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 behaviors toward post-fire decontamination processes. Overall firefighters reported positive attitudes, beliefs, and perceived norms about decontamination, but showering after a fire was the only decontamination process that occurred regularly, with field decontamination, use of cleansing wipes, routine gear cleaning, and other behaviors all occurring less frequently. Firefighters reported time and concerns over wet gear as barriers to decontamination.

Source: Harrison, T. R., Wendorf Muhamad, J., Yang, F., Morgan, S. E., Talavera, E., Caban-Martinez, A. et Kobetz, E. (2017). Journal of occupational and environmental hygiene.

Predictive multiscale computational model of shoe-floor coefficient of friction

Understanding the frictional interactions between the shoe and floor during walking is critical to prevention of slips and falls, particularly when contaminants are present. A multiscale finite element model of shoe-floor-contaminant friction was developed that takes into account the surface and material characteristics of the shoe and flooring in microscopic and macroscopic scales. The model calculates shoe-floor coefficient of friction (COF) in boundary lubrication regime where effects of adhesion friction and hydrodynamic pressures are negligible. The validity of model outputs was assessed by comparing model predictions to the experimental results from mechanical COF testing. The multiscale model estimates were linearly related to the experimental results (p<0.0001). The model predicted 73% of variability in experimentally-measured shoe-floor-contaminant COF. The results demonstrate the potential of multiscale finite element modeling in aiding slip-resistant shoe and flooring design and reducing slip and fall injuries.

Source: Moghaddam, S. R. M., Acharya, A., Redfern, M. S., et Beschorner, K. E. (2018). Journal of biomechanics, 66, 145-152.

ASTM F2100 - 11(2018) - Standard Specification for Performance of Materials Used in Medical Face Masks

This specification covers the classifications, performance requirements, and test methods for the materials used in the construction of medical face masks that are used in health care services such as surgery and patient care. Medical face mask material performance is based on testing for bacterial filtration efficiency, differential pressure, sub-micron particulate filtration efficiency, resistance to penetration by synthetic blood, and flammability. This specification does not address all aspects of medical face mask design and performance, the effectiveness of medical face mask designs as related to the barrier and breathability properties, and respiratory protection, which may be necessary for some health care services.


ASTM F1301-18 - Standard Practice for Labeling Chemical Protective Clothing

This practice contains the recommendations for minimal informational requirements for the identification of chemical protective clothing items. It is intended to provide the user with some of the basic information necessary for the proper selection and use of the chemical protective clothing.
For some items of chemical protective clothing, such as disposable chemical protective gloves, it is recognized that it is not practical that the labeling information be provided directly on the product. Therefore, it is permissible that this information be provided on the direct packaging that contains the product. As an example, it is possible to put the recommended product information on the dispenser box that contains multiple pairs of disposable chemical protective gloves.
Additional information beyond the content recommended by this practice is permitted to be applied to the label. This additional label content can include statements indicating compliance with specific standards, warnings, limitations associated with the product, and certain types of use, care, and maintenance information as addressed in Practice F2061.
Rules and regulations in Title 16 Code of Federal Regulations Part 303 cover the identification of fibers in textile products, specifically the disclosure of the fiber content and the manner of labeling products for purposes of applying tariffs on imported products and for informing the consumer. This practice is not intended to be a replacement for the requirements in 16 CFR 303, which may still apply to certain types of chemical protective clothing.


An Update on the State of Anti-Fog Eye and Face Protection, Technologies and Best Practices

Fog limits the effectiveness of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for eye and face protection. According to the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), it is one of the three most significant barriers to their use, ahead of lack of comfort and fit and scratching. If lenses are fogged, people won’t wear them. If workers can’t see, they could have accidents.
Fog forms on a surface when water vapor in air condenses in fine droplets. A good anti-fog (AF) coating should prevent the formation of such droplets, but not all AF coatings are the same. Typical AF products perform well right out of the package. But after use and cleaning, the coatings will lose effectiveness and come off over time.
State-of-the-art premium permanent AF coatings are more durable, washable, and better performing but aren’t always used or necessary in all environments.


Standard Specification for Performance Requirements for Protective (Safety) Toe Cap Footwear

This specification covers the minimum design, performance, testing, and classification requirements, and prescribes fit, function, and performance criteria for footwear designed to be worn to provide protection against a variety of workplace hazards that can potentially result in injury. It is not the intention of this specification to serve as a detailed manufacturing or purchasing specification, but can be referenced in purchase contracts to ensure that minimum performance requirements are met. Footwear conforming to this specification shall meet the performance requirements for the following: impact resistance for the toe area of footwear; compression resistance for the toe area of footwear; metatarsal protection that reduces the chance of injury to the metatarsal bones at the top of the foot; conductive properties which reduce hazards that may result from static electricity buildup, and reduce the possibility of ignition of explosives and volatile chemicals; electric shock resistance; static dissipative (SD) properties to reduce hazards due to excessively low footwear resistance that may exist where SD footwear is required; puncture resistance of footwear bottoms; chain saw cut resistance; and dielectric insulation.


