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How effective is your donning and doffing procedure?

Our Sales Manager for Benelux, Steven de Decker, demonstrates some key donning and doffing issues and introduces our Donning and Doffing video at the A+A show in Dusseldorf this week... ably assisted by Jordi Viladegut and Romain Lombardo

Donning and doffing is a too often overlooked part of the process of selecting and using suits for protection against hazardous chemicals. At Lakeland we propose that donning and especially doffing of chemical suits is a critical and high risk process that deserves its own risk assessment and written procedure and check list.

Why is donning and doffing so critical?

First, the probability of error is high – it’s easy to make a small mistake, such as incorrectly sealing the front fastening; and second, the consequences of a small error could be major – because we are dealing with hazardous chemicals – and the more hazardous the chemical the greater the possible consequences of an error. (the classic recent and extreme example has been the Ebola situation in West Africa where the smallest error could result in death). Where the possibility of small error is high and the consequences of that error might be major – that inevitably means a high risk situation which deserves its own assessment to evaluate the risk and ensure correct procedures are in place to manage it.

So we suggest to users of any chemical protective clothing that donning and doffing procedures are treated with the same level of care and attention as is used to select and use the suit itself. And when documenting a procedure consider the following key points:-

  1. Always use a “buddy” or assistant system
    (Only an assistant is capable of ensuring details such as correct front closure fastening and conducting a final visual check)
  2. Remember that the details might be important
    (High probability of small error + High consequences of error = High Risk!)
  3. Consider the integrity and effectiveness of connections with other PPE
    (for example, is simple taping of the sleeve/glove connection sufficient? Does it provide a liquid tight seal?)
  4. Have a written check-list for the final check
  5. Remember that DOFFING is probably the most critical time of all.
    (During the Ebola crisis in West Africa earlier this year it is highly likely that where infection of health workers occurred it happened not within the critical area but after emerging from it – because the outside of the suit was contaminated and insufficient precautions were taken duing doffing).

The details of donning and doffing procedures may vary for different applications, environments and garments. However, our new Donning & Doffing video demonstration, launched at the A+A show this week in Germany, takes users through the key aspects of a procedure using Lakeland ChemMAX coveralls. You can view the video by clicking here.

For more advice on donning and doffing contact our sales department at sales-europe@lakeland.com or contact one of our regional sales managers.

You can read about tips for improving workplace safety and keeping chemical hazards at bay in our eBook:

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