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A 10-year descriptive analysis of UK Maritime and Coastguard data on lifejacket use and drowning prevention
The study investigated if incidences of death by drowning in the UK could have been prevented through the use of lifejackets over a ten year period. This study was a retrospective analysis of fatal maritime incident data collected by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) between the years 2007 and 2016. A Casualty Review Panel (CRP) met annually to categorise incidents into five groups based on the likelihood of a lifejacket preventing death. Descriptive analyses were performed on the overall fatalities, data were stratified by year, sex, age, and activity. Ten year data were categorised based...
ASTM E3108-18 - Standard Practice for Conformity Assessment of Protective Gloves Worn by Law Enforcement and Corrections Officers
Scope: This practice establishes the conformity assessment requirements for protective gloves worn by law enforcement and corrections officers. It was developed based on end user input regarding hazards of concern and operational requirements of officers.2 This practice provides two options for conformity assessment: (1) supplier's declaration of conformity (SDOC) and (2) certification. This practice is intended to be used by purchasers and suppliers in the procurement of gloves that meet Specification E3109, and the purchaser is responsible for selecting either SDOC or certification. Source...
ASTM E3109-18 - Standard Specification for Protective Gloves Worn by Law Enforcement and Corrections Officers
Scope: This specification addresses protective gloves worn by law enforcement and corrections officers. This specification and related standards were developed by subject matter experts, including experienced end users, using data from a survey of more than 800 U.S. law enforcement and corrections officers. This specification addresses performance requirements, performance ratings, and test methods for whole gloves and for glove components (for example, materials, layers). Source: https://www.astm.org/Standards/E3109.htm
Firefighter attitudes, norms, beliefs, barriers, and behaviors toward post-fire decontamination processes in an era of increased cancer risk
Firefighters' are exposed to carcinogens such as volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) during fires and from their personal protective equipment (PPE). Recent research has shown that decontamination processes can reduce contamination on both gear and skin. While firefighter cultures that honor dirty gear are changing, little is known about current attitudes and behaviors toward decontamination in the fire service. Four hundred eighty-five firefighters from four departments completed surveys about their attitudes, beliefs, perceived norms, barriers, and...
Ergonomic evaluation of protective clothing for earthquake disaster search and rescue team members
Purpose: The ergonomic performance of protective clothing for earthquake disaster search and rescue team members is significant for its protective performance. Design/methodology/approach: By experimental simulations of the rescue tasks, an evaluation system for the protective clothing in both static and dynamic conditions was designed and established in this study. In static evaluation, motion capture system was used to measure the ranges of motions. The mobility was analyzed by the comprehensive evaluation method. In dynamic experiments, three types of rescue tasks were simulated for ergonomic...
Principles and hierarchy design of protective clothing for earthquake disaster search and rescue team members
Purpose: Personal protective assembles protect searchers and rescuers from potential hazards when they enter the earthquake disaster field. Since the earthquake rescue work is risky and complicated, the corresponding protective clothing should meet with the protective, functional and comfort performance demands. The purpose of this paper is to discuss the design principles of this kind of protective clothing and present a design model based on the principles. Design/methodology/approach: In this study, the requirements of the protective clothing were investigated in terms of environment, human...
Evaluation method for thermal protection of firefighters’ clothing in high-temperature and high-humidity condition
A review Purpose: To provide researchers with the details of developments in test apparatus and evaluation methods to rate the thermal protective performance (TPP) of firefighters' clothing under high-temperature and high-humidity condition. Design/methodology/approach: This review paper describes the influence laws of moisture on thermal protection and the moisture distribution in actual fire environment. Different evaluation methods used for assessing the effect of moisture on the TPP were investigated, with an emphasis on test devices, evaluation indexes as well as their relationship and...
