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Collection Editor
Department of Personal Protective Equipment, Central Institute for Labour Protection – National Research Institute, Wierzbowa 48, 90-133 Lodz, Poland
Interests: occupational exposure; respiratory protection; face and eye protection; OSH; PPE; human factors; wearables; IoT
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Topical Collection Information

Dear Colleagues,

Workers are often faced with hazards that cannot be removed, mitigated, or controlled through substitution, technical means of collective protective measures, or work organization. Then, personal protective equipment (PPE) is utilized to decrease exposure and provide some level of protection for workers as a last resort solution. PPE is also often used as a complementary tool to increase occupational safety even if the hazards are being controlled by other means. PPE should be selected having in mind specific characteristics of the work environment, including hazards identified at the workplace, environmental conditions, and specifics of occupational activities of the workers and human factors. It is also important to establish the conditions for proper PPE use, maintenance, and disposal. 

In recent years, a multitude of interesting concepts and pressing issues in PPE have emerged, including fresh views on PPE programs, use of innovative materials and ideas in PPE design, environmental concerns around disposal of used PPE, or computer-aided predictions of service life and different phenomena taking place while using PPE. Thus, it is my pleasure to invite you to submit to this Topical Collection original articles, reviews, and short communications that would advance knowledge in the following areas:

  • Selection and safe use of PPE;
  • Influence of PPE on task performance and productivity;
  • Development of PPE with new or improved properties;
  • New materials and technical solutions used in PPE;
  • And other PPE related topics.

Dr. Małgorzata Okrasa
Collection Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the collection website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2500 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • personal protective equipment (PPE)
  • respiratory protective devices
  • protective eyewear
  • protective gloves
  • protective footwear
  • head protection
  • protective clothing
  • equipment protecting against falls from a height

Published Papers (20 papers)

2023

Jump to: 2022, 2021

11 pages, 2292 KiB  
Article
Study of The Impact of Users’ Features on Dimensional Allowances Resulting from the Use of Personal Protective Equipment
by Joanna Szkudlarek, Grzegorz Owczarek, Marcin Jachowicz, Bartłomiej Zagrodny and Jędrzej Sencerek
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(4), 3380; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20043380 - 15 Feb 2023
Viewed by 1195
Abstract
Up-to-date anthropometric data on the human population are needed for designing safe and ergonomically efficient workplaces. An important determinant of safety and ergonomic comfort at work is knowledge of the value of dimensional allowances (DAs) when using personal protective equipment (PPE) as the [...] Read more.
Up-to-date anthropometric data on the human population are needed for designing safe and ergonomically efficient workplaces. An important determinant of safety and ergonomic comfort at work is knowledge of the value of dimensional allowances (DAs) when using personal protective equipment (PPE) as the dimensions and space occupied by workers increase. This is particularly important in environments characterized by spatial constraints. However, it is not well known to what extent the aforementioned DAs are affected by the users’ features. The anthropometric dimensions of 200 people (151 males and 49 females) were obtained from 3D scans, and these became the basis for calculating DAs when using PPE kits normally worn by rescue and technical workers. DAs were determined for the entire body shape of a person wearing three types of PPE kits designed for firefighters, mine rescuers, and welders. In the study, maximum and mean values of height, width, and circumference DAs were obtained. In addition, percentage dimensional increments (DIs) were calculated. A three-dimensional analysis of the human body with and without PPE, involving a 3D scanning methodology, was applied to address the research question. Test results clearly indicate that the values of DAs do not depend on the anthropometric features of users, such as sex, age, and body height percentile—they remain constant for a given type of PPE. The presented data are useful for designing PPE products as well as work tools and infrastructure, including machinery, devices, workstations, means of transport, interiors, and building equipment. The results of the presented study indicate that dimensional allowances play a significant role in interactions between persons wearing PPE and their work environments. The obtained results (DAs and percentage DIs) are included in a new anthropometric atlas of human measures developed by the CIOP-PIB in 2023. Full article
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17 pages, 1281 KiB  
Systematic Review
A Systematic Literature Review of the Factors Influencing Hearing Protection Device Usage among Industrial Workers
by Nur Syafiqah Fauzan, Ezrin Hani Sukadarin, Mirta Widia, Irianto Irianto and Ihwan Ghazali
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(4), 2934; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20042934 - 08 Feb 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2352
Abstract
This systematic literature review (SLR) aims to determine the factors influencing the use of hearing protection devices (HPDs) among industrial workers. This study was guided by the PRISMA Statement (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic reviews and Meta-Analyses) review method, and four databases comprising [...] Read more.
