Optimisation de SATURISK, l’outil de calcul du temps de service des cartouches de protection respiratoire contre les vapeurs organiques

L'exposition des travailleurs aux solvants, ou plus largement aux vapeurs organiques, doit être maîtrisée sinon maintenue en deçà des valeurs limites réglementaires. Lorsque l'ensemble des mesures administratives, d'ingénierie et de protection collective ne permet pas d'atteindre des niveaux d'exposition sans danger pour la santé, les travailleurs concernés doivent être équipés d'appareils de protection respiratoire (APR). En l'absence de situations de danger immédiat pour la vie et la santé (DIVS), les APR équipés de cartouches de filtration à base de charbon activé sont utilisés contre les vapeurs organiques. Se pose alors la question du temps de service de ces cartouches. Parmi les options disponibles pour y répondre, celle visant à mettre en œuvre des modèles prédictifs des temps de claquage est la plus utilisée.
Ainsi, l'objectif de ce projet consistait en la mise à jour de Saturisk, l'outil en ligne offert par l'Institut de recherche Robert-Sauvé en santé et en sécurité du travail (IRSST) pour calculer le temps de service des cartouches pour les vapeurs organiques. Cette mise à jour visait notamment à intégrer un éventail plus large de cartouches  et de solvants à Saturisk. En parallèle, le développement d'un système expérimental basé sur la miniaturisation des cartouches a été réalisé pour vérifier, dans des conditions contrôlées, les temps de service prédits par le modèle.

Source: http://www.irsst.qc.ca/-publication-irsst-cartouches-protection-respiratoire-vapeurs-organiques-r-873.html

Prediction methods of skin burn for performance evaluation of thermal protective clothing

Most test methods use skin burn prediction to evaluate the thermal protective performance of clothing. In this paper, we reviewed different burn prediction methods used in clothing evaluation. The empirical criterion and the mathematical model were analyzed in detail as well as their relationship and limitations. Using an empirical criterion, the onset of skin burn is determined by the accumulated skin surface energy in certain periods. On the other hand, the mathematical model, which indicates denatured collagen, is more complex, which involves a heat transfer model and a burn model. Further studies should be conducted to examine the situations where the prediction methods are derived. New technologies may be used in the future to explore precise or suitable prediction methods for both flash fire tests and increasingly lower-intensity tests.

Source: Zhai LN, Li J. Burns, 2015.

Workplace performance of a loose-fitting powered air purifying respirator during nanoparticle synthesis

Nanoparticle (particles with diameter ≤100 nm) exposure is recognized as a potentially harmful size fraction for pulmonary particle exposure. During nanoparticle synthesis, the number concentrations in the process room may exceed 10 × 106 cm−3. During such conditions, it is essential that the occupants in the room wear highly reliable high-performance respirators to prevent inhalation exposure. Here we have studied the in-use program protection factor (PPF) of loose-fitting powered air purifying respirators, while workers were coating components with TiO2 or Cu x O y  nanoparticles under a hood using a liquid flame spray process. The PPF was measured using condensation particle counters, an electrical low pressure impactor, and diffusion chargers. The room particle concentrations varied from 4 × 106 to 40 × 106 cm−3, and the count median aerodynamic diameter ranged from 32 to 180 nm. Concentrations inside the respirator varied from 0.7 to 7.2 cm−3. However, on average, tidal breathing was assumed to increase the respirator concentration by 2.3 cm−3. The derived PPF exceeded 1.1 × 106, which is more than 40 × 103 times the respirator assigned protection factor. We were unable to measure clear differences in the PPF of respirators with old and new filters, among two male and one female user, or assess most penetrating particle size. This study shows that the loose-fitting powered air purifying respirator provides very efficient protection against nanoparticle inhalation exposure if used properly.

Source: Koivisto AJ, Aromaa M, Koponen IK, et al. Journal of Nanoparticle Research, 2015; 17: 177.

