Before selecting any protective clothing
, footwear or
safety work gloves,
it is necessary to determine the nature
of the protection required.
The principle factors to determine protection require: 1) functional
requirements, 2) construction or how the article is manufactured,
3) probability and nature of exposure to chemicals, 4) degree
of toxicity of the chemicals and 5) relevant properties of protective
clothing, footwear and gloves to the chemical hazards involved.
Functional requirements may include style and fit to accommodate
the type of working activity involved.
Construction of articles is extremely important in considering
protection against hazardous chemicals. Sealed seams, stitched
seams, liquid proof or resistant, dexterity.
hazardous chemical protection is required, it is necessary to
know the type of exposure expected. Does the exposure occur as
an occasional splash, continuous liquid contact, intermittent
liquid contact or vapor contact? Temperature during exposure is
also important. Elevated temperatures increase the rate of permeation
thus decreasing breakthrough time. Higher temperatures also hasten
any degradation tendencies.
The toxic properties of chemicals encountered must be clearly
defined. Each chemical has its distinct properties. It is possible
to make judgments of chemicals that have the same chemical classification
by chemical functional groups, but professional judgment must
be applied. Toxicity tolerance levels for humans must be known
for each chemical and the mechanism of how it will attack the
human body must be understood.
of protective gloves, rubber footwear and raingear should be regularly
inspected for signs of degradation or excessive wear. Some signs
of degradation of material are a change in color, a softening
of the material, hardening of the material, cracking. An article
worn thin or that exhibits deep cuts, nicks or separation should
be taken out of service if being used for any hazardous us.
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