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 of the hand dimensions was performed to explore options for an improved sizing scheme.
RESULTS: The current national standard structural firefighting glove-sizing scheme underrepresents firefighter hand size range and shape variation. In addition, mismatch between existing sizing specifications and hand characteristics, such as hand dimensions, user selection of glove size, and the existing glove sizing specifications, is significant. An improved glove-sizing plan based on clusters of overall hand size and hand/finger breadth-to-length contrast has been developed.
CONCLUSION: This study presents the most up-to-date firefighter hand anthropometry and a new perspective on glove accommodation. The new seven-size system contains narrower variations (standard deviations) for almost all dimensions for each glove size than the current sizing practices.
APPLICATION: The proposed science-based sizing plan for structural firefighting gloves provides a step-forward perspective (i.e., including two women hand model-based sizes and two wide-palm sizes for men) for glove manufacturers to advance firefighter hand protection.

Source: Hsiao H, Whitestone J, Kau TY, Hildreth B. Hum. Factors, 2015.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0018720815594933

Efficacy of a rubber outsole with a hybrid surface pattern for preventing slips on icy surfaces

Conventional winter-safety footwear devices, such as crampons, can be effective in preventing slips on icy surfaces but the protruding studs can lead to other problems such as trips. A new hybrid (rough and smooth) rubber outsole was designed to provide high slip resistance without use of protruding studs or asperities. In the present study, we examined the slip resistance of the hybrid rubber outsole on both dry (-10 °C) and wet (0 °C) icy surfaces, in comparison to three conventional strap-on winter anti-slip devices: 1) metal coils ("Yaktrax Walker"), 2) gritted (sandpaper-like) straps ("Rough Grip"), and 3) crampons ("Altagrips-Lite"). Drag tests were performed to measure static (SCOF) and dynamic (DCOF) coefficients of friction, and gait trials were conducted on both level and sloped ice surfaces (16 participants). The drag-test results showed relatively high SCOF (?0.37) and DCOF (?0.31) values for the hybrid rubber sole, at both temperatures. The other three footwear types exhibited lower DCOF values (0.06-0.20) when compared with the hybrid rubber sole at 0 °C (p < 0.01). Slips were more frequent when wearing the metal coils, in comparison to the other footwear types, when descending a slope at -10 °C (6% of trials vs 0%; p < 0.05). There were no other significant footwear-related differences in slip frequency, distance or velocity. These results indicate that the slip-resistance of the hybrid rubber sole on icy surfaces was comparable to conventional anti-slip footwear devices. Given the likely advantages of the hybrid rubber sole (less susceptibility to tripping, better slip resistance on non-icy surfaces), this type of sole should contribute to a decrease in fall accidents; however, further research is needed to confirm its effectiveness under a wider range of test conditions.

Source: Yamaguchi T, Hsu J, Li Y, Maki BE. Appl. Ergon. 2015; 51: 9-17.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.apergo.2015.04.001

Débroussaillage

Cette brochure traite des travaux de débroussaillage, des techniques de travail et des situations dangereuses. On y décrit également les responsabilités de l'employeur et du travailleur, l'équipement de protection individuelle à utiliser et des règles à suivre en matière de premiers secours et de premiers soins. Pour cette 3e édition, des changements importants ont été apportés aux pages 14-15 et 16 où il est question du choix des lames.?

Source: http://www.csst.qc.ca/publications/200/Pages/DC_200_634.aspx

Developing a Performance Standard for Combination Unit Respirators

Workshop in Brief
Combination unit respirators, a respirator that employs the technology of two or more types of respiratory protection, are presently used in the United States by some law enforcement and military units to respond to situations in which there are unknown and potentially dangerous respiratory hazards; they also have some industrial uses and potential for use in emergency response. On April 30, 2015 the Institute of Medicine hosted a workshop to explore the standards and research issues relevant to these respirators and their certification by the National Personal Protective Technology Laboratory. Representatives from existing and potential user groups as well as manufacturers and other stakeholders discussed the benefits and challenges of combination unit respirators, and provided their ideas on next steps in research, training, and hazard assessment, as well as standards and regulatory priorities to ensure the safety of workers and improve the operation of combination unit respirators.