Reducing heat stress under thermal insulation in protective clothing

Microclimate cooling by a 'physiological' method
Heat stress caused by protective clothing limits work time. Performance improvement of a microclimate cooling method that enhances evaporative and to a minor extent convective heat loss was tested. Ten male volunteers in protective overalls completed a work-rest schedule (130 min; treadmill: 3 x 30 min, 3 km/h, 5% incline) with or without an additional air-diffusing garment (climatic chamber: 25 °C, 50 % RH, 0.2 m/s wind). Heat loss was supported by ventilating the garment with dry air (600 l/min, «5% RH, 25 °C). Ventilation leads (M ±  SD, n = 10, ventilated vs. non-ventilated) to substantial strain reduction (max. HR: 123 ± 12 b/min vs. 149 ± 24 b/min) by thermal relief (max. core temperature: 37.8 ± 0.3 °C vs. 38.4 ± 0.4 °C, max. mean skin temperature: 34.7 ± 0.8 °C vs. 37.1 ± 0.3 °C) and offers essential extensions in performance and work time under thermal insulation.

Source: Glitz KJ, Seibel U, Rohde U, Gorges W, Witzki A, Piekarski C, Leyk D. Ergonomics, 2015.

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 with a prescribed breathing pattern. The entire SCBA assembly was placed in the test section of the flow loop for these thermal exposure experiments. Three air stream temperatures, 100°C, 150°C, and 200°C, were used with the average air speed at the test section set at 1.4m/s and thermal exposure durations up to 1200s. Measurements were made using type-K bare-bead thermocouples located in the mannequin's mouth and on the outer surface of the SCBA cylinder. The experimental results indicated that increasing the thermal exposure severity and duration increased the breathing air temperatures supplied by the SCBA. Temperatures of breathing air from the SCBA cylinder in excess of 60°C were observed over the course of the thermal exposure conditions used in most of the experiments. A mathematical model for transient heat transfer was developed to complement the thermal exposure experimental study. The model took into consideration forced convective heat transfer, quasi-steady heat conduction through the composite layers of the SCBA cylinder wall, the breathing pattern and action of the breathing simulator, and predicted air temperatures from the thermally exposed SCBA cylinder and temperatures at the outer surface of the SCBA cylinder. Model predictions agreed reasonably well with the experimental measurements.

Source: Donnelly MK, Yang JC. Burns, 2015.

Perceived risks for slipping and falling at work during wintertime and criteria for a slip-resistant winter shoe among Swedish outdoor workers

The leading cause of work related accidents in Sweden is falls. Many slips and falls occur on icy and snowy surfaces, but there is limited knowledge about how to prevent accidents during outdoor work in winter conditions. The purpose of this study was to describe risk factors of slips and falls and criteria for slip-resistant winter shoes from a user perspective. The result is based on focus group interviews with 20 men and women working in mail delivery, construction and home care in Sweden. The data was analyzed with qualitative content analysis. Risk factors described were related to physical work environment, risky work situations, individual and organizational factors. User criteria for winter work shoes focused on safety, adaptation to the environment, usability and own priorities. The mechanisms of slips and falls during outdoor work are complex. There is a need for more functional and user friendly work shoes than those available and user preferences should be considered by shoe designers. Future challenges include finding ways to make individually adapted shoes suitable for changing work environments, situations and tasks.

Source: Norlander A, Miller M, Gard G. Safety Sci. 2015; 73: 52-61.

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 of the boots is the major contributor to restricted foot pronation and gait instability as evidenced by the greater decrease in excursion of COP in leather boots (greater flexing resistance) than in rubber boots (lower resistance). The leather boots also shows the greatest increase in foot contact time and stride time. These negative impacts can increase musculoskeletal injuries in unfavorable fire ground environments.

Source: Park H, Kim S, Morris K, Moukperian M, Moon Y, Stull. J. Appl. Ergon, 2015; 48: 42-48.