This systematic literature review (SLR) aims to determine the factors influencing the use of hearing protection devices (HPDs) among industrial workers. This study was guided by the PRISMA Statement (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic reviews and Meta-Analyses) review method, and four databases comprising Scopus, Science Direct, PubMed, Wiley Online Library, and Google Scholar were employed. A total of 196 articles were identified, and 28 studies on the factors associated with HPD use among industrial workers from 2006 to 2021 met the inclusion criteria. Resultantly, five main themes emerged from this review: sociodemographic (29%), interpersonal influences (18%), situational influences (18%), cognitive-perceptual (29%), and health-promoting behavior (6%) associated with HPD use among industrial workers. A total of 17 sub-themes were identified, including age, gender, educational level, noise level, working experience, social models, interpersonal support, social norms, safety climate, training, organizational support, perceived barrier, perceived susceptibility, perceived severity, perceived benefit, self-efficacy, and cues to action. The significant factors influencing workers to use HPDs are sociodemographic, interpersonal influences, situational influences, and health-promoting behavior. Future studies should focus on the cues to action toward human behavior influencing the use of HPDs, workers’ health status, and comorbidities of hearing loss. Therefore, this systematic study gives valuable reference resources for up-and-coming researchers as well as new knowledge to expert professionals and academics in various industries. Full article
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2022

Jump to: 2023, 2021

15 pages, 6445 KiB  
Article
Analysis of the Impact Resistance of Toecaps by the Finite Element Method: Preliminary Studies
by Paulina Kropidłowska, Emilia Irzmańska, Łukasz Gołębiowski, Magdalena Jurczyk-Kowalska and Anna Boczkowska
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(1), 152; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20010152 - 22 Dec 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1383
Abstract
A key property in the manufacture of toecaps for protective footwear is resistance to impacts, deformations, and cracking, as the resulting defects may lead to serious workplace accidents involving the lower extremities. The present paper proposes a new approach to qualitative verification of [...] Read more.
A key property in the manufacture of toecaps for protective footwear is resistance to impacts, deformations, and cracking, as the resulting defects may lead to serious workplace accidents involving the lower extremities. The present paper proposes a new approach to qualitative verification of toecap design based on numerical simulations of impact tests. Computational experiments were conducted for toecaps made from different materials (AISI 10450, S235, S355 and A36 steels, as well as Lexan polycarbonate) and characterized by different geometries, which were recreated by 3D scanning. The impact resistance of the toecaps was analyzed using a numerical model simulating an experimental impact test. The results were used to determine the location of critical stresses and to plot equivalent stress maps for the studied toecaps. The finite element analysis of the impact tests was carried out with an explicit elastoplastic finite element code: ANSYS (Ansys, Inc., Canonsburg, PA, USA) with the Explicit Dynamics module of the Workbench solver. The presented analysis of the impact resistance of toecaps by the finite element method for impact simulation may be used to optimize the spatial geometry of toecaps and to verify the construction of toecaps and the material deformations that may occur. In addition, it could eliminate unsuitable materials that are likely to undergo dangerous deformations, and draw attention to the deformation caused by the impact of the toecaps used in footwear in the working environment. Full article
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11 pages, 596 KiB  
Article
The Effect of Pre-Operative Verbal Confirmation for Interventional Radiology Physicians on Their Use of Personal Dosimeters and Personal Protective Equipment
by Satoru Matsuzaki, Takashi Moritake, Lue Sun, Koichi Morota, Keisuke Nagamoto, Koichi Nakagami, Tomoko Kuriyama, Go Hitomi, Shigeyuki Kajiki and Naoki Kunugita
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(24), 16825; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph192416825 - 15 Dec 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1323
Abstract
Interventional radiology (IR) physicians must be equipped with personal passive dosimeters and personal protective equipment (PPE); however, they are inconsistently used. Therefore, we aimed to explore practical measures to increase PPE usage and ascertain whether these measures could lead to an actual decrease [...] Read more.
