Leadership

Protective Clothing: Overcome the Shortcomings

Issue 2 and Volume 138.

Protective Clothing: Overcome the Shortcomings Photo courtesy of Vikings America Inc. HAZARDOUS MATERIALS The issue of appropriate protective equipment for personnel responding to hazardous material incidents is an area of great concern, confusion, and controversy. Most of the reasons for the dilemma stem from the complexity and diversity involved with hazardous material incidents. The primary question revolves around the establishment of an “appropriate” level of personal protection necessary for responders to safely deal with a hazardous material. In most cases, reference sources used by emergency response personnel will state either, “Use full protective equipment” or “Use special protective equipment.” Taken at face value, both statements seem straightforward and to the point. However, when examined more closely, there is a margin of doubt. Even more fundamental, the question that still remains is, does the equipment specified actually provide the appropriate level of protection? Unfortunately, the answer is often “No.” FULL PROTECTIVE…

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