NIOSH Firefighter Body Dimension Data Supports Design Changes and Safety
We have come to rely on, and expect firefighters to rush into burning buildings, put out flames, and save lives. Yet, each year many firefighters die in the line of duty and thousands more sustain injuries. For these reasons, researchers at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) recorded and developed the first database of firefighter body measurements (also known as anthropometric information) to improve the design, and ultimately the safety, of fire apparatus and equipment that firefighters depend on to help protect themselves on the job. Source: http://www.cdc.gov...
Évaluation de nouvelles technologies visant à réduire le stress thermophysiologique associé au port de vêtements individuels de protection pour les pompiers
Les contraintes thermiques liées au port des vêtements individuels de protection (VIP) contre la chaleur et les flammes sont un problème préoccupant pour la santé et la sécurité des pompiers. Les matériaux utilisés dans la fabrication des VIP ont souvent le désavantage d'être lourds, rigides et d'empêcher l'évacuation de la chaleur produite par l'activité physique lors d'une intervention. Deux nouvelles technologies de matériaux ont été développées...
One Size Does Not Fit All
When your safety and your life depends on it, you need your equipment to fit properly. This is especially true in the workplace. Improper fit may prevent workers from performing their job duties safely and effectively. If your respirator does not seal properly to your face, if your gloves are too big, if your seatbelt cannot buckle with your safety gear on . . . you get the picture. Anthropometry is the science of defining human body dimensions and physical characteristics. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) conducts anthropometric research to prevent work-related...
Skin sites to predict deep-body temperature while wearing firefighters' personal protective clothing during periodical changes in air temperature
The aim of this study was to investigate stable and valid measurement sites of skin temperatures as a non-invasive variable to predict deep-body temperature while wearing firefighters' personal protective equipment (PPE) during air temperature changes. Eight male firefighters participated in an experiment which consisted of 60-min exercise and 10-min recovery while wearing PPE without self-contained breathing apparatus (7.75 kg in total PPE mass). Air temperature was periodically fluctuated from 29.5 to 35.5°C with an amplitude of 6°C. Rectal temperature was chosen as a deep-body temperature...
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...
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...
Experimental and modeling study of thermal exposure of a self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA)
An experimental apparatus designed to study firefighter safety equipment exposed to a thermal environment was developed. The apparatus consisted of an elevated temperature flow loop with the ability to heat the air stream up to 200°C. The thermal and flow conditions at the test section were characterized using thermocouples and bi-directional probes. The safety equipment examined in this study was a self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA), including a facepiece and an air cylinder. The SCBA facepiece was placed on a mannequin headform and coupled to a breathing simulator that was programmed...
Effect of firefighters' personal protective equipment on gait
The biomechanical experiment with eight male and four female firefighters demonstrates that the effect of adding essential equipment: turnout ensemble, self-contained breathing apparatus, and boots (leather and rubber boots), significantly restricts foot pronation. This finding is supported by a decrease in anterior-posterior and medial-lateral excursion of center of plantar pressure (COP) trajectory during walking. The accumulation of this equipment decreases COP velocity and increases foot-ground contact time and stride time, indicating increased gait instability. An increase in the flexing resistance...
Effects of air bottle design on postural control of firefighters
The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of firefighter's self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) air bottle design and vision on postural control of firefighters. Twenty-four firefighters were tested using four 30-minute SCBA bottle designs that varied by mass and size. Postural sway measures were collected using a forceplate under two visual conditions (eyes open and closed) and two stance conditions (quiet and perturbed stances). For perturbed stance, a mild backward impulsive pull at the waist was applied. In addition to examining center of pressure postural sway measures...
Facteurs de risque associés aux glissades chez les policiers et les brigadiers scolaires
Étude exploratoire L’objectif principal de cette activité de recherche était d’identifier des facteurs de risque associés aux accidents de glissade en vue de proposer des avenues de recherche pour répondre aux besoins des travailleurs en collaboration avec les organismes de prévention et de santé au travail. Cette activité a été réalisée en trois étapes : 1) Une revue de la littérature scientifique a permis de faire un bilan de connaissances sur la problématique des glissades afin...