Interventional radiology (IR) physicians must be equipped with personal passive dosimeters and personal protective equipment (PPE); however, they are inconsistently used. Therefore, we aimed to explore practical measures to increase PPE usage and ascertain whether these measures could lead to an actual decrease in exposure doses to IR physicians. Dosimeters and PPE were visually inspected. Then, a pre-operative briefing was conducted as a direct intervention, and the use of dosimeters and PPE was verbally confirmed. Finally, the intervention effect was verified by measuring the use rates and individual exposure doses. Because of the intervention, the use rate markedly improved and was almost 100%. However, both the effective dose rate (effective dose/fluoroscopy time) and the lens equivalent dose rate (lens equivalent dose/fluoroscopy time) showed that the intervention led to a statistically significant increase in exposure (effective dose rate: p = 0.033; lens equivalent dose rate: p = 0.003). In conclusion, the proper use of dosimeters and PPE raised the radiation exposure values for IR physicians immediately after the intervention, which was hypothesized to be due to the inclusion of exposure overlooked to date and the changes in the dosimeter management method from a single- to a double-dosimeter approach. Full article
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16 pages, 4353 KiB  
Article
Biomechanics Analysis of the Firefighters’ Thorax Movement on Personal Protective Equipment during Lifting Task Using Inertial Measurement Unit Motion Capture
by Muhamad Nurul Hisyam Yunus, Mohd Hafiidz Jaafar, Ahmad Sufril Azlan Mohamed, Nur Zaidi Azraai, Norhaniza Amil and Remy Md Zein
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(21), 14232; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph192114232 - 31 Oct 2022
Viewed by 1870
Abstract
Back injury is a common musculoskeletal injury reported among firefighters (FFs) due to their nature of work and personal protective equipment (PPE). The nature of the work associated with heavy lifting tasks increases FFs’ risk of back injury. This study aimed to assess [...] Read more.
Back injury is a common musculoskeletal injury reported among firefighters (FFs) due to their nature of work and personal protective equipment (PPE). The nature of the work associated with heavy lifting tasks increases FFs’ risk of back injury. This study aimed to assess the biomechanics movement of FFs on personal protective equipment during a lifting task. A set of questionnaires was used to identify the prevalence of musculoskeletal pain experienced by FFs. Inertial measurement unit (IMU) motion capture was used in this study to record the body angle deviation and angular acceleration of FFs’ thorax extension. The descriptive analysis was used to analyze the relationship between the FFs’ age and body mass index with the FFs’ thorax movement during the lifting task with PPE and without PPE. Sixty-three percent of FFs reported lower back pain during work, based on the musculoskeletal pain questionnaire. The biomechanics analysis of thorax angle deviation and angular acceleration has shown that using FFs PPE significantly causes restricted movement and limited mobility for the FFs. As regards human factors, the FFs’ age influences the angle deviation while wearing PPE and FFs’ BMI influences the angular acceleration without wearing PPE during the lifting activity. Full article
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11 pages, 2327 KiB  
Article
Assessment of Real-Time Active Noise Control Devices in Dental Treatment Conditions
by Ik-Hwan Kim, Hyeonmin Cho, Je Seon Song, Wonse Park, Yooseok Shin and Ko Eun Lee
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(15), 9417; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19159417 - 01 Aug 2022
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1626
Abstract
Dental clinics are exposed to various uncomfortable noises. The aim of this study was to quantify the effectiveness of active noise control devices in dental treatment conditions. Two types of commercial headsets (Airpods Pro, QC30) and two types of dental headsets (Alltalk, Quieton [...] Read more.
Dental clinics are exposed to various uncomfortable noises. The aim of this study was to quantify the effectiveness of active noise control devices in dental treatment conditions. Two types of commercial headsets (Airpods Pro, QC30) and two types of dental headsets (Alltalk, Quieton Dental) were used for the experiment. Three sounds (high-speed handpiece, low-speed handpiece, and suction system) were measured at three different distances from the dental teeth model, typodont. The distances of 10, 40, and 70 cm reflected the positions of the patient, assistant, and practitioner’s ears, respectively. Sound analysis was performed, and the significance of differences in the maximum noise level using each device was determined with the Kruskal–Wallis test. Dental noise was characterized by the peak in sound pressure level (SPL) at 4–5 kHz and >15 kHz frequencies. The commercial headsets efficiently blocked 1 kHz and 10 kHz of noise. The dental headsets efficiently reduced 4–6 and >15 kHz noise. Quieton had the highest maximum SPL in all situations and positions among the four devices. For a better dental clinic, however, active noise control devices more suitable for the characteristics of dental noise should be developed. Full article
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14 pages, 2946 KiB  
Review
Effect of N95 Respirator on Oxygen and Carbon Dioxide Physiologic Response: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
by Kampanat Wangsan, Ratana Sapbamrer, Wachiranun Sirikul, Jinjuta Panumasvivat, Vithawat Surawattanasakul and Pheerasak Assavanopakun
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(14), 8646; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19148646 - 15 Jul 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2118
Abstract
