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saster Workers
ead can save lives

nett, Marketing Manager, Chemical and Disposable Products


ed

watched as the drilling rig Deepwater Horizon exploded and burned on April 20 in the Gulf of Mexico. Unfortunately, the
hich leaked millions of gallons of oil into the Gulfwas only one of many that struck the world during recent months. It was
he earthquake that devastated Haiti in January, the April tornadoes that wiped out communities in Oklahoma, and the
king floods that tore apart Nashville and other regions of the South in May.

e can predict or avoid natural and some man-made disasters, we can plan ahead. Experience can help us understand what
otective equipment we should keep on hand. Having the appropriate PPE in stock will allow first responders and other
personnel to act immediately knowing they are properly protected as they begin the monumental task of rescuing victims
g away debris.

sponse stages

ter strikes, emergency personnel and others usually become involved in one or more of the following stages:
During this stage, authorities evaluate the situation, determine the extent of the damage and identify next steps.

rescue Depending on the magnitude of the disaster, emergency personnel and local officials locate and rescue victims. In
ollowing the earthquake in Haiti, thousands became involved in searching for people who were trapped and injured.

and clean-up This stage includes removing debris and demolishing and clearing away severely damaged structures.
en must handle sharp-edged materials such as wood, metal, concrete and glass. When flooding is involved, they must also
old remediation and remove chemicals.

orkers the right protection

PPE emergency workers will require will depend on the disaster and the extent of the damage. In most instances, nitrile
protect workers in a variety of disaster-related applications because they are durable and resist a number of common

ster situations such as hurricanes and flooding, workers will require gloves that not only resist fluids but protect against
ts such as jagged tree limbs and broken glass. Nitrile gloves are available with knit linings that increase the product's cut

Ab
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Produ
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esistant gloves and clothing products will protect workers against most chemicals and pollutants found in floodwaters,
coli bacteria. Chemical resistant gloves also protect the hands from other substances that may be found in floodwaters,
estos. Gloves used to handle asbestos should be immediately disposed of or thoroughly washed to prevent the substance
and being released into the air.

pparel recommendations

arious disaster-related tasks, with recommendations for gloves and apparel that will help keep emergency personnel and
safe. These recommendations should be considered general guidelines and are by no means specific, exclusive or all-

se and assessment; emergency rescue in dry conditions

dical assistance and first aid

ruses, blood pathogens and other biohazards

se:
e gloves are recommended. Several options exist depending on circumstance and, in some cases, personal preference:
dered disposable nitrile, powder-free disposable nitrile, latex-free polycholoroprene exam gloves, powdered latex smooth
gloves, powder-free latex textured finish exam gloves

use:
heavy-duty aprons, suits, coveralls, overalls and jackets

se during hurricanes, floods and other disasters such as the recent oil rig explosion

mage, search for victims in wet conditions with submerged debris

ruses and other biohazards, oils and hazardous chemicals, materials that cut and/or puncture

se:
nitrile- or neoprene-coated fabric (preferably Kevlar blends), neoprene with a thermal layer, heavy duty PVC.

use:
heavy-duty aprons, suits, coveralls, overalls and jackets

human and animal remains

ased victims, remove animal carcasses

uch as E. coli), viruses, blood pathogens and other biohazards

se:
e with a cut-resistant Kevlar lining

use:
heavy-duty aprons, suits, coveralls, overalls and jackets

domestic animal rescue

d animals and fowl

ruses, blood pathogens and other biohazards

se:
e exam

use:
aprons, suits, coveralls and overalls

materials clean-up

hemicals, human waste, mildew, mold and sludge

bacteria and other biohazards, mold and mildew

se:
minate, nitrile, neoprene

use:
PC suits, overalls, coveralls

n-up in dry conditions, demolition


remove wood, glass, metal and concrete

s, materials that cut, abrade and puncture

se:
m nitrile-coated, rubber- or nitrile-coated

use:
y-duty aprons, overalls and coveralls; denim

oval in wet conditions


remove wood, glass, metal and concrete

ed water, sharp edges and materials that cut, abrade and puncture

se:
ber-coated products with a Kevlar lining, neoprene-coated, heavy duty PVC

use:
, suits and overalls

and construction

ructures, new construction

s, objects and materials that cut, abrade and puncture

se:
ed, foam nitrile-coated with Kevlar lining, rubber-coated

use:
y-duty aprons, overalls, coveralls; denim

food and supplies

d serve food

uch as E. coli), oils and possible contaminants on hands or food

se:
atex exam, powder-free latex exam, disposable latex, nitrile-coated; thermal-insulated and coated thermal-insulated gloves

use:
s for medium/heavy duty splash protection

l likely want to wear comfortable apparel with long sleeves and full-length pants under the protective PVC garments
ed. Comfort is essential since individuals are likely to perform physically demanding tasks for long periods of time.

in mind that petroleum products that are present during an oil spill and flooding can deteriorate latex kitchen and surgical
ch is why it is important to wear oil-resistant gloves in these types of applications.

ders and others must be prepared for the worstespecially during the early assessment and search and rescue efforts
y follow a disaster. If workers are uncertain about the hazards that exist in a disaster situation, they should wear gloves
that provide the highest level of protection possible, such as medical grade disposables and heavy duty gloves and

l emergency personnel and volunteers who contribute their time and efforts following a disaster truly make a difference.
formation about how to prepare these individuals for disasters and keep them safe, call about the Ansell Special Assistance
1-866-545-ASAP.

a registered trademark of E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Company

es protect again chemicalsincluding petrochemicalsand are excellent for light duty cleanup following a disaster.

loves protect workers against chemicals, mold and human waste in applications involving hazardous materials. They are
eneficial for individuals working in environments where oil and petroleum have spilled.
gloves resist oil and provide heavy duty protection in maintenance and cleanup applications.

serves as Marketing Manager, Chemical & Disposable products, for Ansell. He has more than 14 years of product and
velopment service with Ansell, with expertise in chemical, disposable and cut resistant knitted products.