Exploratory breath analyses for assessing toxic dermal exposures of firefighters during suppression of structural burns
Firefighters wear fireproof clothing and self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) during rescue and fire suppression activities to protect against acute effects from heat and toxic chemicals. Fire services are also concerned about long-term health outcomes from chemical exposures over a working lifetime, in particular about low-level exposures that might serve as initiating events for adverse outcome pathways (AOP) leading to cancer. As part of a larger US National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) study of dermal exposure protection from safety gear used by the City of Chicago...
Evaluation of two cooling systems under a firefighter coverall
Firemen often suffer from heat strain. This study investigated two chest cooling systems for use under a firefighting suit. In nine male subjects, a vest with water soaked cooling pads and a vest with water perfused tubes were compared to a control condition. Subjects performed 30 min walking and 10 min recovery in hot conditions, while physiological and perceptual parameters were measured. No differences were observed in heart rate and rectal temperature, but scapular skin temperature and fluid loss were lower using the perfused vest. Thermal sensation was cooler for the perfused vest than for...
The European, Japanese and US protective helmet, gloves and boots for firefighters
Thermoregulatory and psychological évaluations The purpose of this study was to investigate the physiological and subjective responses of the European, Japanese (JPN) and US firefighters' helmet, gloves and boots for international standardisation. Three experimental conditions were evaluated (clothing mass: 9.4, 8.2 and 10.1 kg for the three conditions, respectively) at the air temperature of 32°C and 60% relative humidity. The results showed that there was no significant difference among the three conditions in oxygen consumption, heart rate, total sweat rate, rectal temperature...
Preventing Deaths and Injuries to Fire Fighters by Establishing Collapse Zones at Structure Fires
Fire fighters are at significant risk for injury or death due to structural collapse during firefighting operations. Structural collapse often occurs without warning. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) recommends that the Incident Commander establish defensive operations and collapse zones when there is potential for a structural collapse during fire-fighting operations. Source: http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/docs/wp-solutions/2014-120/
Modeling acoustic propagation in a compartment fire
Firefighters unable to move and in need of rescue use an audible alarm to signal for help. Rescue teams can then follow this sound to the firefighter. This alarm is governed by NFPA 1982 : Standard on Personal Alert Safety System (PASS). Introduced in 1983, the PASS has saved many firefighter lives. However, a number of incidents have occurred where the PASS is less effective. There have been incidents where the PASS was heard sporadically on the fireground, or where localization of the alarm was difficult, leading to injury and loss of life. We hypothesized that the temperature field created by...
The effect of firefighter personal protective equipment on auditory thresholds
Communication on a fire scene is essential to the safety of firefighters. Not only to be able to hear and understand radio chatter, but also alarm signals used on the fireground. One such alarm is the Personal Alert Safety System (PASS) device. This device is used to help locate a downed firefighter. One part of this complex problem is the effect of the protective equipment (helmet, eye protection, hood, coat) on hearing. Previous findings have shown the effect of this protective equipment on head related transfer functions using a KEMAR. [Suits et al. (2013, June). Paper presented at the International...
Measuring the acoustic response of a compartment fire
Rescue teams have a small window of time to locate a downed firefighter. Their task is made more difficult due to low visibility, smoke, toxic gases, and high temperatures. In the United States, most firefighters are equipped with a Personal Alarm Safety System (PASS) device that emits an alarm sound, when the firefighter becomes incapacitated. Rescue teams can then follow this sound to the source to locate the downed firefighter. While the PASS device has been enormously successful, anecdotal evidence has shown it fails in some interesting scenarios. For example, cases have been recorded where...
Résistance des gants de protection contre les piqûres d’aiguille
En réponse à une demande formulée par deux associations sectorielles paritaires et trois milieux de travail représentants les policiers, les agents de la paix en services correctionnels et les cols bleus, l'Institut de recherche Robert-Sauvé en santé et en sécurité du travail (IRSST) a mis au point une méthode d'essai pour déterminer la résistance des gants de protection contre les piqûres causées par les aiguilles médicales. L'absence de méthodes d'essai normalisées rendait...
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