During the COVID-19 pandemic, N95 respirators were commonly used in many situations. Respiratory problems from prolonged use of respirators were discussed in many studies, which show varied results. From the inconclusive results, the current systematic review and meta-analysis discerned the effects of the [...] Read more.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, N95 respirators were commonly used in many situations. Respiratory problems from prolonged use of respirators were discussed in many studies, which show varied results. From the inconclusive results, the current systematic review and meta-analysis discerned the effects of the N95 respirator by assessing the oxygen and carbon dioxide changes in both high- and low-to-moderate-intensity physical activities in a healthy population. Thirteen studies were identified for inclusion in the study. In high-intensity physical activities, our meta-analysis showed borderline lower oxygen saturation and higher carbon dioxide partial pressure, but oxygen saturation did not change in low-to-moderate physical activity. The use of N95 respirators could statistically affect the physiologic changes of carbon dioxide and oxygen in high-intensity physical activity among healthy participants, but this may not be clinically significant. Some users who have certain health conditions, such as respiratory problems, should be informed of the clinical symptoms related to hypercarbia and hypoxia for the early detection of adverse effects of N95 respirators. Full article
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15 pages, 2885 KiB  
Article
A Tester to Evaluate the Correct Placement of Earplugs
by Emil Kozlowski, Rafal Mlynski, Leszek Morzynski and Adam Swidzinski
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(14), 8482; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19148482 - 11 Jul 2022
Viewed by 1307
Abstract
The use of hearing protection devices is one possible way of reducing the negative impact of noise on hearing. However, it is important to keep in mind that only properly used hearing protection devices provide adequate hearing protection. The aim of this article [...] Read more.
The use of hearing protection devices is one possible way of reducing the negative impact of noise on hearing. However, it is important to keep in mind that only properly used hearing protection devices provide adequate hearing protection. The aim of this article is to describe a newly developed tester to verify the correct placement of earplugs in the ear canal. This tester was developed using easily accessible and low-cost components. It implements the real-ear attenuation at threshold (REAT) method by which the sound attenuation of hearing protection devices is determined. The headphones with a greater low-frequency attenuation value were selected for use in the tester. The results of the sound attenuation measurement performed with the use of the tester did not differ by more than 5 dB compared to the measurements performed with the use of the Norsonic NOR838 system dedicated to this purpose. The developed tester is considered to be a device that will obtain reliable sound attenuation values. Thus, it can also be used as a device with which the correct placement of earplugs in the ear canal can be assessed. Full article
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12 pages, 2690 KiB  
Article
Speech Impaired by Half Masks Used for the Respiratory Tract Protection
by Krzysztof Nowacki, Karolina Łakomy and Wojciech Marczak
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(12), 7012; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19127012 - 08 Jun 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1245
Abstract
Filtering half masks belong to the group of personal protective equipment in the work environment. They protect the respiratory tract but may hinder breath and suppress speech. The present work is focused on the attenuation of sound by the half masks known as [...] Read more.
Filtering half masks belong to the group of personal protective equipment in the work environment. They protect the respiratory tract but may hinder breath and suppress speech. The present work is focused on the attenuation of sound by the half masks known as “filtering facepieces”, FFPs, of various construction and filtration efficiency. Rather than study the perception of speech by humans, we used a generator of white noise and artificial speech to obtain objective characteristics of the attenuation. The generator speaker was either covered by an FFP or remained uncovered while a class 1 meter measured sound pressure levels in 1/3 octave bands with center frequencies 100–20 kHz at distances from 1 to 5 m from the speaker. All five FFPs suppressed acoustic waves from the octave bands with center frequencies of 1 kHz and higher, i.e., in the frequency range responsible for 80% of the perceived speech intelligibility, particularly in the 2 kHz-octave band. FFPs of higher filtration efficiency stronger attenuated the sound. Moreover, the FFPs changed the voice timbre because the attenuation depended on the wave frequency. The two combined factors can impede speech intelligibility. Full article
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11 pages, 4036 KiB  
Article
Enhanced Hydrophobicity of Polymers for Protective Gloves Achieved by Geometric, Chemical and Plasma—Surface Modification
by Emilia Irzmańska, Mariusz Siciński, Aleksandra Smejda-Krzewicka, Agnieszka Adamus-Włodarczyk, Magdalena Makowicz and Tomasz Gozdek
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(9), 5239; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19095239 - 26 Apr 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1628
Abstract
Gloves are one of the most important elements of personal protective equipment (PPE). To improve gloves properties, a lot of different methods of surface modifications are used. In this work, the application of geometric, chemical, and plasma surface modifications to improve the hydrophobicity [...] Read more.