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 for both stance conditions, a robustness measure was assessed for the perturbation condition. The results suggest that wearing heavy bottles significantly increased excursion and randomness of postural sway only in medial-lateral direction but not in anterior-posterior direction. This result may be due to stiffening of plantar-flexor muscles. A significant interaction was obtained between SCBA bottle design and vision in anterior-posterior postural sway, suggesting that wearing heavy and large SCBA air bottles can significantly threaten postural stability in AP direction in the absence of vision. SCBA bottle should be redesigned with reduced weight, smaller height, and COM closer to the body of the firefighters. Firefighters should also widen their stance width when wearing heavy PPE with SCBA.

Source: Hur P, Park K, Rosengren KS, Horn GP, Hsiao-Wecksler ET. Appl. Ergon. 2015; 48: 49-55.

Do active safety-needle devices cause spatter contamination?

Exposure to blood and body fluids is an occupational hazard in healthcare. Although the potential for blood-borne virus transmission through needlestick injury has been widely studied, the risk of this occurring through spatter contamination from safety-needle syringes is not well understood. This report examines this risk from three commonly used safety needles and suggests that this presents a new and significant hazard. Further work should be commissioned to quantify this hazard and determine which type of safety needle would minimize spatter contamination following syringe discharge and safety activation.

Source: M. Roffa, S. Basub, A. Adiseshc. Journal of Hospital Infection, Volume 86, Issue 3, March 2014, p. 221–223.

Review of fit test pass criteria for Filtering Facepieces Class 3 (FFP3) respirators

Respiratory Protective Equipment (RPE) is available in a range of types which often include a tight-fitting facepiece which must fit the wearer's face well for the RPE to work effectively. Good fit must be demonstrated by fit testing.
In this study, 25 volunteer test subjects wearing tight-fitting FFP3 (randomly selected from 9 different models) underwent four fit tests (Bitrex qualitative taste test, Portacount particle counting with and without the N95 companion technology and the laboratory chamber method), in random order, according to methodology given in HSE guidance 282/28. The selected FFP3 model worn by each test subject was not adjusted until all four fit tests had been completed.
Results analysed according to the criteria given in the American National Standard for fit test validation, indicate that the Portacount fit test method is more difficult to pass than the other methods. Differences in the methodologies and the potential for bias in the results across the fit test methods are discussed.

Source: http://www.hse.gov.uk/research/rrhtm/rr1029.htm

Exposure to carcinogens in surface engineering

Supplementary report
This report details work undertaken following HSE research published as RR963 Exposure to hexavalent chromium, nickel and cadmium compounds in the electroplating industry (Keen et al, 2013). This examined the use of biological monitoring (BM) in the surface engineering (electroplating) industry.
The report examines the efficacy of gloves, the use of surfactants and local exhaust ventilation in chromium plating, and the potential for transfer of contaminants outside the workplace.

Source: http://www.hse.gov.uk/research/rrhtm/rr1042.htm

Precautionary Practices of Healthcare Workers Who Disinfect Medical and Dental Devices Using High-Level Disinfectants

BACKGROUND: High-level disinfectants (HLDs) are used throughout the healthcare industry to chemically disinfect reusable, semicritical medical and dental devices to control and prevent healthcare-associated infections among patient populations. Workers who use HLDs are at risk of exposure to these chemicals, some of which are respiratory and skin irritants and sensitizers.
OBJECTIVE: To evaluate exposure controls used and to better understand impediments to healthcare workers using personal protective equipment while handling HLDs.
DESIGN: Web-based survey.
PARTICIPANTS: A targeted sample of members of professional practice organizations representing nurses, technologists/technicians, dental professionals, respiratory therapists, and others who reported handling HLDs in the previous 7 calendar days. Participating organizations invited either all or a random sample of members via email, which included a hyperlink to the survey.
METHODS: Descriptive analyses were conducted including simple frequencies and prevalences.
RESULTS: A total of 4,657 respondents completed the survey. The HLDs used most often were glutaraldehyde (59%), peracetic acid (16%), and ortho-phthalaldehyde (15%). Examples of work practices or events that could increase exposure risk included failure to wear water-resistant gowns (44%); absence of standard procedures for minimizing exposure (19%); lack of safe handling training (17%); failure to wear protective gloves (9%); and a spill/leak of HLD during handling (5%). Among all respondents, 12% reported skin contact with HLDs, and 33% of these respondents reported that they did not always wear gloves.
CONCLUSION: Findings indicated that precautionary practices were not always used, underscoring the importance of improved employer and worker training and education regarding HLD hazards.

