant performed each task without a respirator and while wearing the three respirator types. The tasks included a hand tool dexterity test, the Motor-Free Visual Perception Test and the Serial Sevens Test to evaluate fine motor, visual and cognitive performance, respectively. The...
Choosing glove materials and assessing permeation performance
The most common causes of occupational dermatitis, according to the HSE — as reported by dermatologists and occupational physicians under The Health and Occupation Research Network (THOR) — are wet work (25% of total), soaps and cleaners (24%), rubber chemicals and materials (16%). Comfort and usability increase the likelihood of people wearing protection; manufacturers are always improving the anatomical design of their gloves. They are also working on levels of grip, for example by developing different surface finishes on the exterior of some gloves, such as dip rough, textured palm...
No substitute for a properly conducted blind wear test
Comfort has rapidly become a key factor in the selection of flame resistant (FR) and arc-rated (AR) protective clothing In fact, recent research shows it is more important to wearers and specifiers than any single factor. The text reviews what is known about comfort and clears up several common misconceptions. Comfort cannot be reliably predicted by any single lab test of a fabric or by any series of different fabric tests, because comfort is inherently subjective; it is entirely a perception in the mind of the individual wearer and thus defies objective, quantified analysis. Weight and breathability...
Methods for calculating thermal insulation of clothing measured with a thermal manikin
There are three methods for calculating thermal insulation of clothing measured with a thermal manikin, i.e. the global method, the serial method, and the parallel method. Under the condition of homogeneous clothing insulation, these three methods yield the same insulation values. If the local heat flux is uniform over the manikin body, the global and serial methods provide the same insulation value. In most cases, the serial method gives a higher insulation value than the global method. There is a possibility that the insulation value from the serial method is lower than the value from the global...
Tester des genouillères : efficacité d’un genou simplifié pour mesurer la répartition de la force d’appui
De nombreuses situations de travail nécessitent l'utilisation de genouillères, qui sont testées selon la norme européenne EN 14404. L'objectif de l'étude décrite dans cet article était d'analyser la pertinence de certains paramètres de l'essai de répartition de la force d'appui, en particulier la localisation des 3 points de mesure, le genou artificiel utilisé et la valeur limite de 30 N. Les positions des trois capteurs définis dans la norme ne permettent pas d'avoir la garantie de mesurer...
A fractionation of the physiological burden of the personal protective equipment worn by firefighters
Load carriage increases physiological strain, reduces work capacity and elevates the risk of work-related injury. In this project, the separate and combined physiological consequences of wearing the personal protective equipment used by firefighters were evaluated. The overall impact upon performance was first measured in 20 subjects during a maximal, job-related obstacle course trial and an incremental treadmill test to exhaustion (with and without protective equipment). The fractional contributions of the thermal protective clothing, helmet, breathing apparatus and boots were then separately...
State of the Art in Hearing Protection Research is Addressed by NIOSH Scientists in Special Journal Issue
Leading experts from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) contribute to this month's special issue of the peer-reviewed journal Noise and Health on state-of-the-art research on hearing protection devices. The March-April issue of Noise and Health is available online at www.noiseandhealth.org . The articles present latest findings in areas where new research is vital for addressing challenges that practitioners, employers, and workers can face in choosing and using proper hearing protection. These include: •Proper fit testing of hearing protectors. •Determining...
Perception des risques professionnels par les opérateurs
Le cas de salariés de chantiers de retrait d'amiante Au-delà des discours généraux et le plus souvent normatifs sur les risques liés à l'amiante, l'approche qualitative mise en oeuvre ici présente comme caractéristique de donner une place centrale à la parole de ceux qui vivent ces risques au quotidien. Ce travail tente ainsi de témoigner des interrogations et des limites exprimées par les salariés de ce qu'ils vivent au quotidien sur les chantiers. La méthode de type clinique, par entretiens...
Liberty Mutual Research Institute for safety: Protective Eyewear in the Workplace is featured in our latest From Research to Reality newsletter
Every day, approximately 2,000 US workers sustain a work-related eye injury that requires medical treatment, according to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. This level has persisted for several years despite the existence of proven engineering and administrative controls for reducing eye injury exposures. The Research Institute has therefore focused its eye injury search on identifying factors that inhibit or prevent the use of effective interventions, in particular, protective eyewear... Source: http://www.libertymutualgroup.com/omapps/ContentServer?c=cms_document&pagename...
ASTM Protective Clothing Standard Developed for Applicators of Pesticides
The ability to provide the correct amount of protection is one of the important elements in the development of protective clothing worn by individuals who apply pesticides as part of their jobs. While overprotection in hot climatic conditions can result in heat stress and low compliance, some of the existing design-based requirements can result in too little protection, as material performance plays a critical role in protective clothing. In an attempt to find the right balance of protection, ASTM International Committee F23 on Personal Protective Clothing and Equipment has developed a new standard...
New Temperature Rating Standard Is Developed by ASTM Personal Protective Clothing Committee
In the field of personal protective clothing, a temperature rating indicates the lowest acceptable air temperature at which an average person would be comfortable when wearing a certain set of clothing. While manufacturers believe that providing temperature ratings is helpful to consumers when they are comparing garments, there have been different methods of testing for a temperature rating. The need to find common ground in this area has led to a new ASTM International standard, F2732, Practice for Determining the Temperature Ratings for Cold Weather Protective Clothing. http://69.7.224.88/default...

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