Gloves are one of the most important elements of personal protective equipment (PPE). To improve gloves properties, a lot of different methods of surface modifications are used. In this work, the application of geometric, chemical, and plasma surface modifications to improve the hydrophobicity of butyl (IIR) and silicone (MVQ) rubber are described. To characterise surface properties contact angle measurements, FT-IR spectroscopy and scanning electron microscopy were used. This study showed that when the chemical modification applied, the contact angle value increases compared to non-modified samples. In addition, plasma modification raised the contact angle value and smoothed the surface morphology. An increase in the polymer surfaces hydrophobicity was the observed effect of the three modifications of rubber. Full article
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11 pages, 1367 KiB  
Article
Efficiency of Gum Rosin-Coated Personal Protective Clothing to Protect against Chlorpyrifos Exposure in Applicators
by Ratana Sapbamrer, Manoch Naksata, Surat Hongsibsong, Jiraporn Chittrakul and Wilawan Chaiut
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(5), 2594; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19052594 - 23 Feb 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2081
Abstract
An ideal theoretical model for personal protective clothing (PPC) is to protect wearers from external workplace hazards while meeting certain ergonomic requirements. This study aims to compare the efficiency of different personal protective clothing in its protection against chlorpyrifos, including gum rosin-coated PPC, [...] Read more.
An ideal theoretical model for personal protective clothing (PPC) is to protect wearers from external workplace hazards while meeting certain ergonomic requirements. This study aims to compare the efficiency of different personal protective clothing in its protection against chlorpyrifos, including gum rosin-coated PPC, commercial PPC (Tychem® coverall), and everyday clothing, during application under field conditions. Perception of discomfort and physiological effects after wearing PPC were also investigated. Thirty-one applicators were invited and consented to participate in the study. The study established that the median percentage of chlorpyrifos protection efficiency was 90.7% for commercial PPC, 89.2% for gum rosin-coated PPC, and 76.5% for everyday PPC. When the protection efficiency was compared among the different types of PPC, the percentage protection efficiency of gum rosin-coated PPC was not significantly different from that of commercial PPC. The percentage protection efficiencies of commercial PPC and gum rosin-coated PPC were significantly higher than that of everyday PPC. The major characteristics of gum rosin-coated PPC were water-repellency, breathability, low cost, and ease of manufacture. Therefore, this study suggests that gum rosin-coated PPC is a reasonable alternative PPC for farmers, particularly in low and middle-low-income countries and tropical climates, to protect against pesticides while providing acceptable comfort. Full article
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13 pages, 2102 KiB  
Article
Headphone Audio in Training Systems or Systems That Convey Important Sound Information
by Rafal Mlynski
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(5), 2579; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19052579 - 23 Feb 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1838
Abstract
In the work environment, miniature electroacoustic transducers are often used in communication, for the transmission of warning signals or during training. They can be used in headphones or mounted in personal protective equipment. It is often important to reproduce sounds accurately. The purpose [...] Read more.
In the work environment, miniature electroacoustic transducers are often used in communication, for the transmission of warning signals or during training. They can be used in headphones or mounted in personal protective equipment. It is often important to reproduce sounds accurately. The purpose of this work was to assess audio strips by comparing the frequency response of the signal in the electrical outputs of six common-purpose devices. Based on the risk of hearing damage, the level of noise exposure was assessed. The following headphones were investigated: low-budget closed-back, open-back for instant messengers, open-back for music, and in-ear. A head and torso simulator with a transfer function was used. The most uniform shape of the frequency response of the signal at the electrical outputs was found to be in smartphones. Sound cards integrated into laptop motherboards had highly unequal characteristics (up to 23 dB). In the case of one of the laptops, the upper range of the transmitted frequencies was limited to the 12,500 Hz band. An external sound card or wireless headphones can improve the situation. In the worst-case scenario, i.e., rock music, the listening time was limited to 2 h and 18 min. Full article
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15 pages, 3862 KiB  
Article
Procedure for Determining Dimensional Allowances for PPE Using 3D Scanning Methods
by Joanna Szkudlarek, Grzegorz Owczarek, Marcin Jachowicz and Bartłomiej Zagrodny
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(4), 2397; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19042397 - 19 Feb 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 3299
Abstract
The article describes the importance of dimensional allowances, which are a consequence of the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) for work safety. The method of 3D scanning was proposed for determining the dimensional allowances which has been preliminary validated. Two geometric solids [...] Read more.
