HSE warning over use of protective clothing

Health & Safety Executive (HSE) says too many workers risk being
contaminated with pesticides or biocides because they are wearing protective
overalls incorrectly.

HSE said new research shows workers who leave sleeves rolled up or zips undone
will not be protected.

tests using a mannequin, it was found that significant decreases in skin
contamination were achieved from all the types of clothing tested, including
personal clothing, such as a long-sleeved shirt and a pair of jeans.

an extra layer of protective clothing, such as a cotton boiler suit, further
reduced skin contamination but there was still significant exposure to
pesticides due to leakage around cuffs and collar and penetration directly
through the direct fabric.

wearing clothing incorrectly, even in the case of specialist protective
coveralls, by leaving zips undone or sleeves rolled up, resulted in high levels
of skin contamination.

protective coveralls were shown to provide the best protection and reduced skin
contamination to very low levels.


By Ross Wigham

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