2016 Ansell Limited, or one of its affiliates. All rights reserved.


y | Terms and Conditions

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111 Wood Avenue South Suite 210, Isel
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ct names used on this Web site are either trademarks or registered trademarks of Ansell Limited or one of its affiliates. Other trademark
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Personal Protective Equipment


Vapors, gases, and particulates from hazardous substance response activities place response
personnel at risk. For this reason, response personnel must wear appropriate personal protective
clothing and equipment whenever they are near the site. The more that is known about the
hazards at a release site, the easier it becomes to select personal protective equipment. There are
four levels of personal protective equipment.
Level A protection is required when the greatest potential for exposure to hazards exists,
and when the greatest level of skin, respiratory, and eye protection is required. Examples of
Level A clothing and equipment include:

positive pressure, full face-piece self contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) or positive
pressure supplied air respirator with escape SCBA;

totally encapsulated chemical- and vapor-protective suit;

inner and outer chemical-resistant gloves; and

disposable protective suit, gloves, and boots.


Level B protection is required under circumstances requiring the highest level of
respiratory protection, with lesser level of skin protection. At most abandoned outdoor hazardous
waste sites, ambient atmospheric vapors or gas levels have not approached sufficiently high
concentrations to warrant level A protection. Examples of Level B protection include:

positive pressure, full face-piece self contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) or positive
pressure supplied air respirator with escape SCBA;

inner and outer chemical-resistant gloves;

face shield;

hooded chemical resistant clothing;

coveralls; and

outer chemical-resistant boots.


Level C protection is required when the concentration and type of airborne substances is
known and the criteria for using air purifying respirators is met. Typical Level C equipment
includes:

full-face air purifying respirators;

inner and outer chemical-resistant gloves;

hard hat;

escape mask; and

disposable chemical-resistant outer boots.


Level D protection is the minimum protection required. Level D protection may be
sufficient when no contaminants are present or work operations preclude splashes, immersion, or
the potential for unexpected inhalation or contact with hazardous levels of chemicals.
Appropriate Level D protective equipment may include:

gloves;

coveralls;

safety glasses;

face shield; and

chemical-resistant, steel-toe boots or shoes.

While these are general guidelines for typical equipment to be used in certain circumstances,
other combinations of protective equipment may be more appropriate, depending upon specific
site characteristics.
Contact Us to ask a question, provide feedback, or report a problem.

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The Right PPE for Disaster Responders


Cut resistance and comfort are especially important for workers who wear protective
gloves for extended periods of time.
By Larry Johnson

Jan 01, 2006


IN recent years, we Americans have experienced more than our share of natural and manmade disasters. From the six major hurricanes that struck Florida during the past two years
to oil spills, tornadoes, and the devastating acts of terrorism on Sept. 11, 2001, and the
Oklahoma City bombing, first responders and cleanup personnel have been required to work
with a variety of catastrophic situations and related
hazards.

Depending upon the type of disaster, emergency


workers and others usually need a range of personal
protective equipment, including hand protection and
apparel, to keep them safe from any number of threats. These include bacteria and other
biohazards, chemicals, debris, contaminated water, mildew, and mold. Following Hurricane
Katrina, for example, workers needed protection from hazards such as contaminated water,
debris, mold, and bacteria. After 9/11, workers were faced with millions of tons of debris and
smoldering materials.
In the wake of most major disasters, workers are likely to become involved in several stages
of rescue and cleanup:
* Assessment. This stage probably will involve federal, state, and local authorities and
emergency personnel who will evaluate the situation, determine the extent of the damage,
and identify next steps.
* Search and rescue. Depending upon the magnitude of the catastrophe, this stage may
include thousands of emergency personnel and officials who will locate victims and conduct
rescue operations as appropriate. In New Orleans, more than 2,000 people were involved in

search and rescue efforts in the days after the hurricane in September 2005.
* Demolition and general cleanup. This stage will include removing debris and demolishing
and removing structures that suffered severe damage. Debris is likely to include wood,
metal, glass, concrete, and plastics. If flooding is involved, this stage may include mold
remediation and chemical cleanup. In New Orleans, emergency workers and volunteers had
to deal with everything from oil, gasoline, diesel fuel, and antifreeze leaking from vehicles to
fertilizers, pesticides, and cleaning agents that residents and businesses had stored in their
buildings. Mold remediation was a major challenge and probably will continue to be for
several years.
* Reconstruction. Once the cleanup is under way, workers will begin rebuilding homes and
other buildings, roadways, bridges, etc. In some areas (New Orleans is one example),
reconstruction may take years.

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This article originally appeared in the January 2006 issue of Occupational Health & Safety.

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