4 months ago

Technical Committee on Hazardous Materials Protective Clothing and Equipment.

This committee is responsible for three standards: NFPA 1991, 1992 and 1994.

Today I’d like to discuss some work that’s being done by a committee that I’m a member of, which is the Technical Committee on Hazardous Materials Protective Clothing and Equipment.

This committee is responsible for three standards: NFPA 1991, 1992 and 1994. We have recently completed revisions to all three of these documents.

As a committee, we have an opportunity to work on another document or standard, which will be Selection, Care and Maintenance of the PPE that our other standards provide performance requirements for. This new document, Selection Care and Maintenance, is not new to our committee. We have worked on this document off and on for many years, but at times it seems to take a back seat to the other standards, which is justifiable, as other standards must be in place before we can write the subsequent document.

There are other committees that have produced and published SCAM documents for their PPE, such as turnout gear and SCBA’s.

We now have the opportunity to work on our document and hopefully have it published in 2018. This document provides criteria for the actual selection of the product which is based on a fairly complex hazard assessment. It also goes to prescribe criteria for the inspection of the product and cleaning and decontamination of the product. This is one particular area that will result in more discussion and debate primarily because some manufacturers say that their garments can be decontaminated and reused. There are other manufacturers that recommend that their products be limited to one chemical exposure.

In the cleaning category, we know a garment must be hygienically cleaned for reuse, however an even larger debate will arise regarding decontamination and how to determine the effectiveness of that decontamination. There will also be criteria for repair and storage and for retirement and disposal considerations.

I have continuous discussions with users saying this type of information is necessary for them to better do their job. I agree with them whole heartedly. If we work diligently as a committee, I think we can overcome those differences and provide some beneficial information to the users.