The technical development of protective fabrics and garments has, quite rightly, been performance-led. But with highly effective protection now available for the majority of industrial, medical and environmental risks the focus is turning to improving the wearability of safety clothing and accessories. The new Tyvek® 800J limited-use chemical protective garment combines Tyvek® fabric breathability with 'Type 3' protection against pressurised jets of liquids and water-based chemicals.
ENTER THE COMFORT ZONE
When it comes to day-in day-out health and safety compliance, operator comfort is one of the key 'human factors' that govern the correct use of personal protective equipment (PPE). The importance of wear comfort and correct garment fitting cannot be overstated. A large proportion of observed PPE non-compliance occurrences are not due to an absence of protection but are simply due to workers shunning, misusing or abusing the protection provided. And even where staff are wearing the appropriate equipment, if it doesn't fit or if it isn't comfortable then it is often being worn incorrectly.
Overprotecting can be just as dangerous as under-protecting because it tends to encourage users to avoid or misuse the protection. That's because workwear that is too bulky, too unwieldy, too tight, too loose, too heavy or too hot may eventually get shunned or discarded. It may well be correctly donned at point of clock-in but as the day wears on, as ambient temperatures rise, as the worker tires, as tasks come along that require precise handling or the worker has to crawl or perform other inhibiting movements, workers are often tempted to find a way to over-ride or even completely dispense with poor equipment.
FINDING THE OPTIMUM BALANCE
Such equipment misuse may just be a momentary lapse but that's all it takes for worker contamination or yet another incident or casualty to be added to the workplace accident statistics*. Fatigue, restricted movement, annoying fabric rustle, reduced dexterity, impeded vision and low tactile sensitivity are just some of the reasons that cause workers to abandon or misuse protective equipment. The secret rests in finding the optimum balance between comfort and protection, between safety and productivity, between fit and functionality.
And now you can.
PPE that is ergonomically designed, is adjusted for the working conditions, has built-in comfort features and is made from wearer-friendly materials does not get left behind in the locker. The new Tyvek® 800J chemical protective garment has been developed as a higher performance Tyvek® coverall combining superior operator comfort with the level of resistance to pressurised liquid sprays normally associated with chemical suits made of impermeable coated materials, such as 3-layer PE (polyethylene) coveralls, which can be stiff, ill-fitting, and above all very hot to wear. It is the first Tyvek® Type 3 liquid-tight garment and this means that in certain situations it can be used as a substitute for two separate over garment sets, bringing down costs. Furthermore, unlike impermeable coated or film materials, the Tyvek® 800J is permeable to moisture vapour, and can contribute to the simplification of heat stress management, wearer acceptance, worker productivity and wear time increase.
Ergonomically designed and around 33% lighter than equivalent triple-layer PE and coated fabrics the inherent breathability of Tyvek® 800J garments together with their soft, pliable fabric texture renders them amongst the most comfortable garment in both their Type and Class. But this isn't comfort that comes at the expense of performance or durability. Tyvek® 800J provides identical or better penetration performance against Type 6 reference chemicals when compared to standard Tyvek® or 3-layer PE films along with superior tensile strength, seam strength, flex strength and puncture resistance. It is also a permeation barrier to certain low concentration water based chemicals and also provides excellent bio-barrier resistance of up to 7kPa against blood-borne pathogens.
SPRAY IN COMFORT
Apart from an improved user experience, another principle feature of Tyvek® 800J is its resistance to pressurised jets liquids. It meets the Type 3 jet test, when taped appropriately**, and provides similar resistance to many common fluid pressures as standard PE films. The fabric can withstand a hydrohead of 6m.
This makes it the ideal garment for wet and humid applications such as:
HAVE YOU GOT ALL THE ANSWERS OR DO YOU NEED HELP?
Don't rely on choosing protective coveralls (or any other PPE) from a web-site or a piece of literature. The optimum and safest choice of personal protection requires sound judgement, a detailed understanding of risk and a comprehensive knowledge of personal protection principles, technical standards and equipment performance.
A global leader in personal protection, DuPont has been addressing the world’s safety needs with the best in technologies and innovations for over 40 years. DuPont Personal Protection offers comprehensive support in protective garment selection and chemical risk assessment as well as training on the use of protective clothing. A customised selection service is available for all Tyvek® and Tychem® protective clothing products.
*The UK's Health & Safety Executive reported that in 2011/12 twenty seven million working days were lost due to work-related illness and workplace injury. In the same period there were one million reported cases of health and safety incidents, the majority of which were injuries. Workplace injuries and ill health cost society an estimated £13.8 billion in 2010/11.
** Additional taping of cuffs, ankles, hood and zipper flap required to achieve Type 3 liquid tightness.