The article describes the importance of dimensional allowances, which are a consequence of the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) for work safety. The method of 3D scanning was proposed for determining the dimensional allowances which has been preliminary validated. Two geometric solids (a cylinder and a cuboid) were used to approximate the minimum space around the person using PPE. The solids are a simplified representation of the silhouette of a human subject performing activities in a confined work environment. They also correspond to the typical shapes of access openings and confined spaces, reflecting the real working conditions of welders, firefighters, mine rescuers, and other rescue teams. A detailed analysis of dimensional allowances for a full welding PPE set is provided. Based on the adopted parameters: the dimensions of the body, the base area and the volume, the differences in the dimensions of the body of a person dressed in underwear and in PPE were compared. The results of the presented studies indicate a significant role of dimensional allowances in interactions between persons wearing PPE and the work environment. The results are planned to be implemented in a new anthropometric atlas of human’s measures used for ergonomic design. Full article
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12 pages, 2356 KiB  
Article
The Influence of Intraocular Lenses (IOLs) on the Properties of Filters Protecting Human Eyes against Optical Radiation in the Work Environment
by Grzegorz Owczarek, Joanna Szkudlarek and Natalia Skuza
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(3), 1793; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19031793 - 04 Feb 2022
Viewed by 1462
Abstract
Under the specific illumination conditions of many workplaces, e.g., in the metallurgical industry, decreased lighting may impair workers’ vision and, as a result, their productivity. Spectrophotometric tests of two types of protective optical filters (welding filters and infrared protection filters), two types of [...] Read more.
Under the specific illumination conditions of many workplaces, e.g., in the metallurgical industry, decreased lighting may impair workers’ vision and, as a result, their productivity. Spectrophotometric tests of two types of protective optical filters (welding filters and infrared protection filters), two types of intraocular lenses (IOLs with and without yellow chromophore), and filter-IOL systems were carried out. In spectrophotometric studies, the spectral characteristics of transmission and the coefficients for the assessment of light transmission were determined. This study explores the relationship between the eye protection levels offered by filters and the use of intraocular lenses (IOLs), and especially those containing a yellow chromophore which may lower the luminous transmittance of protective filters. In our previous works, we studied a large number of optical protective filters and many factors influencing their performance. A review of the literature has shown the absence of prior research on the subject. For this purpose, transmittance reduction factors were defined for the evaluation of the filter-IOL system. The spectral characteristics of luminous transmittance for the tested IOLs indicate a significant decrease of transmittance for those with yellow chromophore within the range up to approx. 475 nm, as compared to IOLs without chromophore. The main objective of this study was to determine whether people with IOLs need different protective filters against harmful optical radiation as well as whether IOLs may change the required category of protective filters. The key finding is that while the use of IOLs in conjunction with protective filters does change the light transmission coefficient, it does not affect the filter protection levels. The transmittance reduction factors were similar (0.95 to 0.99 relative units) for all filter-IOL systems irrespective of the presence or absence of yellow chromophore. It must be said clearly that, in reference to the requirements specified in the standards, IOLs did not affect the filter protection levels. This means that the quality of vision did not change significantly when using the analyzed filters and IOLs. Full article
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15 pages, 3090 KiB  
Article
The Impact of Protective Gloves on Manual Dexterity in Cold Environments—A Pilot Study
by Joanna Orysiak, Magdalena Młynarczyk and Emilia Irzmańska
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(3), 1637; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19031637 - 31 Jan 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 3186
Abstract
Our research aimed to determine the impact of two types of protective gloves. The research tested the glove performance on men exposed to a range of temperatures reflecting the working conditions in fruit and vegetable processing. The gloves were assessed for performance within [...] Read more.
Our research aimed to determine the impact of two types of protective gloves. The research tested the glove performance on men exposed to a range of temperatures reflecting the working conditions in fruit and vegetable processing. The gloves were assessed for performance within the time required to complete a specific manual task and for performance relative to the subjective thermal sensations in the male subjects. Six males participated in a total of 3 study variants: at +5 °C (with double gloves and single glove), at −1 °C (with double gloves and single glove) and in reference conditions +20 °C (without gloves), in which they performed manual tasks. The measurement of manual task performance time was used to assess manual dexterity. Subjective thermal sensations were determined. Differences in the time required to complete specific tasks were observed between the variants with gloves (both at a temperature of +5 °C and −1 °C), and without gloves (p < 0.05). The type of protective gloves had an impact on the time needed to complete manual tasks and therefore may affect manual dexterity. Full article
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2021

Jump to: 2023, 2022

12 pages, 1701 KiB  
Article
Ground Reaction Force Differences between Bionic Shoes and Neutral Running Shoes in Recreational Male Runners before and after a 5 km Run
by Xinyan Jiang, Huiyu Zhou, Wenjing Quan, Qiuli Hu, Julien S. Baker and Yaodong Gu
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(18), 9787; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18189787 - 17 Sep 2021
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 2956
Abstract
Running-related injuries are common among runners. Recent studies in footwear have shown that designs of shoes can potentially affect sports performance and risk of injury. Bionic shoes combine the functions of barefoot running and foot protection and incorporate traditional unstable structures based on [...] Read more.