Source: http://iom.nationalacademies.org/Reports/2015/Developing-a-Performance-Standard-for-Combination-Unit-Respirators-WIB.aspx

Improved hand hygiene compliance after eliminating mandatory glove use from contact precautions

Is less more?
Background: Guidelines recommend that health care personnel (HCP) wear gloves for all interactions with patients on contact precautions. We aimed to assess hand hygiene (HH) compliance during contact precautions before and after eliminating mandatory glove use.
Methods: We assessed HH compliance of HCP in the care of patients on contact precautions in 50 series before (2009) and 6 months after (2012) eliminating mandatory glove use and compared these results with the hospital-wide HH compliance.
Results: We assessed 426 HH indications before and 492 indications after the policy change. Compared with 2009, we observed a significantly higher HH compliance in patients on contact precautions in 2012 (52%; 95% confidence interval [95% CI], 47-57) vs 85%; 95% CI, 82-88; P < .001). During the same period, hospital-wide HH compliance also increased from 63% (95% CI, 61-65) to 81% (95% CI 80-83) (P < .001). However, the relative improvement (RI) of HH compliance during contact precautions was significantly higher than the hospital-wide relative improvement (RI, 1.6; 95% CI, 1.49-1.81 vs 1.29; 95% CI, 1.25-1.34), with a relative improvement ratio of 1.27 (95% CI, 1.15-1.41).
Conclusion: Eliminating mandatory glove use in the care of patients on contact precautions increased HH compliance in our institution, particularly before invasive procedures and before patient contacts. Further studies on the effect on pathogen transmission are needed before revisiting the current official guidelines on the topic.

Source: Cusini, Alexia, Nydegger, Doris, Kaspar, Tanja, Schweiger, Alexander, Kuhn, Rolf, & Marschall, Jonas. American Journal of Infection Control, 2015.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajic.2015.05.019

Variation in health care worker removal of personal protective equipment

In the current era of emerging pathogens such as Ebola virus, removal of personal protective equipment (PPE) is crucial to reduce contamination of health care workers. However, current removal practices are not well described. We undertook a systematic evaluation of health care worker removal of PPE for contact isolation to examine variation in removal procedures. Findings indicate that under usual conditions, only about half of health care workers correctly remove their PPE, and very few remove their PPE in the correct order and dispose of it in the proper location.

Source: Zellmer, Caroline, Van Hoof, Sarah, & Safdar, Nasia. (2015). American Journal of Infection Control, 43 (7), p. 750-751.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajic.2015.02.005

The effect of wearer stubble on the protection given by Filtering Facepieces Class 3 (FFP3) and Half Masks

HSE Inspectors routinely come across workers with various degrees of stubble growth using respiratory protective masks, despite guidance to the contrary. This research studied the effect of 0-7 days stubble growth on the protection given by FFP3 filtering facepieces and half masks.
Fifteen male volunteers took part, each testing four masks. For most, three different design FFP3 and one half mask were tested, selected from seven models of FFP3 and 2 half masks. Fit tests were carried out immediately after shaving and repeated six times during the following week, without further shaving.
Results showed that the effect on protection was quite specific to the mask/wearer combination. Protection could be significantly reduced where stubble was present, beginning within 24 hours from shaving, and generally worsening as facial hair grew. Statistical analysis predicted this could reach an unacceptable level for all of the masks tested.

Source: http://www.hse.gov.uk/research/rrhtm/rr1052.htm

Fumigation

Health & safety guidance for employers & technicians carrying out fumigation operations
The guidance is primarily for employers and fumigators/fumigation technicians (including the self-employed) to help them comply with the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 (COSHH) when carrying out fumigation activities, both traditional pest control (invertebrate fumigation) and within the laboratory and biosecurity sectors. It will also be useful to their safety representatives.
It outlines the real risks and describes the law that applies to fumigation operations. There is specific advice on procedures common to all fumigation operations, including the use of monitoring equipment, personal protective equipment and respiratory protective equipment, health surveillance and first aid.

Source: http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/books/hsg251.htm

N95 Respirators use during pregnancy

Findings from recent research
Recent NIOSH research has shed some light on the topic of the safety of N95 filtering facepiece respirators (FFR) use by pregnant workers. Women make up approximately one-half of the US work force. At any given time, about 10% of those female workers of child-bearing age (15–44 years of age) will be pregnant. Because many women are employed in occupations that require the use of protective facemasks, such as medical/surgical masks and FFR, NIOSH conducted research into the safety of FFR use while pregnant. The most frequently used FFR in the US is the N95 FFR (commonly referred to as “N95 mask”), but little information was previously available about the safety of N95 FFR use during pregnancy. Some individuals complain of difficulty breathing when wearing an N95 FFR or other protective facemasks, and many pregnant women find that they become somewhat shorter of breath as their pregnancy progresses, causing concern that use of N95 FFRs during pregnancy might make breathing even more difficult and possibly harm the woman and her fetus. Beyond the issue of use by pregnant working women on the job, the question also has implications for pregnant women outside the workplace. People sometimes use N95 FFRs as a matter of personal choice during infectious disease outbreaks, during environmental disasters that pollute the air, and even in more common recreational activities that may expose them to airborne allergens, such as gardening and woodworking.