Vêtements de travail de protection contre les feux à inflammation instantanée causés par des hydrocarbures et facultativement contre la vapeur et les liquides chauds

La présente Norme nationale du Canada énonce les exigences minimales de rendement ainsi que les méthodes d'essai relatives aux vêtements de travail portés pour se protéger contre les expositions imprévues aux feux à inflammation instantanée causés par des hydrocarbures et facultativement contre la vapeur et les liquides chauds.


Evaluation of body heating protocols with graphene heated clothing in a cold environment

Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the effects of intermittent and continuous heating protocols using graphene-heated clothing and identify more effective body region for heating in a cold environment.
Design/methodology/approach: Eight males participated in five experimental conditions at an air temperature of 0.6°C with 40 percent relative humidity: no heating, continuous heating the chest, continuous heating the back, intermittent heating the chest, and intermittent heating the back.
Findings: The results showed that the electric power consumption of the intermittent heating protocol (2.49 W) was conserved by 71 percent compared to the continuous protocol (8.58 W). Rectal temperature, cardiovascular and respiratory responses showed no significant differences among the four heating conditions, while heating the back showed more beneficial effects on skin temperatures than heating the chest.
Originality/value: First of all, this study was the first report to evaluate cold protective clothing with graphene heaters. Second, the authors provided effective intermittent heating protocols in terms of reducing power consumption, which was able to be evaluated with the characteristics of fast-responsive graphene heaters. Third, an intermittent heating protocol on the back was recommended to keep a balance between saving electric power and minimizing thermal discomfort in cold environments.


Échafaudages - Type : cadres métalliques

Cette brochure expose les techniques les plus connues et décrit les équipements utilisés pour les appliquer. Il vise à fournir aux intervenants du secteur de la construction des renseignements complémentaires à la réglementation pour leur permettre d’ériger des échafaudages sur cadres métalliques sécuritaires.


Effet des fluides de coupe sur la résistance à la coupure et à la perforation des gants de protection

L'objectif de cette étude était de caractériser l'effet des fluides de coupe sur la résistance mécanique des gants de protection, en conditions contrôlées au laboratoire ainsi qu'en milieu de travail. Pour ce faire, des gants et des contaminants déjà utilisés dans trois secteurs de travail de deux entreprises partenaires de l'étude ont d'abord été choisis. Les effets d'une contamination de ces gants en laboratoire et des traitements de nettoyage, sur la résistance résiduelle des gants à la coupure et à la perforation, ont été évalués avec différents couples gants/contaminants. Ensuite, des tests de gonflement en laboratoire sur différents polymères ont été réalisés afin de déterminer les polymères d'enduction des gants les plus résistants aux fluides de coupe utilisés en usinage du métal. Des tests de gonflement sur deux de ces polymères exposés à des fluides de coupe à différentes températures ont également été effectués pour constater l'effet de la température sur la résistance chimique. Des essais complémentaires de caractérisation des fluides de coupe et l'utilisation des résultats des tests de gonflement ont été analysés selon une régression linéaire multiple. Cette analyse a permis de déterminer les paramètres caractérisant les fluides qui ont un impact significatif sur le gonflement. Finalement, à partir de ces résultats et considérant les secteurs de travail ciblés dans les deux entreprises partenaires de l'étude, des gants pouvant répondre aux besoins des travailleurs en termes de la protection et de la fonctionnalité ont été sélectionnés parmi ceux disponibles sur le marché. Ces « nouveaux » gants ont été testés en milieu de travail dans le cadre d'un programme d'usure des gants. Ce programme a consisté à mesurer la résistance à la coupure et à la perforation des gants usagés après leur utilisation et à comparer ces propriétés à celles des gants neufs, ainsi qu'à vérifier auprès des travailleurs, à l'aide d'un questionnaire, si le choix des gants répondait bien à leurs besoins.


ASTM F1461 - 17 - Standard Practice for Chemical Protective Clothing Program

This practice is intended to promote the proper selection, use, maintenance, and understanding of the limitations of chemical protective clothing (CPC) by users, employers, employees, and other persons involved in programs requiring CPC, thereby limiting potentially harmful and unnecessary skin exposures.


Glove: Use for safety or overuse?