Running-related injuries are common among runners. Recent studies in footwear have shown that designs of shoes can potentially affect sports performance and risk of injury. Bionic shoes combine the functions of barefoot running and foot protection and incorporate traditional unstable structures based on bionic science. The purpose of this study was to investigate ground reaction force (GRF) differences for a 5 km run and how bionic shoes affect GRFs. Sixteen male recreational runners volunteered to participate in this study and finished two 5 km running sessions (a neutral shoe session and a bionic shoe session). Two-way repeated-measures ANOVAs were performed to determine the differences in GRFs. In the analysis of the footwear conditions of runners, bionic shoes showed significant decreases in vertical impulse, peak propulsive force, propulsive impulse, and contact time, while the braking impulse and vertical instantaneous loading rate (VILR) increased significantly compared to the neutral shoes. Main effects for a 5 km run were also observed at vertical GRFs and anterior–posterior GRFs. The increases of peak vertical impact force, vertical average loading rate (VALR), VILR, peak braking force and braking impulse were observed in post-5 km running trials and a reduction in peak propulsive force and propulsive impulse. The interaction effects existed in VILR and contact time. The results suggest that bionic shoes may benefit runners with decreasing injury risk during running. The findings of the present study may help to understand the effects of footwear design during prolonged running, thereby providing valuable information for reducing the risk of running injuries. Full article
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12 pages, 3294 KiB  
Article
Preliminary Research: Validation of the Method of Evaluating Resistance to Surface Wetting with Liquid of Protective Materials Intended for Polymer Protective Gloves
by Emilia Irzmańska, Aleksandra Jastrzębska and Magdalena Makowicz
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(17), 9202; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18179202 - 31 Aug 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1955
Abstract
The article presents validation argumentation of the novel method of evaluating resistance to surface wetting with different liquids of protective materials intended for polymer protective gloves based on the three parameters: water permeability index, non-wettability index and absorption index. Using our own method [...] Read more.
The article presents validation argumentation of the novel method of evaluating resistance to surface wetting with different liquids of protective materials intended for polymer protective gloves based on the three parameters: water permeability index, non-wettability index and absorption index. Using our own method of evaluating resistance to surface wetting, it was shown that the knurled structure of the palm part of polymer protective gloves may inhibit transport of harmful and hazardous liquids outside the area of the protective glove. Currently, there is lack of objectifying methods for evaluation of surface wettability focused on the mentioned aspects. In view of the above facts, an original method for evaluating the resistance of protective materials to surface wetting with mineral oils and water has been invented and validated. It was assumed that the non-wettability index will be subjected to metrological analysis. Consequently, the validation process refers to this index. A precise assessment of the uncertainty budget of the individual components was obtained. On the basis of the obtained results, the measurement errors that may affect the quality and reliability of the test result performed in the laboratory were identified. Full article
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12 pages, 2607 KiB  
Article
Application of Olfactometry to Assess the Anti-Odor Properties of Filtering Facepiece Respirators Containing Activated Carbon Nonwovens
by Małgorzata Okrasa, Justyna Szulc, Agnieszka Brochocka and Beata Gutarowska
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(15), 8157; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18158157 - 01 Aug 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2027
Abstract
Filtering facepiece respirators (FFR) with anti-odor properties are used to reduce odor nuisance occurring both in everyday life and at workplaces. Unfortunately, there are no standardized methods to measure the efficiency of odor reduction of such personal protective devices. This paper aims to [...] Read more.