Source: Scott A. Henn, James M. Boiano and Andrea L. Steege. Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology, Volume 36, Issue 02, February 2015, p.p 180-185.

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 a barrier to prevent pathogens from entering the body through the mucous membranes or broken skin. Examples of PPE used for Ebola include (but are not limited to) gloves, gown/coverall, mask/respirator, apron, faceshield/goggles, and cap/hood (see Figure 1). Reports from healthcare workers in West Africa indicate that some personnel are able to wear their PPE for only 40 minutes at a time because of the high ambient temperature and humid conditions. Even in the United States, where management of patients with Ebola is done in air-conditioned environments, uncomfortable PPE is a common complaint and causes additional burden for healthcare workers.

Source: http://blogs.cdc.gov/niosh-science-blog/2015/02/05/ebola-ppe/

Assessment of Personal Protective Equipment Use Among Farmers in Eastern North Carolina

A Cross-sectional Study
Agriculture consistently ranks among the top hazardous occupations, accounting for a significant number of injuries and fatalities in the workplace. Eastern North Carolina has a significant number of small, independent, family-run, owned, and operated farms. However, little is known about perception, behavior, training, accessibility, or purchasing personal protective equipment (PPE) for safety among farmers in the region. In this study, telephone interviews were conducted among participating farmers between March and June 2012 (N = 129). Univariate and bivariate analyses were conducted to examine associations between PPE behavior and workplace hazards, health-related concerns, and wearing and purchasing PPE. Findings indicated that personal behavior of wearing hearing protection devices (HPDs) and protection from the sun among farmers was low. However, a relatively high percentage of farmers reported wearing PPE when working with agricultural chemicals. Most farmers received training from agricultural extension offices. The findings indicate that, in general, farmers are well aware of the risks associated with occupational hazards and recognize concern for health and safety protection in the workplace. Transitioning these concerns into preventative action remains a challenge and priority for the agricultural health professional.

Source: Kearney GD, Xu X, Balanay JA, Allen DL, Rafferty AP. J. Agromed. 2015; 20: 43-54.

A multi factorial analysis of the epidemiology of injuries from falls from heights

BACKGROUND: Fall from height is a common cause of morbidity and mortality in suburban population in India. These cases are either domestic or workplace injuries with different causative factors. We analyzed different aspects of these falls to identify their risk factors.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: We conducted prospective and retrospective epidemiological study to identify various causative, contributory factors, and resultant injuries in cases of fall from height. The study group comprised of semiurban population and involved both domestic and workplace injuries presenting to a tertiary care hospital.
RESULTS: There were 208 cases of workplace (112) and domestic (96) fall from height. In domestic cases absence of parapet on roof was the commonest cause, most of falls occurred during summer and rainy season. Alcohol consumption prior to fall was commonest associated factor in adult males. Children mostly fell while playing on roof and climbing trees. Among workplace cases, civil construction site injuries were commonest and absence of any protective gear and long working and evening hours were commonest associated factors. Mean injury severity score was 10.86 in domestic cases and 14.87 in workplace cases. There were 17 mortalities with head injury being commonest associated cause. Only difference in incidence of alcohol consumption and permanent disability was statistically significant between workplace and domestic falls.
CONCLUSION: Different factors are responsible for domestic and workplace cases of fall from height. Most of these cases are potentially preventable.

Source: Jain V, Jain S, Dhaon B. Int. J. Crit. Illn. Inj. Sci, 2014; 4: p. 283-287.

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