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Cite this document
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) mandates the use of various types of personal protective equipment (PPE) under 29 CFR 1910 Subpart I. The general requirements included under 1910.132 require that the employer provide PPE for eyes, face, head, extremities, protective clothing, respiratory devices, and protective shields and barriers when hazards of processes, or environmental, chemical, radiological, or mechanical hazards are capable of causing injury or impairment of any portion of an employee's body. While OSHA can cite relevant performance standards that address many types of PPE (i.e., eyeware and ANSI Z87.1), a void exists when considering chemical protective clothing. The Industrial Safety Equipment Association (ISEA), through their Safety Wearing Apparel Group (SWAG), is filling this void by developing a comprehensive performance based standard which addresses the majority of chemical protective clothing worn by general industry. ANSI/ISEA Draft 103 introduces the concept of “Types” and “Classifications” of CPC. Modeled after work that is ongoing within the European Community, ANSI/ISEA Draft 103 sets forth performance and labeling requirements for six “Types” of garments. Compliance to the standard is judged by “classifying” performance under a variety of chemical, physical, and thermal test criteria. The standard combines both swatch testing and full garment integrity testing according to various ASTM, ISO, and EN test methods. The majority of referenced ISO and EN tests have their roots in existing ASTM methods. The success of this document serves as a testimonial to the efforts made by so many individuals who have participated in the ASTM standards process. The standard is expected to achieve final approval in early 2000. The standard has also been submitted to ISO as a new work item proposal within the Work Group 3 (WG3) on protective clothing. If accepted and approved by ISO, this standard will dictate how CPC is certified and labeled throughout the world.
protective clothing, chemical protective clothing, CPC, personal protective equipment, PPE, Industrial Safety Equipment Association, ISEA, American National Standards Institute, ANSI, ANSI/ISEA 103, certification, performance, International Standards Organization, ISO, European Committee on Normalization, CEN
Senior Engineer, Guntersville, Alabama