Occupational exposure to blood and body fluids presents a major safety risk for bloodborne viruses to all health care workers (HCWs). In response to human immunodeficiency syndrome (HIV), various strategies were adopted to reduce this risk. The most important and cost-effective strategy was the introduction of gloves as part of personal protective equipment (PPE) for all potential or expected exposures to blood and body fluid. The term gloves in this report refer to nonsterile, medical, and examination gloves.

Source: Jain, S., Clezy, K., & McLaws, M. L. (2017). American Journal of Infection Control.

Protéger les travailleurs du froid : mieux comprendre pour mieux agir

Dans de nombreux secteurs industriels, les travailleurs sont confrontés à des contraintes thermiques extrêmes et en particulier à des froids pouvant être intenses. Des normes internationales définissent le travail au froid à des températures égales ou inférieures à 10°C. Par exemple, les ouvriers de l'industrie alimentaire de transformation sont exposés, plusieurs heures par jour, à des températures comprises entre 0 et +10°C pour maintenir la chaine du froid (à des fins de conservation des denrées alimentaires) voire même à des températures inférieures à -20°C pour les produits congelés. Que ce soit dans des lieux fermés (entrepôts frigorifiques, abattoirs) ou en extérieur (construction, agriculture, services publics, etc.), la contrainte thermique par le froid peut avoir des conséquences importantes sur la santé (gelures, hypothermie), sur la sécurité (perte de vigilance et de sensibilité) et s'avérer parfois fatale.
Le premier article de cette veille explore les performances cognitives de huit participants humains exposés 24 heures à une température de 7,5°C. Il en découle quelques recommandations en cas d'exposition prolongée au froid. Le second article présente de récents travaux menés sur le transfert de chaleur à travers différentes couches textiles, utilisées dans la conception de vêtement de protection contre le froid (VPF). En particulier, il rapporte l'influence des caractéristiques géométriques, structurelles et de masse de ces couches sur les propriétés de transfert de masse et de chaleur, et donc sur le confort thermique, à travers des VPF.


Modified gloves: A chance for the prevention of nosocomial infections

Background: Non-sterile gloves primarily serve as a barrier protection for health care workers (HCWs). However, pathogens may often contaminate the skin of HCWs during glove removal; therefore, pathogens may be further transmitted and cause nosocomial infections.
Methods: A field study was conducted comparing contamination rates when using standard gloves or a new modified product equipped with an additional flap (doffing aid) for easier removal. Gloves were removed after bathing gloved hands in an artificial fluorescent lotion. The number of contamination spots was then visually examined using ultraviolet light.
Results: There were 317 individuals who participated in this study: 146 participants (104 nurses and 42 physicians) used standard gloves, whereas 171 participants (118 nurses and 53 physicians) used the modified product. Use of the modified gloves instead of the standard product (15.8% vs 73.3%, respectively; P < .001) and being a physician rather than a nurse (29.5% vs 47.7%, respectively; P = .003) were the only independent risk factors for reduction of contamination.
Conclusions: This study shows that the modified product could, at least in vitro, significantly reduce the rate of hand and wrist contamination during removal compared with standard gloves. By this, it may significantly improve the overall quality of patient care when used on the wards directly at the patient's site.

Source: Gleser, M., Schwab, F., Solbach, P., & Vonberg, R. P. (2017). American Journal of Infection Control.

Evaluation of surgical glove integrity and factors associated with glove defect

Background: Surgical glove perforation may expose both patients and staff members to severe complications. This study aimed to determine surgical glove perforation rate and the factors associated with glove defect.
Material and methods: This descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted between January and March 2017 at a Tunisian university hospital center in 3 different surgical departments: urology, maxillofacial, and general and digestive. The gloves were collected and tested to detect perforations using the water-leak test as described in European Norm NF EN 455-1. For percentage comparisons, the χ2 test was used with a significance threshold of 5%.
Results: A total of 284 gloves were collected. Of these, 47 were found to be perforated, a rate of 16.5%. All perforations were unnoticed by the surgical team members. The majority of perforated gloves (61.7%) were collected after urology procedures (P = .00005), 77% of perforated gloves were detected when the duration of the procedure exceeded 90 minutes (P = .001), and 96% were from brand A, which were the thicker gloves (P = .015).
Conclusions: This study highlighted an important problem neglected by surgical teams. The findings reaffirm the importance of double-gloving and changing gloves in surgeries of more than 90 minutes' duration.

Source: Tlili, M. A., Belgacem, A., Sridi, H., Akouri, M., Aouicha, W., Soussi, S., ... & Dhiab, M. B. (2017). American Journal of Infection Control.

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