Filtering facepiece respirators (FFR) with anti-odor properties are used to reduce odor nuisance occurring both in everyday life and at workplaces. Unfortunately, there are no standardized methods to measure the efficiency of odor reduction of such personal protective devices. This paper aims to determine whether olfactometric-based methods, commonly used in environmental studies, can be employed for this purpose. The proposed procedure is based on the detection of n-butanol by study participants, and it consists of three subsequent stages: (i) defining the individual levels of odor sensitivity of each study participant; (ii) determining THE odor detection level while using FFRs with varying anti-odor properties; and (iii) completing a questionnaire concerning the subjective perceptions of study participants. As a measure of odor reduction efficiency, a coefficient W, defined as a quotient of the degree of odor reduction by the FFR, and the individual odor sensitivity of the subject, was proposed. The experimental results showed the ability of our measure to differentiate the effectiveness of odor reduction of tested FFRs. This indicates that it can be potentially employed as the assessment tool to confirm the effectiveness of such respiratory protective devices as a control measure mitigating the adverse effects of malodors on workers’ health, cognition, and behavior. Full article
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12 pages, 1352 KiB  
Article
In-House Filtration Efficiency Assessment of Vapor Hydrogen Peroxide Decontaminated Filtering Facepiece Respirators (FFRs)
by Khaled Al-Hadyan, Ghazi Alsbeih, Ahmad Nobah, Jeffrey Lindstrom, Sawsan Falatah, Nawarh Faran, Salem Al-Ghamdi, Belal Moftah and Rashed Alhmaid
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(13), 7169; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18137169 - 04 Jul 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 3102
Abstract
To cope with the shortage of filtering facepiece respirators (FFRs) caused by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), healthcare institutions have been forced to reuse FFRs using different decontamination methods, including vapor hydrogen peroxide (VHP). However, most healthcare institutions still struggle with evaluating the effect [...] Read more.
To cope with the shortage of filtering facepiece respirators (FFRs) caused by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), healthcare institutions have been forced to reuse FFRs using different decontamination methods, including vapor hydrogen peroxide (VHP). However, most healthcare institutions still struggle with evaluating the effect of VHP on filtration efficiency (FE) of the decontaminated FFRs. We developed a low-cost in-house FE assessment using a novel 3D-printed air duct. Furthermore, we assessed the FE of seven types of FFRs. Following 10 VHP cycles, we evaluated the FE of KN95 and 3M-N95 masks. The 3M-N95 and Benehal-N95 masks showed significant lower FE (80.4–91.8%) at fine particle sizes (0.3–1 µm) compared to other FFRs (FE ≥ 98.1%, p < 0.05). Following 10 VHP cycles, the FE of KN95 masks was almost stable (FE stability > 99.1%) for all particle sizes, while 3M-N95 masks were stable only at 2 and 5 µm (FE stability > 98.0%). Statistically, FE stability of 3M-N95 masks at 0.3, 0.5, and 0.7 µm was significantly lower (p ≤ 0.006) than 2 and 5 µm. The in-house FE assessment may be used as an emergency procedure to validate the decontaminated FFRs, as well as a screening option for production control of FFRs. Following VHP cycles, both masks showed high stability at 5 µm, the size of the most suspected droplets implicated in COVID-19 transmission. Full article
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12 pages, 3164 KiB  
Article
Development of a Dust Respirator by Improving the Half Mask Frame Design
by Oleg Bazaluk, Serhii Cheberiachko, Yurii Cheberiachko, Oleh Deryugin, Vasyl Lozynskyi, Ivan Knysh, Pavlo Saik and Mykola Naumov
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(10), 5482; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18105482 - 20 May 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2380
Abstract
Protective efficiency of filtering dust respirators depends on the properties of filter materials from which filters are made and the structure of a half mask frame, which influences how tightly the respirator fits the face. The conducted studies on the “Lepestok 40” dust [...] Read more.
Protective efficiency of filtering dust respirators depends on the properties of filter materials from which filters are made and the structure of a half mask frame, which influences how tightly the respirator fits the face. The conducted studies on the “Lepestok 40” dust respirator revealed a large air leakage through the gaps occurring along the obturation strip. Therefore, the purpose of the study is to develop a dust respirator to provide high level of protection and usability by improving the half mask frame design. A scheme for designing a dust respirator: analysis of operating conditions for the dust respirator; facial anthropometric measurements of potential users; designing a 3D model of half mask frame; laboratory testing of the protective properties of the product. A distinctive feature of this approach is considering the facial anthropometric dimensions of employees of a particular enterprise, standard sizes formation of 3D facial models, which is the basis for designing a half mask frame for dust respirator. A new half mask frame design for dust respirator with a variable geometry of fitting to the face surface has been developed, due to special attachment points that allow changing its size according to the anthropometric dimensions of user’s face. Full article
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