Many people have faced challenges when choosing the best PPE kit for their work environment. It could be that they work in an environment that is prone to significant risk for biological and chemical exposure hazards. Organizations that put their employees in situations where they may be exposed to bloodborne pathogens, isocyanate paint, chemical splash, and more will need first to evaluate conditions of use when choosing a suitable chemical protective kit.
Companies often make decisions based on aesthetic and price considerations when choosing a PPE kit, thereby putting their employees at increased risk. They use another selection practice that includes placing the fabric or brand as the priority to purchasing protective clothing without taking the time to understand actual test results and research to determine whether they are giving their employees the best choice for the application.
While businesses need to be cautious of incorrectly applied or misunderstood data, they must also be aware of the consideration for chemical and data resources available in the market. Organizations must consider some of the PPE kit features when making a suitable and informed chemical protective clothing purchase decision.
Resistance, Degradation, Permeation to Liquid Penetration
The process a chemical moves or dissolves through a protective garment is known as permeation. Penetration is the process of chemical movement through imperfections, stitched seams, and zippers in protective clothing material. The change or loss of the fabric’s physical properties or chemical resistance due to exposure to chemicals, use, or ambient conditions is degradation. When the condition permits, all substances can eventually permeate the PPE kit. Also related to the temperature and concentration of the challenge chemical, environmental temperature, and thickness of the barrier material is the permeation resistance.
Companies can review published permeation data and conduct chemical protective fabrics comparisons; however, the data does not consider all of the necessary factors when choosing a PPE kit. The only indication from the permeation time quoted is the amount of time at which the chemical speed that comes through the fabric can exceed the test standard ‘s permeation rate. The published permeation test comparisons are not even discernible about the amount of cumulative permeate and time needed for initial breakthrough. Therefore, businesses must consider this when choosing the appropriate chemical protective garment for their task.
Dexterity and Flexibility
Professionals need to make the PPE kit from flexible materials for the wearer to work or move in the safest ways possible. A kit that causes dexterity issues or inflexibility can contribute to accidents like falls, trips, and slips.
Durability and Strength
They put various protective garments to the test regarding durability and strength in many job functions. These materials come in contact with rigorous movement, machinery, and abrasive surfaces by workers. The garment’s manufacturing quality is as crucial as the material quality. Therefore, companies must evaluate the manufacturer’s quality guarantee, sizing, strength, tightness, and seam construction before making a garment selection. They must also consider comfort and breathability since a good fit will ensure the PPE kit offers the wearer adequate protection and comfort.