Source: http://blogs.cdc.gov/niosh-science-blog/2015/06/18/respirators-pregnancy/

Passage percutané et protection cutanée vis-à-vis du risque chimique

Deux outils disponibles
L'INRS met à disposition deux outils, en ligne. D'une part, une base de données, IH SkinPerm, développée par l'Association américaine d'hygiène industrielle (AIHA) et traduite en français par l'INRS, permet d'estimer le passage percutané des agents chimiques. D'autre part, un logiciel, ProtecPo, développé en partenariat avec l'Institut de recherche Robert-Sauvé en santé et en sécurité du travail (IRSST) du Québec, aide au choix des matériaux de protection cutanée contre les produits chimiques.

Source: http://www.rst-sante-travail.fr/rst/pages-article/ArticleRST.html?ref=RST.AC 76

Systèmes d'ancrage pour la protection contre les chutes

Ce guide se veut un outil d'information pour les employeurs de la construction qui auront à fabriquer, à installer ou à utiliser des systèmes d'ancrage pour la protection contre les chutes conformes à la nouvelle règlementation du Code de sécurité pour les travaux de construction (RLRQ, chap. S-2.1, r.4).?

Source: http://www.csst.qc.ca/publications/200/Pages/DC_200_1576.aspx

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 training events (45-90 min duration) while wearing PPE. Hotter participants (higher Tc) averaged (HRs) of 140 bpm and reached Tc around 39°C. Overall the algorithm had a small bias (0.02°C) and root mean square error (0.21°C). Limits of agreement (LoA ± 0.48°C) were similar to comparisons of Tc measured by oesophageal and rectal probes. The algorithm shows promise for use in real-time monitoring of encapsulated first responders.

Source: Buller MJ, Tharion WJ, Duhamel CM, Yokota M. Ergonomics, 2015.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00140139.2015.1036792

Keeping workers safe

Does provision of personal protective equipment match supervisor risk perceptions?
BACKGROUND: Although farm management may understand agriculture's risks, they may not provide personal protective equipment (PPE). This study describes thoroughbred farm management's risk perceptions, provision of PPE, and factors that influence its provision.
METHODS: Thirty-five representatives from 26 farms participated in a 1-4hr semi-structured interview covering perceived risks associated with horse work and perspectives and provision of PPE. Interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed, entered into ATLAS.ti, and analyzed by three coders.
RESULTS: Management cited horse-related tasks as most dangerous, yet horse-related PPE as least provided because of 1) differences in farm context, 2) the belief that workers were most important agents in their safety, 3) lack of confidence in its effectiveness, and 4) the perception that risk could never be eliminated.
CONCLUSIONS: PPE provision was limited by management's poor perceptions of its efficacy relative to other factors. Future research should explore workers' perceptions and PPE's effectiveness in averting horse-related injury.

Source: Clouser JM, Swanberg JE, Bundy H. Am. J. Ind. Med. 2015.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ajim.22464

Choisir une protection respiratoire contre les bioaérosols

Ce nouvel outil vise à soutenir les intervenants dans le choix d'une protection respiratoire contre les bioaérosols infectieux ou non infectieux présents dans différents milieux de travail.

Source: http://74.123.92.235/bioaerosol/

Characterization of textiles used in chefs' uniforms for protection against thermal hazards encountered in the kitchen environment

Within the kitchen the potential for burn injuries arising from contact with hot surfaces, flames, hot liquid, and steam hazards is high. The chef's uniform can potentially offer some protection against such burns by providing a protective barrier between the skin and the thermal hazard, although the extent to which can provide some protection is unknown. The purpose of this study was to examine whether fabrics used in chefs' uniforms were able to provide some protection against thermal hazards encountered in the kitchen. Fabrics from chefs' jackets and aprons were selected. Flammability of single- and multiple-layered fabrics was measured. Effect of jacket type, apron and number of layers on hot surface, hot water, and steam exposure was also measured.
FINDINGS showed that all of the jacket and apron fabrics rapidly ignited when exposed to a flame. Thermal protection against hot surfaces increased as layers increased due to more insulation. Protection against steam and hot water improved with an impermeable apron in the system. For wet thermal hazards increasing the number of permeable layers can decrease the level of protection due to stored thermal energy. As the hands and arms are most at risk of burn injury increased insulation and water-impermeable barrier in the sleeves would improve thermal protection with minimal compromise to overall thermal comfort.

Source: Zhang H, McQueen RH, Batcheller JC, Ehnes BL, Paskaluk SA. Ann. Occup. Hyg. 2015.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/annhyg/mev034

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